Tuesday, April 13, 2010

23 month old with sleep problems

Questioner: tara

Subject: sleep problems

Question: My daughter is nearly 23 months and about 10 days ago her sleep patterns suddenly changed and I am not sure how to deal with it. Firstly, she has suddenly started waking early - anytime from 5-5.45 am (her usual time is 7am). She wakes and starts crying and screaming for us to get her up and when we get her up after a while, and bring her into our bed she tells us she is awake and wants to get up, even though it is very dark. We have been trying to leave her to cry till around 6.30am but she is becoming more and more upset and we are concerned it will have negative effects with bedtime. What strategy should we use and why do you think she is waking so early all of a sudden?

Co-inciding with this is a change in daily naptime - at first her nap, which is usually from 1-2.30pm, reduced to 40 minutes. Then the last few days she has been refusing to nap at all, screaming if we try to put her down and saying she is not tired. However, she seems tired and always sleeps well on the days she is with her child minder.

Any advice? Surely she is too young to drop her nap? Do you think the 2 issues are related?

Thank you for any advice you can give us.

Answer: Dear Tara,

I think you answered your own question here. Stop making her take naps and even if she is a little cranky at the end of the day let her get her night time sleep. Something else to check is her diet. Is she getting anything like caffeine or sugar or certain additives in her foods which might be increasing her energy levels? Anything else going on in her world which could be causing some anxiety?

If you answer these questions I am sure you will find your answer.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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