Are your kids having difficulty going to sleep at bed time or are they waking up throughout the night? Most kids, depending on their age, experience sleep troubles at some point. It is frustrating for parents and can leave the entire household sleepy. Not sure what the problem is? Here is a list of potential causes for your night time troubles.
- Teething – Teething can cause your little one lots of pain. Many kids will have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, often wanting the comfort of someone beside them. Realize that this is only temporary and try to manage the pain the best you can. Try offering cooler bottles, teething rings, cold, wet wash cloths and if all else fails try a pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil. Talk to a Doctor or pharmacist for proper dosing.
- Illness – if your child is sick with a cold or flu either coughing or a fever can keep them up at night. If coughing is the problem try using a cold mist humidifier and if a fever is the issue take the normal precautions to bring it down. Once again this is only temporary and when your child starts feeling better they should return to a normal sleep pattern.
- Hunger – If your child wakes up wanting a bottle in the middle of the night or complains of a sore tummy, they may be hungry. Ensure they drink enough milk during the day and for older kids provide them with a bedtime snack. Something simple without too many sugars (think carrots and hummus). Remember when kids are going through a growth spurt their food consumption increases. This could be part of your problem so increase their intake accordingly.
- Fears – These can make bedtime hard, but most kids go through these phases. Try and talk to your child about their fear. If they are scared of the dark, give them night lights or a kid friendly flashlight. If they think monsters are under their bed, do a nightly check for them! Try and find a way to make your child as comfortable as possible.
- Learning– When a child learns something new, like how to sit up, roll over, stand or walk, often times their sleep suffers. Hitting a new milestone is exciting for many kids and they will want to stay up and practice their new found skill. Once again this is temporary.
- Nap time – Kids who don’t seem tired at bed time or wake up way too early could be getting too much sleep during the day. Try moving a child who gets 2 naps a day to one nap. For older kids cutting down the length of the nap or removing it all together can help as well. Keep in mind not enough sleep can cause your child to be overly cranky so you may need to play around with nap schedules each day depending on activity, bed time and wake up time.