Is your toddler not crying, but playing when it’s time to be asleep? That is the topic for today; click the video below to watch:View Transcript
Dana: Hi. I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video. Today I want to talk about “Toddlers.” Something very specific about toddlers. I’ve had this question come in a few times this week. I thought it was good to talk about. You’ve most likely already found that every time your child has a developmental milestone, sleep gets the derailed a little bit, sleep progresses a little bit.
That’s super common. However, when a toddler is already learned to walk and nothing really much else is happening in their little life, it can be a bit upsetting when all of a sudden, your toddler is waking up in the middle of the night, not just stressed, not crying, but having a party in his or her crib. Playing, chatting, babbling, walking around the crib, laughing.
This can go on for an hour or two, sometime in the middle of night. The parents are thinking, “What is she doing?” This great sleeping child who slept all night is all of a sudden waking up and no one knows why. It can also happen at nap time. I can remember when I was pregnant with my second son and my first son was about two.
He went through this period where I would put him down for his nap and he would have the best time in his crib all by himself for an hour or more everyday. Singing, talking, babbling, walking around the crib.
It didn’t matter how many times I went in there, told him it was nap time and tried to get him to lie down.
He just wouldn’t. He was having fun in there. Again, it was frustrating because it was my nap time too. [laughs] I really wanted him to go to sleep. What happening for your toddler is called the “Developmental Surge”. It has to do a lot with language acquisitions. This is the period in their life where they’re really learning to communicate verbally.
A lot goes on in the brain between two and three to help with acquiring language. I find that toddlers go through phases of having a bit of the cognitive surge. It tends to translate into these little parties in the crib. It’s OK. It’s a part of the development. It means they need time to process. The singing, babbling and the laughing is all part of the process.
The good news is they’re happy in their crib. It’s much different if they’re playing and having fun that’s supposed to crying the house down for an hour. It’s really nothing to worry about. You should just ignore it, really, the best that you can. If you start going in repetitively and scolding or playing or tickling or doing all of these things, it might become rewarding.
We always have to be so careful that what we do as parents doesn’t actually reward behavior that we don’t want. Keep an eye on that. You really don’t want to do too much different that you normally do. It won’t help to go in there and get angry or scold or [laughs] beg the child to lie down. It’s just part of our process.
The good news is that it will blow over. Usually, a week or two is the timeline where parents noticed this and it subsides, the child goes back to sleeping well. I hope that helps. Don’t worry too much about it. Don’t reward the behavior. Put in your earplugs if you need to. Drown out the noise of the party next door and just go back to sleep.
Thank you so much for watching today. Sleep well.
Transcription by CastingWords
Also, if you’re looking for a complete, step-by-step guide that will help you get your child sleeping 11+ hours a night you can check out The Sleep Sense Program by clicking below.
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