When your 2-year-old keeps waking up at night, it can be stressful for both you and your toddler. Toddlers need to sleep about 11-14 hours a day, including their nap time in the morning, afternoon or both. Knowing the causes and some tips to get them to sleep through the night may help you and your child deal with this situation.

Causes of sleep disturbance in toddlers:

There are several reasons why your 2-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night.

1. Discomfort

Your toddler may feel uncomfortable because of some reasons like teething, stuffy nose, illness, ear infections, or pain.

2. Sleeping too much during the day 

Your toddler may sleep too much during the day or too early at night. When they are not tired, it is hard for them to go to bed and sleep through the night.

3. Being too tired or over-stimulated at bedtime

Being excited might be the reason why your toddler finds it hard to sleep. When your child experiences something new and exciting, his or her mind gets over-stimulated. Also, doing a lot of activities during the day may cause your toddler to feel too tired to sleep at night.

4. Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where the airways in the throat are partially or fully blocked during sleeping. If your child snores loudly and often wakes up at night, he or she may have sleep apnea.

5. Being hungry or thirsty

You might see your 2-year-old waking up at night and wanting milk. This is another cause of sleep disturbance in toddlers.

6. Anxiety, fears, and nightmares

Another cause of toddler sleep problems is separation anxiety. If your 2-year-old wakes up crying every night and looks for you, he or she may have anxiety. Sometimes, their fears and nightmares also cause them to wake up at night.

What to do when your 2-year old keeps waking up at night:

Here are some ways on how to get your toddler to sleep through the night:

1. Consider your toddler’s schedule

Think about your toddler’s activities during the day. Your child may be sleeping too much in the morning so it is difficult for them to sleep soundly at night. Or they may be sleeping too late.

Don’t let them take a nap close to bedtime.

2. Establish a bedtime routine

Bedtime should be consistent. Sleep time for toddlers should be at around 7:30 or 8:30 p.m. You can tuck your child in bed and give them a goodnight kiss. You can read a bedtime story. Make sure the story has a mild content to avoid nightmares and toddler night terrors.

3. Don’t rush to your toddler’s room

You may ask, “Should I ignore my toddler crying at night?”. You may have to wait for a few minutes before going to your toddler’s room. He or she might settle down on her own. But if they continue to cry, check and see if they need help or if they are sick.

4. Create a good sleep environment

Make sure that the room is cool but not too cold. It should be dark enough to help your toddler go to sleep. If the room is too bright, it might be difficult for your child to sleep. Remove all gadgets that have sources of light. Your child’s room should be quiet, but if you are using white noise, it should be consistent throughout the night.

5. Give them a remedy for their condition

If your child is in pain, you can give them medicine to relieve pain. If your toddler is uncomfortable because of an illness or an infection, give them the proper remedy. If they are having troubles sleeping through the night because of sleep apnea, you may consult your healthcare provider. Always remember to consult your child’s doctor before giving them any medicine or remedy.

Knowing the reasons why your 2-year-old keeps waking up at night can guide you in helping your child sleep through the night. Remember that your toddler is also undergoing developments so their sleeping habits may also change.  

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