How to Tackle Middle of the Night Wake-ups with PreschoolersJan 11, 2021
If you are familiar with my Sleep Happy Method then that means your child knows their Sleep Happy Sleep Jobs. One of those jobs is to stay in your room all night long to rest their body well.
BUT what if you are still struggling with requests like…
2 am “MOMMY, I need you to fix my blanket.”
3:30 am “MOMMY MOMMY, I can’t find my lovey.”
Then I suggest it’s time to introduce a temporary light into your Sleep Happy Routine.
What is a temporary light?
I temporary light is a toy that has an easy switch for little hands to turn on. It's something that you can set on their bedside table. The light is temporary because it automatically shuts off. The time varies --I love the ones that shut off at 15 minutes ;) But most turn off in 30 minutes.
The reason I prefer a temporary light versus a night light is that temporary lights are dim, moveable, and fun. It is also a great option for preschoolers who do not feel comforted by a small night light or for children that night lights tend to cause more frequent wake-ups.
Here are examples of my favorite Temporary Lights:
In the morning after a night of requests, praise your child on one specific job from the Sleep Jobs Chart. After cuddles and breakfast, remind your child that tonight they need to work on laying quietly and working to go back to sleep.
Providing a tool for your child to successfully cope with wake ups is a game-changer for night wakes up for children who have independent sleep routines. Set this new expectation by explaining how the Temporary Light can help them better solve their problem. The Temporary Light will help them reaching down and locate their cover or lovey. Another way to use the light would be a few minutes of looking at a book to resettle as you wait for sleep to come back on.
This privilege makes young children feel important and empowered.
Coping Skills at night are important for young children. They internalize these skills at a young age and which help them trust themselves. Successful coping skills build confidence that lasts a lifetime.
Teaching your child to settle themself in the night is one more tool for your their toolbox.
Young children feel empowered by your confidence when you set this boundary and offer this suggestion on how to solve their problem.
Young children then feel proud that they did solve their problem and they were able to go back to sleep and in the morning, Mommy noticed their work!
As one Sleep Happy Parent said, there is no better gift than watching your child develop confidence and pride in their sleep jobs.
Toddlers and preschoolers love my Sleep Happy Method! They love it so much they tell the checkers at Target and their grandparents on FaceTime about their Sleep Jobs!
Are you experiencing night wake-ups ALONG with difficult bedtimes? Schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation to discuss your child's sleep routines in more detail.