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What should I do if my toddler isn't getting enough sleep?

I don't think my toddler sleeps enough. During the day she averages only 30 to 90 minutes and at night only 5 to 7 hours. What should I do?
Submitted by Team

Just like adults, kids are individuals too, and there's no amount of sleep that's exactly right for every child. So although the hours you mentioned are surprisingly low for a toddler, they're not necessarily a problem if your daughter is still thriving (it's a good idea to check with your pediatrician and get his or her take on the issue). However, if by early evening your daughter is fussy and miserable, then she definitely needs more sleep. Try giving her an earlier dinner and putting her to bed during her usual witching hour (perhaps around 6 p.m.). Although people often assume that putting a child to bed earlier will mean she will wake up at the crack of dawn, it sometimes works the other way -- and kids end up sleeping longer if they drift off earlier.

Copyright 2002. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I agree 100% I put my daughter down at 6:00pm every night and she sleeps til 7:00 - 7:30am. She actually begs to be put down at that time. She use to take 2 naps through out the day that would add up to about 3 hours but now she takes one long nap for 3 hours. Its all about schedule for her. We have followed a set schedule since she was about 6 months and let me tell you its a blessing with every milestone. Its all about consistency.
Submitted by vpcharlemagne
That is so true. When I put my daughter to bed at, lets say 9:30, then she wakes up in the middle of the night and also early early betweet 6 and 7 in the morn. But when my daughter goes to bed at 7:30 she sleeps til 7:30 or even 8:30 a.m. Same with her having naps during the day. If she only has one nap she is up at night but if she has 2 then she is down all night. So weird but pretty awesome:)
Submitted by tashia02