12 Facts About Toddler Sleep Problems

One of the best resources I have found on all matters regarding sleep for babies, for all children, teens and particularly for toddler sleep problems comes from the book Sleepless in America by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.

This is not the latest and greatest sleep method book sure to get your child easily to bed. This is based on sleep research and practical advice. What I love most about the book is that she often talks about how there are different sleep temperaments and that one strategy may work for one type of child but not for another. This is a critical detail that makes many parents confused, because what may have worked for one friend with their child, does not always work for someone else’s child. This can make a parent feel they are inadequate.

Here are some of the main points that I think should be the basic foundation for how to approach toddler sleep problems, or in general, be the foundation for how one approaches all sleep issues.

  1. Every child is unique. Every family’s situation is unique.
  2. It’s all right to offer comfort to your child. You are not spoiling them.
  3. Do what works for you and your family.
  4. There is no right way to sleep.
  5. One strategy does not fit all.
  6. It’s all right to listen to what your child needs.
  7. It’s all right to have your own needs around sleep.
  8. Changes in sleeping habits can take time. Be patient but persistent.
  9. Listen to your heart, trust your gut around what you think is right for your child and family.
  10. Don’t take your child’s resistance as personal. Transitioning into sleep is a skill and you are your child’s coach.
  11. Be clear about your sleep goal, expect it to take time. Repeat, repeat, until you attain your goal.
  12. Adjust your schedule and sleep approach to honor your child’s sleep temperament the easier it will be.

Until you figure out how to sleep better with a newborn, you will tired and short tempered. We all want someone to come and tell us exactly how to fix the problem. Unfortunately, sleep issues often require a lot of patience to change. These tips are the basic foundation, and from here, you can begin to address specifics.

Mariana Kurko

Mari is a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine, a singer/songwriter and the creator of Mamashine. She is also a survivor of postpartum depression. Mari lives with her energetic son, her husband and various animals in Austin, TX.

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