Sleep is very important to any child, not just for their growth and development but also for your sanity as a parent. This is why dealing with a toddler bedtime battle often seems like a never ending war that you are bound to lose. Don’t worry; you are not the only parent who feels this way.
Why Toddlers Cry at Night
There are a variety of elements that are preventing both you and your child from receiving a good night’s sleep. Many of which can be easily remedied with a little knowledge and patience.
Toddlers are little balls of energy who require enough substance to get them through the day. Because of this, you may find that your toddler wakes up with a sensational appetite especially during growth spurts.
Around the age of two a toddler’s brain is functioning higher than normal, especially when it comes to imagination. An increase of imagination can often lead to an increase in nightmares.
- Sleep Pattern
The toddler years are that magical time between infancy and big kid status which is filled with an adjustment period where your child’s body may be trying to regulate a sleep pattern.
- They’re Just Plain Old Fussy
Sometimes you may find that your toddler is screaming at night for no reason whatsoever. This is because their emotions are still being developed and sometimes the best way for them to deal is to throw a completely healthy tantrum no matter the time of day.
What to do if Your Toddler is Screaming at Night
First step is to breathe. A panicked parent will only lead to an even more frustrated child. Once you’re cool and collected try these simple tips that other parents swear by to help keep a toddler from refusing to go to sleep:
- Set a Routine
Sometimes helping your child sleep is as easy as installing a bedtime routine that can bring your toddler some comfort. Many parents find it helpful to start with a warm bath to calm their child and end with book. By continuing this routine at the same time each night you are not only helping your child find comfort but also promoting healthy bedtime habits.
- Let Them Play
Some children need a little extra stimulation at night time to help their minds eventually settle. They might just have a little extra energy left over from the day and need a way of getting it out before sleep. By giving them their favorite toy and allowing them to play with it in their bed, you may find that they will literally play themselves to sleep.
- Be Firm and Stand Your Ground
If your toddler is an especially stubborn bread, the gentle yet stern approach may be right for you. If you set a bed time, stick to it! Whenever your child gets out of bed and throws a tantrum calmly walk them back to their bed without saying a word. This lets them know that you are serious and eventually they will give in.
- Ignore the Tantrums
If you’re child isn’t in any danger or in need of special attention then chances are they just want some attention. Toddlers are still learning how to voice their concerns and sometimes the best way for them to do so is to scream it out. While it is perfectly alright to guide your child back to sleep, try to avoid entertaining their tantrums because this can lead to a bad habit of using screaming in place of other acceptable emotional outlets.
- Let Them Choose Their Own Path
Allowing your toddler to make their own choices helps them feel like a big kid which can lead to healthy development. Next time bed time rolls around, let your child chose the nighttime story or the bedtime activity that the two of you do together. This helps them take on a little responsibility that may reduce the need for attention grabbing tantrums.
Wrapping it up!
When you have a toddler screaming at night you may feel like all hope is lost but hang in there. With a little routine you can easily turn these stressful nights around. Just remember to stay the course and to not give in because when your child knows you’re serious about setting bedtime boundaries, the tantrums will become less appealing. Good luck.