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What to do if your toddler keeps waking in the night

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If you are one of the lucky parents whose child has been sleeping through the night without any problems, there can still be times when they wake unexpectedly. There are lots of reasons why this might happen. Maybe they aren’t getting enough exercise during the day and they aren’t tired enough, or they could be hungry, having bad dreams or teething again.

Tips to try if they keep waking up

What the professionals say

“Some toddlers like getting out of their bed and coming into yours – and that can be hard to stop. A good way to deal with this is at some point, well before bedtime, explain to your child that everyone sleeps in their own bed at night. If they do decide to get up or come into your bed, take them back and settle them down gently but firmly. Be prepared to repeat this, and don’t give in.”

A Tayside Health Advisor

More information

Ready Steady Toddler has lots of information on helping your baby sleep and establishing routines. If you think your baby is not settling at night because of a health issue, contact your GP or health visitor for additional support.

Advice and support from Sleep Scotland

Sleep Scotland offer advice and support to parents and carers, or to young people themselves, for any child aged 18 months to 18 years with a sleep problem. Email sleepsupport@sleepscotland.org to get in touch.

Their Sleep Advisors and Sleep Counsellors will complete an initial sleep history, asking questions on current routines, diet, exercise, and the sleep problem. They will then create a sleep plan based on the responses. For those parents who require it, follow up calls are also available. Visit the Sleep Scotland website for more information and advice.

You may also find this leaflet from Sleep Scotland about toddler sleep helpful.

This article was created as part of 

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Sleeping Sleeping tips Toddler (1-3 years)

Last updated: 13 Jun, 2022