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What to Do If Your Toddler Doesn’t Sleep Well

Questioner

N(32_Female_UK)

Reply Date

Mar 06, 2019

Question

As-salamu `alaikum,

I sometimes hit my toddler badly. I don't know how to stop it because afterwards I feel regretful, but I can't do anything at that moment.  If I wait for late night, he becomes cranky. What can I do to help him and myself? I also have a 3 months old baby.

Please, give me some advice, and let me know if there is any du’aa’ that can help me in this situation, because you may understand that no mother intentionally wants to hit her lovely first child. JazakAllah khayran.

Counselor

Answer


sleeping problems

 In this counseling answer:

• Please stop hitting your toddler, it’s very wrong to do that. Instead, try to find the reasons why he doesn’t sleep well.

• If this sacrifice of sleep increases your anger management issues with your toddler, it would be better to leave him to wake alone than to allow him to wake up to get hit.

• Sometimes, hitting can be a form of attention for a child who feels lonely. Therefore, even if he knows he will get hit by waking at night, he may still want this attention even if it is a negative attention.

• You can give him some calming herbal tea before bed to help him sleep. Can you spend some more time with him during the day? Would this help?


As-salam ‘Alaykum,

Lack of sleep can make it hard to make good choices. As you know already, hitting your child is not a good choice to make. Here are some tips that may help you:

Sleep is a key here.It is hard to function at optimum levels with lack of sleep. As mothers, we may forgo sleep for reasons, but we are not really helping our family if our lack of sleep is preventing us from running the house or dealing with problems effectively.

What to Do If Your Toddler Doesn’t Sleep Well - About Islam

– Why do you wake up with your toddler?

– Do you feel he needs you or do you feel a duty as a mother to help him get back to sleep?

This is kind and compassionate. However, if this sacrifice of sleep increases your anger management issues with your toddler, it would be better to leave him to wake alone than to allow him to wake up to get hit.

– Why is your toddler waking at night?

– Try to find the cause of this and solve it.

– Do they have problems with bed wetting?

– Do they feel ignored during the day and feel they can get your attention only at night?

Sometimes, hitting can be a form of attention for a child who feels lonely. Therefore, even if he knows he will get hit by waking at night, he may still want this attention even if it is a negative attention.

– Does he have other problems?

– Does he drink sodas or tea that keeps him awake?

– Does he drink excess sugar or chocolate?

You can give him some calming herbal tea before bed to help him sleep. Can you spend some more time with him during the day? Would this help?

Can he sleep with you? Sometimes, toddlers are scared if they have their own room and are alone.

What to Do If Your Toddler Doesn’t Sleep Well - About Islam

Sometimes, toddlers are scared if they have their own room and are alone.

They may also feel left out or jealous if the baby is sleeping with mama. It is common and healthy to share a family bed with children until they are age 7 and sometimes older.

If you feel uncomfortable or cannot sleep well with them in the bed, you could set a small bed next to your bed or a sleeping bag on the floor and let them know that if they have trouble sleeping in their own room, they can sleep with you but that they must not wake you up.

Are your expectations of your toddler too high? When do you usually hit him?

Sometimes, our expectations of what a child should be able to do at a certain age are too high. We often expect a toddler to understand or function like an older child. When they are unable to, we can feel angry or frustrated.

It can help to find a list of “expected behaviors” for each age of your child. There are lists online if you Google for “Child development stages” or “what to expect from a three-year-old” or something like that.

Reading these lists can help you know what to expect. I have seen this greatly decrease tension between mother and child in many situations.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

How Can I Teach My Child to Sleep Alone?

Hush Little Baby

Co-Sleeping with Kids: How to Have Sex?

 




About Dr. Karima Burns

Dr. Karima Burns has been counseling as a Home-path for over 9 years. From the U.S. she is a doctor in Naturopathy, a Master Herbalist, and teaches with inspiration from the Waldorf school. She uses art, health and education to heal others.

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