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11 Unseen Factors That Cause Sleep Problems in Toddlers

Sleep problems in Toddlers are one of the nightmares of parents. It’s very common for children of all ages to wake up during the night. This is a normal part of your child’s development, but it can be frustrating for parents.

Toddlers are developing. Their relationship with sleep changes at this age.

You might see behavior that looks like sleep problems. This can include challenges like getting toddlers into bed or helping them sleep. This is one way that toddlers test boundaries and practice being independent. It is a natural part of toddler development.

Here are the reasons that expert says about sleep problems in toddlers:

1. Overtiredness

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers of 1 and 2 years should get 14 hours of sleep each day. If your toddler is fighting sleep, first count up their total hours of sleep. See if they’re falling within those guidelines. Toddlers cry out at bedtime for many reasons.


A sick child will need plenty of fluids – don’t worry about food for the first day or so unless they want it. try to keep them company with some quiet games and stories. sick children need plenty of rest, so encourage them to doze off whenever they need to – reading them a quiet story might help.

3. Separation anxiety

It is most common in toddlers when they’re out of their normal routine, in a new environment, or when they’re just not in the mood to be away from mom or dad, maybe because they’re ill or sleepy.

4. Uncomfortable

The temperature range for infants and children is 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 Celsius). A cooler room temperature allows for deeper and less fragmented sleep. 

5. Fears

There are several reasons for the sleep problems in toddlers , including the fear of being alone, the thought of something coming through the window, a mysterious noise, or a shadow on the wall.So, try to help your child identify what exactly they are scared of.

6. Loneliness

One of the most common reasons toddler sleep problems is loneliness, they cry out for their parents at bedtime is that they don’t want to sleep alone.

7. Late Naps

Frequent late naps could be to blame when a child takes a long time to fall asleep. Over time, the frequency of children’s afternoon naps declines. , their sleep patterns change and they only sleep at nighttime.

But, during toddlerhood, kids still need naps. Studies have found that most 18-month-olds nap for about 2 hours a day. Researchers have found that long naps result in shorter nighttime sleep. Sleep deprivation can also enhance nighttime issues.

The Sleep Foundation recommends an early afternoon nap for toddlers. This limits trouble sleeping at night and aims to have your child up from their nap at least three hours (more) before their bedtime.


 Nightmares are common during childhood. If your toddler is prone to these fears, avoid books or movies with scary themes close to bedtime. Psychologist Linda Blair says to make their bedtime routine as cheerful as possible. If the problem is night terrors, the AAP tells parents to stay calm. They should ensure the child cannot hurt themselves and wait it out. Rest assured, your child will relax and sleep again.

9. Sleep Regression

 Sleep regression is when a child who before slept well starts having poor sleep habits. Babies experience sleep regression between 12 and 18 months. This happens due to significant developmental changes.

If your toddler is learning a new skill like walking, they may be so focused on practicing it that they can’t sleep. To help soothe them, keep the lights low and talk.

You can also encourage your child to use a lovely, such as a blanket or a stuffed animal, to soothe themselves. Make it clear that they need to go right back to sleep.


Many things can cause early waking. Hunger and a wet diaper can contribute, as can household sounds and light. It is a common cause of sleep problems in toddlers.

11. Less Sleep Needed

As toddlers grow, some wake up as soon as it’s light—or even earlier—and they don’t want to spend time alone.

Another common reason for sleep problems in toddlers are they need less sleep than they did as a baby. It might be time to review their sleep schedule.

How to Bid Farewell to Sleep Problems in Toddlers

Cozy Bed Setup:

  • Choose a comfortable mattress and soft bedding for your toddler.
  • Use their favorite blankets or stuffed animals to make the bed inviting.

2. Dim the Lights:

  • Use soft, dim lights in the evening to signal bedtime.
  • Avoid bright overhead lights; opt for nightlights or dim lamps.

3. Establish a Routine:

  • Create a consistent bedtime routine, like reading a bedtime story or singing a lullaby.
  • Routine helps signal to your toddler that it’s time to wind down.
  • 4. Calm Atmosphere:
  • Keep the bedroom quiet and calm during bedtime.
  • Minimize loud noises and distractions to create a soothing atmosphere.

5. Comfortable Room Temperature:

  • Maintain a comfortable room temperature, not too hot or too cold.
  • Dress your toddler appropriate sleepwear for the climate.

6. Secure Sleep Environment:

  • Ensure the room is safe and free of potential hazards.
  • Childproof the space to prevent accidents during the night.

Also Read: How to make your toddler sleep naturally?

7. Limit Screen Time:

  • Avoid screen time close to bedtime as it can interfere with sleep.
  • Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

8. Adequate Daytime Naps:

  • Ensure your toddler gets enough daytime naps.
  • A well-rested child is more likely to sleep well at night.

9. Snug Sleepwear:

  • Dress your toddler in comfortable, breathable sleepwear.
  • Avoid clothing that may cause discomfort during the night.

10. Bedtime Snack:

Offer a light, healthy bedtime snack if your toddler is hungry.

Avoid sugary or caffeinated snacks close to bedtime.

11. Reassurance:

  • Provide reassurance if your toddler is afraid of the dark.
  • Consider a nightlight or a comforting night-time toy.

12. Be Consistent:

  • Consistency is key in establishing good sleep habits.
  • Stick to the bedtime routine to avoid the sleep problem in toddlers.

Things You Should Do Before Bedtime to Reduce Sleep Problems in Toddlers

It can be hard for some toddlers to calm down and get ready for bed, especially if they have had an exciting day.Here are some suggestions to avoid sleep problems in toddlers.

Have a chat

Whether your toddler’s talking yet, bedtime is a perfect opportunity to have a quiet chat. Of course, if you have a young toddler, you’ll have to do most of the talking. They’ll still love getting your full attention.

Talk about everything you’ve both been doing throughout the day and how it may have made them feel. If your toddler is old enough, ask them to tell you about the best and worst things that happened to them.

Also, ask them if there is anything that’s worrying them. This may help them to work through any anxieties or fears so that they get a better night’s sleep.

Read a bedtime story

Cuddle up for some cozy storytime. Your toddler will love spending time with you. They will enjoy hearing you give all the characters silly voices. It’ll even help them learn new words, and encourage a lifelong love of reading.

Give your toddler a choice of books from a small selection each night. They’ll enjoy getting to have their say. You may end up reading the same few books for a week or so, but repetition is a key part of your toddler’s learning. While it may be a tad frustrating for you, it’s great for their development!

Sing a song

A soothing lullaby is a classic way to help your sleepy toddler drift off. Your voice and your partner’s voice are your toddler’s favorite sounds. You could even record a tune for them to listen to when someone else puts them to bed.

Remember, every child is unique with different needs and preferences. The sleep problems in toddlers might be different. You will know what will calm down and relax your child.

1 thought on “11 Unseen Factors That Cause Sleep Problems in Toddlers”

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