How many parents are still getting up several times in the night with two, three, four or five year olds? It seems like there are more parents than care to admit that are being disturbed at night. Not only is this very tiring for parents but not good for your child either.
When a toddler or older child goes to sleep, they often fall asleep quite quickly and willÂ fall into a calm, deep sleep, unlike new babies who tend to spend more time in REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. As children get older and their rapid growth rate begins to slow and they spend an increasing a amount in Non-REM sleep. REM Â is the deep or slow-wave sleep that allows a child or adult to repair and rejuvenate their body cells and wake up feeling relaxed and refreshed.
After Non-REM sleep a child will fall into a REM sleep phase, you will notice your child starting to stir or his eyes may be twitching and he may begin to stretch before fully waking. This is all perfectly normal however, if your toddler is fully waking between these sleep cycles which last for about 50-90 minutes, depending on your child’s age, it can be a difficult task to get them to resettle.
Most often what happens is that a child will wonder in to Mum and Dads room and climb into bed with them or simply call out or cry untilÂ someone goes to him or her!
If this is an occassional occurance because your child has had a nightmare or something has given him a fright, you will want to get them back to sleep as soon as possibe. If however your child is waking frequently 4-7 times a week this has become a bad sleep habit and needs tackling in a different manner.
What should you do to overcome this? First you will need to decide upon a plan of action and secondly you need to ensure that you carry it out. It can be very tiring and difficult negociating with a toddler in the middle of the night and it is understandable to see how these bad habits become ingrained and difficult to eliminate.
Some children respond quite well if you go in tuck them up and reassure them you are there for them others may literally yell and scream until you give in and give them what they want. All for the sake of some peace which is understandable but not always the best option.
If this carries on and isn’t tackled for several months or even years it starts to affect a child’s concentration, behaviour and how they relate to you in the day too. IfÂ children are going to school tired because they have been up in the night it may be affecting their friendships in the playground too. Parents seem to go on to auto-pilot andÂ convince themselvesÂ it will get better each week andhope Â their child will sleep through the night without waking them up but very often, this is not the case.
First you need to establish why your child is waking, once you have got that worked out you are half way there, the next bit is about how to get them to re-settle and that is where the fun and hard work begins!
If you are at the end of your tether with your child or it is affecting other members of the family it may be time to do something about it or get some professional help.
When parents call the Sanity Nanny the first thing they want to know is, how long will it take? This is difficult to answer, however if Mums and Dads follow my step by step instructions they normally get results within 3-7 days. WhenÂ a three or five year old sleeps through the nightÂ Cheltenham parents often wonder why did we wait so long before calling Juliet? The relief and success storiesÂ are justÂ amazing. I love hearing from those frazzled parents andÂ hearing about the improvements they’re seeing with their children on a daily basis, that’s what you call ‘job satisfaction’.
Let us know how old your child was when they slept through the night, and what did you do to achieve this?