I may have mentioned (once or twice) that I'm in a book and I'm glad to invite the author along today to give us some hints from aforementioned book.
Joanne Mallon, who not only is a freelance parenting journalist, a life coach and mother of two but has the time to blog and to write this fab book.
How much sleep does a toddler need?
Some children are real night owls, and their parents are happy for them to stay up later. If you don't have to be anywhere in a hurry the next day and can compensate with day time naps then this is do-able.
You will know if your child is getting enough sleep depending on how much energy they have the rest of the time. Every child is different, but as a broad guide, the NHS recommends:
· For two year olds – 11.75 hours of sleep at night, and around 1.25 hours during the day, making a total of 13 hours in any 24 hour period
· For four year olds – sleep reduces slightly as children get older, and children of this age are recommended to have around 11.5 hours of sleep each night
So think about what time you want your child to get up in the morning, how much sleep they need, and work out an appropriate bedtime from there. If a child is consistently getting less sleep than they need then this will negatively affect their development.
If you’re trying to move your child from a later to an earlier bedtime, do it in stages. If she's currently going to bed around 10pm, aim for 9.30pm and make it half an hour earlier each week until you get to the bedtime you want her to have.
Alternatively, you may be one of those parents whose baby slept through the night from an early age and continues to do so now; in which case you can skip this bit. And by the way, we hate you. We hate your rosy skin, well-rested demeanour and air of contentment. The rest of us are frazzled to within an inch of our lives.
The toughest part about a non-sleeping toddler is that it’s gone on for so flipping long that the waking habit may be well ingrained, and you the parent may have had about as much as you can take. Often dealing with children’s sleep problems requires the adult to stay quite calm and not get wound up, but that’s easier said than done when you’re exhausted.
Take heart from this fact – the end is in sight. Your child has got many more good nights’ sleep ahead of them than bad. If you can grit your teeth and get through this bit then it won’t be long before your little threenager becomes a little more teenage and starts sleeping longer than you do.
In fact, they may start to sleep through whilst you’re still waking up, as your sleeping patterns have probably changed as a result of years of disturbed nights. They give, and then they take away. If they weren’t so adorable the rest of the time they’d never get away with it.
The book (which is fab) is available through Amazon as a normal book or a kindle version