Every sleep challenge can be connected to a baby’s mental and physical development at that particular age. At around 16-18 months, older babies experience some developmental milestones that may unfortunately, negatively impact their sleep.
The toddler stage
Separation anxiety is still an issue for toddlers starting around 15 months. Some babies begin experiencing separation anxiety around 7 or 8 months, but for most babies, the anxiety is strongest from 10-18 months. This can lead to disrupted sleep including naps in the day, as your baby wants to be near you.
At around toddler age and onwards, children are craving independence. Children at this age are learning to feed themselves with a spoon, drink from a cup, build with blocks, and even take off some articles of clothing. This growing independence can create a strong, wilful toddler who feels that he must try and gain control of everything that he or she wants.
All sleep challenges are difficult and exhausting, but at around 18 months sleep difficulties can be one of hardest child challenges. At this time your child may be trying to push boundaries and gain independence. This is all part of the learning process and it’s important to give clear boundaries.
This may be easier said then done when you are sleep deprived and your toddler is also heading towards ‘terrible twos’. This cycle of separation anxiety and sleep deprivation will ultimately result in a cross and irritable child. This may result in them also not eating or becoming very fussy with food.
Toddler sleep challenge tips
Consistency, boundary setting, reassurance and nurturing all help towards supporting your child to sleep.
Toddlers need regular naps in the day and it’s important to watch for tiredness cues so you can act straight away.
Explain at sleep times where you are going and that you are always around for them. Securing their emotional needs is paramount and can be communicated as part of the sleep support.
If you plan is to obtain sleep support, ensure that your child is healthy and not in the middle of any major change in their lives e.g. A house move, new nursery etc. It is advisable to wait for your child to be in a familiar environment before attempting any new sleep schedule.
Baby sleep consultant UK
Dream Sleepers sleep support will cater for your child’s emotional health and well being. This will support your child so that they feel secure at bedtime and through the night. Contact Michelle on her directory link below to book in a sleep consultation.