Toddler Sleep Problems

Toddler Sleeping Problems are common. As 1-year-olds become more aware that they are separate from their primary caregivers, their urge to control their own actions and expand their abilities intensifies. In the months leading up to your toddler’s second birthday, he or she will begin to understand that you and he or she may not always agree, and that you can have differing points of view. You may feel that your toddler say “No” often to you. For example, your toddler might have bedtime problems and or even sleep problems.

Signs of Independence

Your toddler may now have different ideas and plans and feelings from you on all sorts of issues. This a bit of a shock and he or she may resist accepting it for a while. When you say “no,” your child may fall to pieces, unable to hold the idea that what he or she wants to do is not what you want your toddler to do. He or she may test his or her newfound knowledge by repeating the same behavior several times in a row. Do you say “no” each time?

However much your toddler differs from you in his or her point of view on any issue, including bedtime problems, however, he or she still relies on your steady presence. You are the base from which he or she launches his or her explorations, and your toddler always needs to know that he or she can come home to you.

Help Your Toddler Form a Good Sleep Habit

Perhaps the area in which your point of view and your toddler’s point of view differs the most is in manners and interacting appropriately with other people. Because your toddler is receptive now, soaking in all aspects of becoming a social being, this is an ideal time to begin teaching your toddler the basics of good manners. When you say “please” and “thank you,” your toddler will begin to follow your example. Go to bed early and read a book with your toddler every night. Create a bedtime routine, and help your toddler form a good sleep habit.

Tips for Toddler’s Bedtime

Though it may seem like your toddler does nothing but play all day, he or she is working very hard to learn by playing. As your toddler is learning to walk, talk, and climb, he or she is pushing himself or herself to the limits of his or her physical strength and mental learning. Your toddler is also falling down, bumping, surprising, and hurting himself or herself over and over again each day. And since your toddler doesn’t yet know how to roll with the punches or ease up on himself or herself, he or she is constantly frustrated and angered by failure. All this activity is bound to make for an exhausted toddler.

If you find your toddler’s favorite activities or routine tasks that are frustrating him or her, your toddler is most likely overtired and in need of restorative and restful sleep. Because physical exhaustion, excitement, and tension build up until your toddler no longer knows he or she is tired. It is up to you as a parent to help your toddler figure out how to stop and rest.

You can help make the transition from busy, active, energetic day to tranquil, quiet and peaceful night by easing your toddler into sleep with quiet activities in the evening after dinner. Reading books, coloring a picture, sitting down and watching a favorite, but quiet, video, singing, quiet play at bath time, or singing lullabies together helps your toddler disconnect and start winding down. If this is done within the framework of a consistent bedtime routine, your toddler will come to associate these activities with bedtime and find them comforting and he or she will be able to easily recognize when bedtime comes.

It’s also important to relax with your toddler. If your toddler sees you busy in the kitchen cleaning, outside gardening, or doing other busy activities in the evenings, he or she will be likely to want to do the same, making the bedtime routine frustrating for everyone involved.

To avoid Toddler Sleeping Problems, help your toddler form a good bedtime habit. You’d better to set a good role model for him or her. Helping your toddler have a good night sleep is one of the most important things to ensure your toddler’s physical and mental development.

18 Month Old Milestones

The 18 Month Old Milestones help parents understand the behavior of an 18-month-old, because they can be frustrating at times. Your 18-month-old requires gentle transitions, patience, consistent limits, and respect. One minute he or she insists on independence; the next he or she is clinging fearfully to you, the parent. If your toddler is challenged by a playmate or a sibling, his or her cheerful playing can quickly turn into a screaming tantrum. Much of the energy and drive that was channeled into physical activity is now directed toward more complex tasks and social interactions.

Having learned the concept of choice, your toddler becomes assertive about his or her own wishes. Because his or her repertoire of language and behavior is rather limited, your toddler’s method of expressing himself or herself generally consists of saying “No!” Your toddler can also be strong-willed, collapsing his or her legs rather than walking where adults want him or her to go. The seeming defiance and negativism of an 18-month-old are merely assertions of his or her emerging sense of his or her own identity.

When your toddler bounces a ball 20 times in the kitchen, he or she is not trying to drive you crazy. Rather, he or she is trying to learn about bouncing balls, and repetition is the best teacher. Your toddler resists change and often experiences frustration as he or she attempts to learn new skills. However, he or she responds positively and happily to a stable environment.

Your 18-month-old needs to have strong emotional ties to you, parents. To venture into the world and test his or her newfound assertiveness, your toddler must know that he or she has a safe, emotionally secure place at home. Parents can help your child by not taking his or her assertiveness personally. As your toddler tries out new skills, you can modify his or her environment to avoid as many problem situations as possible. Parents must “choose their battles” carefully to minimize the possibility of continual power struggles with your toddler over minor issues. Extra patience and a sense of humor can help parents with the tough task of continually reinforcing the limits you have set.

Parents who view their toddler’s negativism as budding independence and who provide a physically and emotionally stable environment can support him or her through this sometimes stormy period and be richly rewarded. The 18-month-old can light up a room as she applauds himself or herself and looks around for parental acclaim and reinforcement.

18 Month Old Milestones

  • Walks quickly or runs stiffly
  • Throws a ball
  • Has a vocabulary of 15 to 20 words
  • Imitates words
  • Uses two-word phrases
  • Pulls a toy along the ground
  • Stacks two or three blocks
  • Uses a spoon and cup
  • Listens to a story, looking at pictures and naming objects
  • Shows affection, kisses
  • Follows simple directions
  • Points to some body parts
  • May imitate a crayon stroke and scribbles
  • Dumps an object from bottle without being shown

Nutrition

Serve your toddler three nutritious meals a day. Provide a highchair or booster seat at table height during family mealtimes. Make mealtimes pleasant and companionable. Encourage conversation. Give your toddler two or three planned nutritious snacks a day. Provide snacks rich in complex carbohydrates, and limit sweets and high-fat snacks. Resist using snacks for emotional reasons (comfort, eward).

Continue encouraging your toddler to feed herself with her hands or a spoon and to drink from a cup. Encourage your toddler to experiment with foods, deciding what and how much to eat from the nutritious foods that you offer. Let your toddler develop food likes and dislikes. Do not allow feeding to serve as the focus of a power struggle.

Expect your toddler to eat a lot one time, not much the next. “Food jags” are common at this age. A toddler’s intake will vary considerably over any 24-hour period, but should be balanced over several days.

Be sure that your toddler’s caregiver provides nutritious foods. Avoid giving your toddler foods that can be inhaled and cause choking (e.g., no peanuts, popcorn, chips, hot dogs or sausages, carrot sticks, whole grapes, raisins, hard candy, large pieces of raw vegetables or fruit, or tough meat).

Promotion of Social Competence

  • Praise your toddler for good behavior and accomplishments.
  • Model appropriate language. Encourage your toddler’s language development by reading and singing to her, and by talking about what you and she are seeing and doing together.
  • Encourage self-expression.
  • Promote a sense of competence and control by inviting your toddler to make choices whenever possible. (Be sure you can live with the choices, e.g., “red pants or blue?”).
  • Encourage your toddler to be assertive in appropriate situations, yet provide limits when needed.
  • Decide what limits are important to you and your toddler. Be specific when setting these limits. Briefly tell your toddler what she did wrong. Be as consistent as possible when enforcing limits.
  • Keep “time out” or other disciplinary measures brief. Do not hesitate to pick up or hold your toddler or remove her from danger or conflict.
  • Reassure your toddler once the negative behavior has stopped. When correcting her, make a verbal distinction between your toddler and her behavior: “I love you, but I don’t like it when you do _____.” When possible, give your toddler a “yes” as well as a “no.” (For example: “No, you can’t play with the remote control, but you can play with the blocks.”)
  • Avoid a power struggle with your toddler. Prepare strategies for sidestepping conflicts and appropriately asserting your power. You can control only your own responses to your toddler’s behavior. For example, you cannot make a toddler sleep, but you can insist that she stay in her room.
  • Teach your toddler about limit-setting measures, such as “time out” when she is most capable of learning (e.g., when she is rested, fed, calm).
  • Prepare strategies to deal with night waking, night fears, and nightmares.
  • Encourage self-quieting behaviors such as quiet play or the use of a transitional object (e.g., a favorite toy or blanket).
  • Recognize that toilet training is part of developmentally appropriate learning.
  • Delay toilet training until your toddler is dry for periods of about 2 hours, knows the difference between wet and dry, can pull her pants up and down, wants to learn, and can indicate when she is about to have a bowel movement.

The behavior of an 18-month-old can be frustrating at times, but his or her delight in her own emerging competence and achievements can bring a sense of joy and accomplishment to all around her.

To learn more about 18 Month Old Milestones and improve your parenting skills, please refer to great parenting books.

2 Year Old Developmental Milestones

Your 2-year-old is spirited, delightful, joyful, carefree, challenging and sometimes trying! Although families may be frustrated when their 2-year-old cannot successfully communicate his or her needs, helping your child master the use of language can be rewarding for both the family and the child. Let’s look at some of the major Two Year Old Milestones.

The 2-year-old is learning to be sociable but is not yet skilled at interacting with other children. Rather than sharing, he or she engages in parallel play alongside his or her peers. The 2-year-old cannot be expected to sit in a circle with other children or listen to a long story. These abilities will develop between the ages of 2 and 3.

The 2-year-old enjoys feeding himself or herself, reading a book, and imitating his or her parents doing household chores. Watching your2 year old go through his or her daily routine can be amusing. To fully understand new activities, he or she tries them repeatedly. What happens when water gets splashed outside the tub? How far will the
teddy bear fall down the stairs? What does mud feel like? Sometimes parents find it difficult to realize that your child’s repetitious explorations are compelled by curiosity rather than a rejection of
their standards.

Although the 2-year-old seems determined to assert his or her independence, when he or she is presented with a choice, for example, between orange juice and apple juice, he or she usually ceases his or her activity and has a difficult time choosing. After finally making a decision, he or she often wants to change it. Despite his or her apparent yearning for independence, your 2-year-old frequently hides behind your legs when approached by other adults. Your 2 year old may develop fears at this age. He or she may be afraid of going down the drain along with the bath water or of being eaten by monsters underneath the bed. With parental reassurance, your child gains more confidence and overcomes his or her fears.

At this age, many of the child’s actions are still governed by his or her parents’ reactions. He or she has learned what to do to get his or her parents to respond, either negatively or positively, and may play one against the other. He or she will throw tantrums to get his or her way if he or she knows that his or her parents will react strongly. Similarly, if his or her parents overreact when he or she has difficulty expressing himself or herself clearly, this normal phase of speech development may be prolonged.

At age 2, your child is ready to be taught simple rules about safety and behavior in the family, but this is only beginning for him or her to be able to internalize them. Parents who provide gentle reassurance, calmly and consistently maintain limits despite repeated tantrums, and reinforce positive behaviors help their child begin to develop healthy self-confidence and social skills.

Developmental Milestones for 2 Year Old

  • Can go up and down stairs one step at a time
  • Can kick a ball
  • Can stack five or six blocks
  • Has vocabulary of at least 20 words
  • Uses two-word phrases
  • Makes or imitates horizontal and circular
  • strokes with crayon
  • Can follow two-step commands
  • Imitates adults

Nutrition

Serve your child three nutritious meals a day. Provide a highchair or booster seat at table height during family mealtimes. Make mealtimes pleasant and companionable. Encourage conversation.

Give your child two or three planned nutritious snacks a day. Be sure the snacks are rich in complex carbohydrates, and limit sweets and high-fat snacks. Offer your child a variety of nutritious foods, particularly those containing iron, and let him or her decide what and how much to eat. Children will eat a lot one time, not much the next.

Begin to serve your child low-fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose the menu, do not let your child dictate it. Most children will eat a considerable variety of foods.

Enforce reasonable mealtime behavior, but do not force eating. Let your child experiment with food. Provide eating utensils that are easy to use and the appropriate size for your child’s hands. Avoid engaging in struggles about eating.

Be sure that your child’s caregiver provides nutritious foods.

Promotion of Social Competence

  • Praise your child for good behavior and accomplishments.
  • Model appropriate language. Encourage your child’s language development by reading books and singing songs to him, and by talking about what you and he are seeing and doing together.
  • Spend individual time with your child, playing with him or her, hugging or holding him or her, taking walks, painting, and doing puzzles together.
  • Appreciate your child’s investigative nature, and avoid excessively restricting his or her explorations.
  • Guide him or her through fun learning experiences.
  • Promote physical activity in a safe environment.
  • Encourage parallel play with other children, but do not expect shared play yet.
  • Give your child opportunities to assert himself.
  • Encourage self-expression.
  • Promote a sense of competence and control by inviting your child to make choices whenever possible. (Be sure you can live with the choices, e.g., “red pants or blue?”).
  • Reinforce limits and appropriate behavior. Try to be consistent in expectations and discipline.
  • Use “time out” or remove the source of conflict for unacceptable behavior. Learn how to respond to your child’s needs without giving in to every wish or becoming upset and reacting negatively to his constant questions and physical activity.
  • Prepare strategies to deal with night waking, night fears, and nightmares.
  • Encourage self-quieting behaviors such as quiet play or the use of a transitional object (e.g., favorite toy or blanket).
  • Recognize that toilet training is part of developmentally appropriate learning.

Promote toilet training when your child is dry for periods of about 2 hours, knows the difference between wet and dry, can pull his or her pants up and down, wants to learn, and can indicate when he or she is about to have a bowel movement.

Two Year Old Milestones above are just some of the guide lines. Each child is different. Your Two Year Old Milestones may vary.