Two year olds start having 5 am wakings for the following reasons:
They are overtired
Most two year olds are having way too much fun to want to nap and will not show many signs of needing a sleep so it’s up to you, the parent to know better and get that 2 hour sleep in every day!
Bedtime creeps later or becomes inconsistent
We see a lot of two year olds and their increased stamina fool parents into becoming more relaxed about bedtime, skipping the routine sometimes and having a few late nights here and there. These busy little toddlers need their consistent bedtime of around 7p.m or at least not more than 5 hours after they woke from the nap.
Not being able to self settle or resettle back to sleep
If your toddler is crashing out in less than 5 minutes at bedtime, he is not truly self settling. Or if he is staying up until he zonks, the same applies. It is incredibly difficult to resettle at 5a.m even for the skilled self settler but one who does not have this skill will find it impossible.
Are you offering a range of responses and options to your toddler when he wakes in the night? If so, he will learn to hold out long and hard for the result he most wants. It is vital that you respond consistently each and every time.
A very basic reward or incentive can work wonders at this age. A sleep clock combined with lots of praise and positive language or even a small reward when he stays in bed quietly until morning – Keep it simple.
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