Toddler sleep problems are no fun for parents or kids. If your little one is having trouble sleeping through the night, so are you. Lack of sleep leads to short tempered parents, cranky children and a rough start to the day. So here are some tips to help you through the most common toddler sleep issues.
1. Cut the caffeine. Different foods and drinks can cause sleep disturbances, so you will want to monitor what your child eats and drinks during the day. Don’t let them drink any cola flavored sodas, coffee or tea, and limit the amount of chocolate you let them eat. All of these items contain caffeine. Not only does caffeine irritate the bladder, which can contribute to bed wetting, but it is a stimulant that can keep them up long past their bed time, or keep them from getting to sleep at all.
2. Stop the sugar. It’s also best to eliminate sugary drinks — like sodas and fruit drinks that are not 100 percent fruit juice — from their diet, as well as sugary foods like candies and desserts. Excess sugar can cause bladder irritation similar to caffeine, not to mention hyperactivity while awake and difficulty getting to sleep. And if you child is still having toilet training accidents during the day, eliminating the caffeine and sugar will help with that as well.
3. Practice pottying at night. If your child is waking up from bed wetting in the middle of the night, there may be a simple solution. Some children can be trained to wake up when their bladder is full at night, just as they learn to recognize the feeling during the day. Plan to set your alarm to wake you up every few hours, then wake up your child and help them use the potty. It should only take a few nights of this to train your child, as long as your child’s bladder is developed enough to allow him to sleep through the night. If it’s not, then the solution is just patience and time. Let him wear pull-ups so all of you can get the rest you need, and he will grow out of the bed wetting with time.
4. Remember the routine. If your toddler throws fits when its time to go to sleep, you may need to create a sleep routine and get her used to it. Set a nightly bed time and stick to it. Make sure you give her at least an hour of low key quiet time before bed so that she has a chance to calm down and get naturally sleepy. Give her a warm bath, clean pajamas, and read a calming book — this is not the time for action adventures or scary stories. And remember that as the parent, you’re the one responsible for maintaining the routine every night. You’ll both grow to enjoy the time you spend together, and the extra rest you’ll get when you eliminate the toddler sleep problems.