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Establishing Sleep Routines for 2 Year Olds

Establishing Sleep Routines for 2 Year Olds




Sleep is a very important part of growing up healthy.  A good night’s sleep helps young children build immunity and gain much needed rest for their active development.


How much sleep does my two-year old need?

Between two and three years old, your child will be need around 11 to 12 hours of sleep.  They may also nap during the afternoon for around 1 to 2 hours.  Bedtime usually is between 7 and 9PM.  Children usually wake up between 6:30 AM and 8 AM.


What happens when my child is sleeping?

Your child will gain deep REM sleep during this time.  Sleep may not be consistent.  As they are moving from one sleep phase to another, they may wake up more often.  It is important to teach your child to calm themselves to sleep by themselves.


How to establish healthy sleep habits

Good habits play a critical part in determining how well your child sleeps.  Establishing healthy sleep habits lead up to sound sleep at night.  Here are some tested ways to establish healthy sleep habits in your children:


Encourage your child to sleep in their own beds

Your child will most likely move from sleeping in their crib to a bed because they have outgrown the size.  Sometimes, if there is a sibling, they are can also be encouraged to make this shift. Give your child encouragement and praise when they sleep in their own bed successfully. Sometimes, your child may have a difficult time and start throwing a temper tantrum.  Resist the urge to bring them back to your end gently tell them to sleep through the night.


Snuggle them in with their favorite toys and night lights.

Make sure their favorite stuffed toys are with them through the night.  These act as safety elements in your child’s life and give a lot of comfort.  During this age, because children tend to think stuffed animals are real, they can provide a lot of emotional support.  While you snuggle them in, give them an extra hug and a kiss. Make sure to hug their stuffed toy too!


Be prepared for some things your child might do

If your child is not comfortable with sleeping on their own, then they may try various things to put it off.  Being prepared and including them in your routines will make sure they are well transitioned.  One of the most common things that your child might try is to say “just one more” – it could be one more story, one more cartoon, or a glass of water.  If you do indulge in that one request make sure you set the boundary in that that is the last request you will take.


Nidara Children Blog Establishing Sleep Routines for 2 Year Olds


Here are some issues to watch out for:

Staying in bed: Sometimes your child might have a tough time staying in bed at night.  They may get up more than one, come back to your room or call for you.  In such situations, tuck your child back into bed and follow the same process of wishing them goodnight.  Expert opinions vary on this situation.  Some say do not coddle your child and others want a more soothing approach.

Resisting bedtime: Another common problem at this age is your child resisting bedtime.  Many children want to stay one watching a cartoon or playing or wanting more water.  Be prepared to handle these issues by being gentle but firm.

Monsters:  A very common fear in children is monsters under their bed at night.  If they are scared, show them with a torchlight that there is nothing under their bed.  Snuggle in their favorite stuffed toy animal with them.

Nightmares:  Your child at some point might also have nightmares.  Walk over to your child right away.  Bring them close to you and hold them.  If your child is crying, give them a glass of water and console them.   Talk to your child about the bad dream.  If your child’s bad dreams continue, find out the root cause for the problem.  If your child is truly scared, then letting him or her back to your bed is the best way to go.




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