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Cope with a Toddler who is a Light Sleeper

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 10-01-2007

While most toddlers learn to fall asleep alone, others wake up frequently and find it difficult to get back to sleep. 

There is no right or wrong way of putting a toddler to sleep. Healthy diet patterns, lots of love and affection, and a stress free life can be positive factors influencing your toddlers’ sleep. The knowledge that they are secure in their room with their parents close by can be comforting to toddlers. At times, they may get up at night and you may have a difficult time trying to put them back to sleep.If this happens occasionally, you can ignore it.  

However, if it is happening frequently you need to ask yourself some questions:

  • Is it a deliberate attempt to sleep with parents?

  • Are they unhappy in some way and trying to attract your attention?

  • Are they watching horror movies or other violent acts on TV before they sleep?

  • Do they have any medical problems (related with breathing) that prevent them from sleeping peacefully?

After you have examined the situation, you may consider taking the following steps to help your light-sleepers:

  • Be firm and explain to them that no amount of drama will give them an opportunity to find their way into your bed. The first few days will be hard on the parent and the child but will work positively.

  • Try to find out if they have problems at pre-school or when you leave them alone with the caretaker or the baby sitter.

  • Check for medical problems with your pediatrician.

  • Give them a ‘transitional object’ like a stuffed toy or a favorite blanket that they can carry to bed.

  • Eliminate any unusual sound disturbance in their room (creaky fans, the air conditioner, heaters etc.)

  • Exercise parental discretion on their TV schedule.