As your toddler approaches 2 years old, their little imagination is a creation-station of ideas. This makes for wonderful day play, but can cause problems at night! Monster worries, fears of the dark, and spooky shadows all come from clever little imaginations.
5) Night fears and nightmares
What to do: Night fears and nightmares take calm and consistent handling. Invest in a little low-glow night light for your toddler's room. They may have always slept in the pitch black well before, but these new worries need to be comforted, so a low light will allow them to sleep, but also offer comfort if they wake in the night.
Ensure your toddler feels that their room is calm and safe, check under beds with them and don’t snub any monster thoughts by calling them ‘silly.’ To a toddler - monsters and spooky shadows are very real. Try some homemade ‘monster spray’ by adding a few lavender drops to water and spraying around the bedroom to destroy monsters!
For little ones experiencing nightmares, try and keep them in their bed and give lots of cuddles and reassurance that it was just a dream. Don’t leave until they are calm and feel safe. Nightmares are totally normal and nothing to worry about, even though they are often quite an upsetting experience all around.
If your toddler is teething that might be one of the reasons they are waking in the night. Other symptoms to look out for are red, tender gums, flushed cheeks, general irritability or drooling.
What to do:
If your toddler wakes up with teething troubles, wait initially to see if they will fall back to sleep by themselves. If they don't, give them cuddles to soothe them. If they still struggle settling the NHS
recommends cool teething rings, teething gels and paracetamol or ibuprofen (that are specifically designed for children with a smaller dose).