Toddler Sleep Problems Are Commonly Misdiagnosed

toddler sleep problems

To what extent do toddler sleep problems differ across different areas of the US? A full of 4896 respondents completed the online survey;

Medication To Hypnosis

A woman standing in front of a tree

Parents reported a wide range of reasons for toddler sleep problems. Some parents experienced trouble getting their kids to sleep in the middle of the night. Others said they tried everything from medication to hypnosis to positive reinforcement but to no avail. What’s the solution? Some parents opted for behavior modification or psychofeedback therapy. Others turned to alternative remedies like acupuncture and yoga.

Parents described situations where their toddler had awakened in the middle of the night crying or screaming. In the case of physical symptoms like fussy, hungry, sleepy, or squishy bedding, a parent should not hesitate to seek medical attention. If it is due to psychological factors like anxiety or depression, the parent should seek professional help. But remember, all toddler sleep problems are normal and transient.

Various Factors

A boy lying on a bed

There are many factors that contribute to toddler sleep problems. Toddlers who experience the typical symptoms of sleeplessness, including morning grogginess and irritability, are not overtired. They’re simply going through a normal stage of growing up. Parents should take their time to enjoy those precious months with their children without worrying about whether they’ll be able to get a good night’s rest.

The most common of these toddler sleep problems is lack of adequate bedtime cuddling. While this characteristic may seem trite, it is actually quite common among first-time parents. When a baby or toddler is held by the parent, they feel safe, loved, cuddly and eventually familiar. As their body language becomes more relaxed, they are able to relax more, and when they fall asleep easier and faster.

Reduction In Their Toddler’s Temperament

It is also common for parents to notice a reduction in their toddler’s temperament as they become less fussy and are less disruptive when sleeping. A reduction in temperamental activity level can also be observed. This could be caused by decreased daytime sleep duration, which has been associated with greater daytime sleepiness and more daytime napiness. Soothability and temperament changes can be observed as well.

Parents should also pay attention to the way they soothe themselves before going to bed: doing so reduces morning feelings of anxiety and frustration. As they fall asleep, the mental process of rationalizing and thinking about what happened during the day and last night, and what they can expect for the day ahead, becomes much easier. Soothing music or calming scents can help a great deal. A warm bedtime routine – something that is consistent with getting up and going to bed at the same time each night – helps to set the mood for a good night’s sleep.


Parents should also pay attention to their bedtime routines. Avoid the tendency to predict what will happen the next day, especially when the toddler is still quite young. It is far better to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day than to have your scary thoughts and fears of what might happen the next day prevent you from falling asleep in time. Even if your fears do not materialize, setting up a consistent bedtime routine will aid in the development of a good bedtime routine and help in the reduction of nighttime stress.

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