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So, you thought you were out of the woods concerning sleep regressions, eh? Not quite. There is, yet another, sleep regression, known as the 3 year old sleep regression, headed your way. Only this time, your child is old enough, not only to cry out after you, but to pinpoint why exactly you should stay by their bedside, or why they shouldn’t have to go to bed when you’ve asked them to.

So, what should you do when you notice 3 year old sleeping issues? We’re glad you asked!

¿Por qué mi hijo de 3 años se despierta por la noche?

When it comes to your preschooler, you may find yourself asking, “Why is my 3 year old waking up at night?”

The question isn’t at all uncommon, and is, indeed, a part of the expected 3 to 3.5 year old sleep regression.

Does every three year old experience the regression? No. But by and large, many parents are finding the stress of getting a toddler to sleep, coupled with the stress of, likely, having dealt with sleep issues for the majority of the child’s young life, simply unbearable.

The good news is, this regression is probably the last regression your child will encounter. While the 3-month, 8-month and even 18-month sleep regressions are all tied to changes in sleep patterns and major developmental milestones, much of the 3 year old sleep regression can be attributed to your child’s imagination and language development and their will to use it.

Lenguaje e imaginación

Si está cansado de lidiar con problemas de sueño de 3 años, anímese. Saber lo que está pasando y ponerle un nombre es la mitad de la batalla.

Having said that, toddlers of this age are more advanced than they once had been. Their independence is flourishing as they take on new challenges and become enthralled with new things. Also, your little one’s imagination is growing and will manifest itself during imaginative play times, whether they are by themselves, with you or with friends.

Sin embargo, al igual que con cualquier cosa, demasiado de algo bueno nunca es beneficioso. Una imaginación hiperactiva puede hacer que su pequeño se tambalee, especialmente si ha estado expuesto inadvertidamente a películas, imágenes o canciones que lo asustan.

When alone in their room at night, their mind may wonder, naturally, since it is dark, and you aren’t around. Your child may begin to feel genuinely afraid and may take this opportunity to call after you, cry or even proceed into your room, all in the middle of the night.

In addition to an expanding imagination ruining a good night’s rest for you both comes the acquisition of language. Your child is learning that he or she can exercise a level of control by making requests or demands using their words. As such, your 3 year old is likely to beg you not to leave their room at night, or to make one too many requests in an attempt to stay up way past their bedtime. All of this ends up leaving you exhausted, not only for you, but for your 3 year old as well.

Horario y hábitos de sueño del niño de 3 años

Sleeping habits for preschool aged children can be hard to pin down. This can be due to a variety of factors, one of which is nap time. While most children start fighting naps around the age of 2, they aren’t truly ready to drop their nap until they are at least 3 years old. Nevertheless, even a 3 year old may need additional sleep. You may even notice that your little one does fine without a nap one day, but is cranky when he or she doesn’t have his or her nap, the next.

Though confusing, it can help to remember that 3 year old children still need about 11-13 hours of sleep per day. So, if your child doesn’t get that amount of sleep in one stretch at night, he or she is likely to still need a nap. A typical sleep schedule for toddlers might include going to bed between 7 to 9 o’clock at night. Some may need to go to sleep earlier, such as those who aren’t taking naps, and some may fall asleep later.

Para obtener más información sobre cómo y cuándo dejar las siestas, echa un vistazo a nuestro blog.

Cómo hacer que un niño de tres años duerma

Para que su hijo de 3 años duerma por la noche, considere las siguientes opciones:

  • Una rutina fuerte a la hora de dormir – We’re sure you’ve heard this a hundred times, but it still rings true. Staying consistent with your bedtime routine is crucial for preparing your little one for bed. Consider making a hearty dinner, taking a bath, reading a book, and even discussing your general expectations in a positive and upbeat manner, a nightly habit. You may even take advantage of your 3 year old’s need for independence, by allowing them to take on opportunities to cepillar su propio cabello o realizar otras tareas de aseo personal por la noche. INCLINAR: Asegúrate de obtener un juego de cepillo y peine para bebé ¡Eso es para el cuero cabelludo y el cabello jóvenes!
  • Luz de noche - Para el niño imaginativo y temeroso, puede considerar comprar una luz de noche. Solo asegúrese de que la luz nocturna sea lo suficientemente tenue como para inducir el sueño y no emita rayos azules o verdes, ya que estos tipos a menudo le indican al cerebro que es hora de despertar. Más bien, busque luces nocturnas de brillo tenue, rojo o cálido como la aquí.
  • Temperatura ambiente: ¿hace demasiado calor en la habitación de su hijo? Usando un termómetro de temperatura ambiente para bebés te haré saber. Un ambiente confortable inspira un buen sueño.
  • Configurar temporizador – Got a little one who screams every time you leave his or her bedside? Tell your child that you’ll stay, but only for an allotted amount of time. Once time is up, diligently get up, give your child a kiss and dismiss yourself. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised at what a little extra cuddle or talk time can do to relieve your child of his or her fears. Some parents even suggest doing this while the lights are already out, as this brings a certain comfort level to being in the dark.
  • Juguetes silenciosos - Sometimes, what makes 3 year old’s sleep isn’t about some trick or clever plan, but rather, to simply wait until he or she is sleepy! That doesn’t mean you should allow your child to stay up with you all hours of the night, however. Adults need their time, too! Rather, put your little one down for sleep at the appointed time, but allow him or her to play or read quietly until he or she falls asleep. Not comfortable with the idea of your child busting out the LEGOS at 9:00 pm? We don’t blame you. If you only want your child to have access to stuffed animals, books, quiet puzzles and the like at night, consider putting these items in a special “quiet time” box. You can only retrieve this at night. This way, your child can easily entertain themselves until they feel sleepy, without being overstimulated.
  • Recompensas - Some things never get old, and rewards are one of them. Rewards for staying in bed at night can be as simple as going for ice cream the next day, or can be as elaborate as an ongoing sticker chart. Whatever you do, be consistent with the reward and don’t cave in if your child doesn’t meet expectations.
  • Consecuencias - Junto con las recompensas, vienen las consecuencias apropiadas. A muchos padres les gusta enfocarse en lo positivo repartiendo recompensas solamente, pero los padres a menudo experimentan el éxito combinando tanto las consecuencias como las recompensas. Las ideas varían, pero pueden incluir quitarle la televisión al día siguiente, revocar los privilegios del iPad o quitar oportunidades especiales. Incluso puede vincular las consecuencias con su tabla de calcomanías, si elige usar una.
  • Diseñe un plan - No matter what external rewards you come up with for your child, the number one indicator of successful sleep training isn’t the child, but the parent. As such, you must ensure that you are ready to take on the task of training your child to stay in bed, as well be ready to stay consistent. Know what methods you will use if your child meets your expectations, and what you will do if they don’t.
  • Mantente constante - This brings us to our next point. Consistency is key! No matter what plan you choose, you must stick to it in order for it to work. If your child knows that you will give in some days and other days you won’t, they’ll always work to manipulate you until you do, finally, give in. Therefore, if you notice that your child has gotten out of bed, you should promptly get up and gently place them back in their own bed. Do this as many times as is necessary, until your child forsakes the habit. This will be exhausting at first, but, if you remain consistent, you should see improvement within as little as a few days. Want to take it a step further? You may consider putting bells on your door so that when your little one tries to sneak in, you’ve heard them long before they’ve made their way in to lie next to you.
  • Restricciones físicas - Last but not least, you may consider physically constricting your child to his or her room. Though this isn’t everyone’s favourite method, it can be extremely helpful in keeping your little one in bed, and most importantly, to keep him or her safe at night. To do this, you may purchase a baby gate or simply lock your child’s door. Some parents use the threat of a locked door or baby gate as a bartering tool, saying, “If you can stay in your bed and stay quiet, I’ll keep the door open. If you cry or get out of bed, I will close the door shut.” No matter which method you use, just be sure to do what you say…and mean it!

Craving even more sleep tips? Take a peek at the National Health Service’s recomendaciones para obtener aún más ideas para que su pequeño duerma sin interrupciones por la noche.

Su hijo de 3 años necesita dormir ... ¡y usted también!

Con todo, es importante recordar que, aunque ciertamente necesita dormir, su niño en edad preescolar lo necesita aún más. Los estudios demuestran que los jóvenes necesitan dormir para aprender, desarrollarse y crecer y, como tal, permitir el caos en torno al tema de la hora de acostarse es imposible.

Recuerde, no importa qué método elija para mantener a su hijo de tres años bajo las sábanas durante la noche, debe ser constante. Cuanto más firme e inamovible sea usted, más rápido aprenderá su hijo a aceptar las nuevas expectativas y a ajustarse a ellas. Entonces, adelante, establezca algunas reglas básicas. ¡Solo asegúrese de afirmar lo positivo y celebrar cualquier pequeña victoria en el camino!

So, here’s to great sleep…for everyone!

Para obtener más información sobre el sueño de los niños pequeños, consulte cómo mantener a su niño pequeño en la cama por la noche y soluciones baby jet lag.