Parents love their babies and their toddlers, but they can’t spend every waking moment with them. Parents need time to do housework, laundry, pay bills, read a book, or just a few moments to relax. Sometimes, there are not enough hours in the day to do all that you want to do and there’s no time to relax. The only time some parents have each day are when the little one’s take a nap. For some parents, their toddlers sleeping problems keep them from taking care of the rest of the family and what needs to be done around the house.
Some families are lucky in that toddlers sleeping patterns are what they should be. Many need to have at least two naps a day, sleeping at least two hours each nap. These naps often occur in the morning and in the afternoon, and then the toddler goes to bed rather early in the evening. When toddlers sleep this much they are getting what they need to grow and thrive, as sleep is when the brain and body grow and strengthen. Toddlers who do not get enough sleep are going to be cranky and may not develop as they should if this it becomes a long term problem. Children need less sleep as they get older, but naps should be taken for as long as possible.
Sometimes, toddlers sleeping problems are not really huge problems. It could be that there are some things going on in your home that are keeping them awake. They may be getting too much stimulation right before they are going to lie down for their nap. Limit anything that gets them worked up until after they wake up. You should also make sure loud noises are kept down, but remember, there is such a thing as too quite for toddlers sleeping. The everyday noise of your home is actually reassuring to them, so carry on as usual but do turn down any loud noises while they nap.
If you have a baby in the house, or older children, they could also be the reason for toddlers sleeping problems. It could be that your other children are exciting to your toddler, and they do not want to leave their company. It could be that they are making too many odd noises that do not blend in well with your normal house noises. Think about this when it comes time for nap. As with other stimulations, keep the children from getting the toddler all worked up when it is near time for nap. Remember that jealousy could also be a factor. If toddler thinks other children are getting all your time, they may not want to nap.
If you think your toddlers sleeping patterns are not right, you should talk with your pediatrician. It could be that your child simply does not need as much sleep as you think they do, or that they have outgrown the need to have two naps a day. Perhaps it is time to switch over to one longer nap in the afternoon instead of two shorter ones each day. It could also be that your child is just going through a short period of extra energy and they will go back to their regular napping schedule soon enough. Doctors know a great deal about toddlers sleeping patterns, so seek advice from the before you assume something is not right.