You’ve probably known what it’s like to have an overtired toddler. They can be very difficult to handle as they get cranky and often, there will be many tears involved. Generally, toddlers aged 1-2 years need 13-14 hours of sleep within a 24 hour cycle with 1-2 hour naps in the day.
Toddlers’ sleep is strongly influenced by their daily activities and environment, so it is important to set a routine for them before bed to help settle into sleep. Here are some suggestions to help:
- Have a wind-down period before bed, e.g. reading a story, goodnight kiss and cuddle
- Set naps and bedtime at similar times each day
- Dress them in comfortable clothes for the night, such as light pyjamas in hot weather and warmer pyjamas on cooler nights
- Make sure they’ve had enough to eat and drink so they are not hungry or thirsty when they go to bed
- Check their nappy is clean so they are comfortable
- Put them to bed with their favourite small, soft toy to provide comfort.
Finally, it is important to make sure children of all ages have adequate rest and sleep. Your toddler will continue to need their daytime nap until the age of 2 ½ – 3.
If you have any concerns about your toddler’s sleep routine seek help from your health care professional.