Is your 4 year old not sleeping through the night anymore? Try the tips in this guide..
Has your child been having trouble sleeping recently? You tried reading bedtime stories, cuddling, but nothing seems to work?
Well, you are not alone!
Let’s start from the beginning…
4 Year Old Not Sleeping Through the Night Anymore
What Causes Child Sleep Problems and What are the Solutions?
At some point in life, most 4-year olds will have trouble falling asleep and even when they do, staying asleep becomes a problem. Here are some reasons why your child won’t sleep through the night and some solutions to kids sleep problems:
Fear of Darkness or Monsters
Most children become fearful as their bedtime approaches. They are afraid of sleeping alone while their parents and siblings sleep in separate rooms or beds.
As a result, these children will try to delay going to bed as much as possible. They are afraid that something could go wrong while alone in bed.
Play interesting, courage-building games when you have time during the day. For instance, you can use a flashlight in the pretense of hunting down some ‘animals’ in his room.
After going in together for some time, ask your child to go in alone so he can build his confidence. The more you play, the more your child will gain the confidence to face his fears.
At night, insist on switching off the lights when going to bed so you can create the right ambiance. Remember, bright light will interfere with the sleep-regulating hormones.
If your baby still insists on sleeping with the lights on, try using night-light as this will have fewer effects on the sleeping pattern.
If your child is used to having you take him to bed and lying beside him until he falls asleep, changing this may interfere with the sleep patterns. Any day that for some reason you don’t take him to bed, getting to sleep will be really hard.
Encourage the child to go to bed alone without feeling insecure. You can begin with calming bedtime routines and then, offer your child some comfort objects. This can be his best stuffed animal that he can cuddle while sleeping.
Don’t turn off the night light and also, leave your child’s bedroom door open to make him feel that he’s not alone. Remember, you should only leave when your child is assured of his safety.
If your child calls, avoid going to him as much as you can so he can learn how to sleep alone. Giving in will give him the impression that you’ll always come to him whenever he calls out at night.
Just like us, children take up the habit of staying up late watching a program on TV or even watching movies via mobile. While this may seem okay at the beginning, your child may refuse to sleep and choose to stay up late watching more programs.
Try to maintain a regular sleeping schedule every day to make it possible for your child to sleep and wake up naturally. If they must watch a particular program, ensure that they don’t extend to other programs however interesting.
Uncomfortable Sleeping Areas
If your child’s bedroom is in a noisy place, it may be hard for him to fall asleep. Also, if the bedroom is filled with toys, your child may be pushed to play with them instead of playing.
Make your child’s bedroom as quiet as possible. If the area surrounding your house is noisy, try soundproofing it or if possible, move to a quieter place.
Also, ensure that only the necessary toys remain in the bedroom.
Going to Bed too Hungry or too Full
Giving your child heavy meals when it is almost bedtime will keep your child awake. Similarly, your child may stay away if he goes to bed hungry.
For best results, give your child some light snacks (warm milk and fruit) before bed. If he must take heavy meals, give him not less than 2 hours before bedtime.
Using the Bed for Other Purposes
If your child uses his bed for playing during the day, he may find it hard to sleep when the time comes. Also, if you use the bedroom as a punishment room where you lock him up when he’s in the wrong, he may have trouble sleeping.
Whenever possible, encourage your child to only use his bed for sleeping and sleeping rituals like bedtime stories. Also, avoid using the bedroom as the punishment spot where you always send them when they do wrong.
Lack of Parental Attention
At times, your child may want to stay up for longer so he can spend more time with you. This is especially the case if you don’t spend quality time with him during the day, over the weekend, or in the evening.
Learn to spare some time every day or whenever possible to bond with your child. This way, your child will be at peace knowing that he’ll still have time with you when he wakes up.
Also, you can spend some time reading bedtime stories, singing to him, or making simple eye contact before bedtime.
A child that has gone through a traumatic experience may experience disturbed sleep. And even when they sleep, they are disturbed by bad dreams or night terrors that could be linked to the traumatic encounter.
Seek professional help to deal with the trauma. And as your child continues with the treatment, he’ll find it easier to fall asleep without experiencing bad dreams.
4 Year Old Not Sleeping Through the Night Anymore- More Tips for Better Sleep for Kids
- Stop Delaying Tactics: stop the habit of endless trips to the toilet or to drink water. One trip to the bathroom and a glass of water is enough; if anything else, going for a goodnight hug.
- Make your child’s bedroom comfortable: besides making the bed comfortable, ensure that the bedroom is quiet enough and that there are no tons of toys lying around.
- Don’t allow your child to go off schedule, whether on weekends or during the holidays.
- If your child must take a nap during the day, ensure it’s not too close to his bedtime. Ensure at least 4 hours of wake time before you put your child to bed after napping.
There you have it!
Are there other tips that have been working for you in regards to helping your 4-year-old sleep better? Please let us know in the comments section.
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