Toddler Sleep: 7 Common Myths

Toddler Sleep: 7 Common Myths

Amid all your research as a parent, you’ve probably come across some myths about eating, playing, and sleeping. You’ve also probably heard some of these myths about sleep from your own parents, family, friends, or that well-meaning person at the market.

Let’s look at some common myths about toddler sleep and how you can ensure that your little one gets all the ZZZs they need.

Myth #1: Toddlers Don’t Need As Much Sleep As Babies

People may think that since toddlers are past the newborn stage, they don’t need as much sleep as an infant. Although this may have a sliver of truth when you compare the sleep needs of a three-year-old to a three-month-old, children need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep from ages one to five. Some toddlers may even sleep more than the recommended amount!

Toddlers are still growing at a substantial rate. Add learning and playing into the mix, and you have a child who needs plenty of shuteye to keep up the next day. As your child grows and develops, sleep is essential to keep that development progressing at a steady rate.

Having enough rest is vital for your toddler’s behavior, focus, and health. If your toddler doesn’t get enough sleep, they may be irritable and unable to focus on their activities.

Myth #2: Toddlers Don’t Need Nap Time

As the parent of a toddler, you can easily bust this myth. After a long morning and afternoon of playing, you know that your toddler can get a little sleepy and grumpy. They need daytime naps to get them through the rest of the day.

Your toddler will likely take a mid-morning nap and a mid-afternoon nap from ages one to three years old. As they reach three years old, your toddler may slowly drop their mid-morning snooze and take a nap in the afternoon. If your toddler is not sleepy around their usual bedtime, move their nap up to an earlier time to ensure that it does not interfere with their regular sleep schedule.

Myth #3: A Worn Out Toddler Falls Asleep Faster

We’ve probably heard the saying, “Oh, your toddler will sleep well tonight!” after a full day at the park or playing with pals at daycare. Even if your toddler looks a bit worn out, they may be overtired, which can be a disadvantage for falling asleep faster.

An overtired toddler is likely to feel grumpy or irritable, which can cause them to fight sleep.

Toddlers can also get a case of FOMO if they are overtired. They may try to fight sleep because they want to be involved in whatever you are doing, which may be fun or involve their favorite treats.

Myth #4: Toddlers Sleep Without Night Waking

Like adults, toddlers can wake up in the middle of the night for various reasons, such as night terrors, separation anxiety, and even tantrums. You may have experienced this as you open your eyes to the sight of your toddler staring back at you, or maybe you’ve never experienced it at all. But this doesn't mean that your toddler hasn’t woken up at least once at night.

To ensure that your child gets enough sleep, make sure their room is a sleep-friendly environment. Make sure the bedroom environment is quiet, cool, and comfortable for sleeping. A nightlight can help soothe their fears of being in the dark and go to their own bed with ease.

You want their sleep space to be free of any screens, and you may wish to use sun-blocking curtains to keep out any light or distractions from keeping your little one up.

A white noise machine can drown out any outdoor noises, like passing cars or the neighbor’s vocal pooch. A stuffed animal can also comfort your toddler if they wake up in the middle of the night.

Myth #5: Toddlers Are Too Old for Sleep Training

Many toddlers have settling and sleep problems. Healthy sleep habits are essential, no matter what age you are. If your toddler has gotten into bed with you in the middle of the night or is extra clingy when they are supposed to sleep, training can help get them back on track. It’s beneficial for everyone when your toddler goes through a sleep training regime. They will achieve better rest, and as a result, you will too.

Since your toddler is mobile and can communicate, you may need to be a more active presence as your child drifts into sleep. You can sit in their room until they fall asleep and gradually reduce that time as your toddler gets used to falling asleep independently. You can also start using a sleep pass, which allows your child to get out of bed for a sip of water or potty break.

Myth #6: Toddlers Can Still Sleep in a Crib

Even if your toddler can still lay in their crib, once they can stand and attempt to escape their crib, it is time to switch them over to a toddler bed. Your toddler can risk a bump on their noggin if they try to climb out of their crib and miss their footing.

Your toddler may also be more enthusiastic about bedtime if they’ve been asking about a big boy or big girl bed. Letting your toddler pick out their bedding and stuffed friends to put on their bed helps amp up the excitement factor when it comes to bedtime. With a space they can be proud of, your little one will be happy to get snuggled in at nighttime.

Myth #7: Babies Need Bedtime Routine, Toddlers Don’t

Routines are beneficial for everyone as it gives us stability and structure to our day. Children also respond well to routine. Having a known variable to end the day helps calm and comfort your child.

A consistent bedtime routine is beneficial to help your child unwind and rest better. Cues during the routine help remind your child it is time to get ready to rest for the night. It can quickly become you and your toddler’s favorite part of the day as you get to spend some quality one-on-one time together.

Little Yawn Collective is a helpful friend in the bedtime routine department. Our melatonin-free sleep solutions help your little buddy relax and get snoozy. Our products, like our Soothing Shampoo and Body Wash with Calendula and Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter, are infused with our NaturalSnooze fragrance. The natural scents of lavender, bergamot, and cedarwood create the perfect snoozy environment for your little one to drift away to dreamland.

In Conclusion

Everyone needs sleep. When it comes to your toddler, you want all the correct information you can get your hands on to ensure that your toddler gets the rest they need. After all, a well-rested toddler is a happy toddler, and a happy toddler makes for a happy parent.

Check us out at Little Yawn Collective and see how we can help bust sleeping myths and help keep your toddler on the track to sleepy town.


Sleep and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old (for Parents) | Nemours KidsHealth

Preschooler & Toddler Sleep: Tips, Treatment, Prevention | Cleveland Clinic

How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need? | Sleep Foundation

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