It is well known that a well-rested child is a happy child, so why do so many children [and parents] struggle with sleep? Some have trouble falling asleep, while others struggle with staying asleep. Whether the difficulty occurs at bedtime or throughout the night, it’s never too late to improve your child’s sleep habits.
Common sleep-related issues:
- Difficulty falling asleep independently
- Waking up in the middle of the night crying
- Waking up too early or falling asleep too late
- Sleep regression: change in sleep pattern such as difficulty or inconsistent sleep
- Separation anxiety: increase in clinginess, especially around nap-or-bedtime resulting in changes in daytime behavior
If your child suffers from inconsistent sleep patterns that affect their behavior during the day – and their issues persist despite your efforts to improve their sleep – talk to your child’s pediatrician. Your family may benefit from a sleep consultation to discuss sleep training and other recommendations to improve sleep and overall functioning.
Sleep Training Service Options
- Phone Consultation
- Virtual Consultation
- In-home Consultation and Support
Sleep training consultations include:
- Assessment of the child’s sleeping problems to identify specific challenges
- Customized sleep training plan to meet your needs
- Specific instructions and guidance to reach sleep goals
- Detailed feeding and sleeping schedules
- Tailored guidance for multiples, if needed
- Follow-up support by text, phone, or email
Dr. Francyne Zeltser, PsyD, is a child, adolescent and adult psychologist, certified school psychologist, adjunct professor, and mother of two. She offers sleep training services by phone, virtually, or in-person in your NYC-area home or our Upper West Side office.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.
Sleep Training Babies
Sleep Training Toddlers and Older Children
Many parents struggle to get their toddlers to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Using healthy sleep strategies such as following a bedtime routine and teaching your child to go to sleep independently can make a world of a difference for the health and well-being of both the children and parents.
What do typical toddler sleep habits look like?
- Total sleep needed per day: 12-14 hours of sleep per 24 hours
- Number of naps: Between 12-18 months, naps typically decrease from two to one
- Sleep environment: Between ages 2 and 4, most toddlers move from cribs to toddler beds and then eventually regular beds
What can trigger sleep disruptions for toddlers?
- Environmental stimuli
- Increased awareness and imagination
- Mild separation anxiety
- Nightmares and Night Terrors
- Bedtime Fears
- Changes to sleep environment
- Family transitions
Signs your toddler may not be getting enough sleep:
- Poor concentration
- Lower frustration tolerance
- Over-activity or hyperactivity (presents as being wide-awake when in fact overtired)
- Sleepiness during the day
- Changes in their appetite
- Physical complaints, like headaches
Methods to improve your toddler’s sleep routines:
- Have a consistent bedtime
- Establish a bedtime routine
- Set clear limits, such as the number of books to read
- Wind down the environment
- Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime
- Use a night light
- Allow security or comfort items
- Be mindful of books or screen time that can be overstimulating
- Keep blinds and door closed and ensure the room remains dark
- Use a “ready to wake” clock that lights up to indicate when it is “morning”