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Why is my toddler waking in the night? How to manage those dreaded night wakes.



Toddler's can wake at night for a number of reasons and it can be difficult to pinpoint why. Try and ask yourself, are their wakes behavioural wakes or do they wake for a reason i.e needing the toilet or comfort? If it's the latter, look at ways to help your little one use the toilet without waking you i.e a night light in the toilet or a potty in their room. If you decide to encourage toilet use at night, please make sure it is safe & age appropriate to do so.


If your little one is looking for comfort, try and think of ways of giving them comfort without disturbing you i.e a teddy that smells of mummy or if they simply want a cuddle, give them that comfort and encourage them back to bed.


A behavioural wake is when they have just got into a bad habit and find it hard to settle back to sleep. These wakes can sometimes be managed by simply sticking to a routine that works for you both. They can be tricky too so please don't put pressure on yourself, I am here if you need support.


Try to be patient, as hard as it can be. If you are really struggling, please do not suffer in silence, contact me and lets work through it together.


Here are a few tips to help everyone get a better nights sleep...


1. No screen time before bed. Ideally 1/2 hours prior to bedtime.

2. Reduce stress at bedtime. Create a calm environment with quiet and relaxed activities. Doing something calming in their room before bed can really help such as playing lego, colouring, doing a puzzle.

3. Make sure they have been well exercised in the day. 30 minutes - 1 hour is good.

4. Tackle any bedtime fears. Don't dismiss any 'monsters' help deal with them. try to avoid discussing any worries before bed as we don't want them going to bed thinking about them. Try having a conversation with them during the day if you are able to.

5. Have a consistent and calming bedtime routine. Bath, calm play, book, bed.

6. A good well nourished diet. Avoid heavy meals before bed.

7. Make the room temperature between 16C to 20C, with light bedding or a lightweight baby sleeping bag.

8. Daytime Naps - At this age they should be having 1 nap per day. The day time nap typically drops between 2.5-3 years old, however some little ones still need a power nap.

9. Set an age appropriate bedtime. For this age range they should ideally be in bed no later than 7.30pm.

10. Be aware of any sleep disorders they may have. Always seek help if needed.


Find out more about Sleep by Alexandra

Sleep by Alexandra helps your family sleep better so you can enjoy more time together. Alexandra Collingbourne is a sleep consultant specialising in safe, holistic methods of getting your baby, toddler or young child to sleep in a way that empowers parents to live better, happier and with more energy. Specialist postnatal depression & anxiety support is also available for those who need it.

●  View baby and toddler sleep services from Sleep by Alexandra here. ●  Get in touch here. ●  Subscribe to newsletter here.

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