ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sleep Training Help for Your 2.5 to 5 Year Old

Updated on August 24, 2011
Lily Rose profile image

I am a mom of two beautiful girls (10 & 12). We love to read, play, cook, shop and have fun together. I love to share great products/toys.

Trouble getting your two-and-a-half to five-year-old to sleep?

The average child between 2- and 3-years old needs about 10 ½ hours of nighttime sleep and about 1 ½ hours of nap time each day, whereas 4-year olds need 11 ½ hours at night and 11 hours for 5-year olds. Usually by 4 kids no longer need that afternoon nap, but can definitely benefit from a few (like 45) minutes of afternoon “quiet time.”

It can become a challenge for parents of preschoolers to remain calm and comforting with their child who, at this age, still needs a lot of sleep but has become very clever at devising ways to try to evade it. Discipline is necessary here, while at the same time making sure they are warm and cozy is also crucial. During that stage where they are staring to outgrow the afternoon nap, you’ll have to do some adjustment to the sleep and wake schedule to get your child on track and it’s important to introduce that afternoon quiet time to replace the nap or you’ll likely experience some sort of meltdown around dinner time.

She clearly missed her sleep window - and fell asleep standing while playing with toys on her bed!
She clearly missed her sleep window - and fell asleep standing while playing with toys on her bed!

Remember this: "Sleep begets sleep" – just because she’s going to sleep an hour earlier does not mean that she’ll wake up an hour earlier! 

If your child goes to preschool, you’ll have to be sure to adjust his sleep (nap) schedule according to the class’s nap schedule, but there are aspects of his sleep that you can – and should – control, such as:

  • Be sure your child is waking up somewhere in the 6:00 to 7:30 am window.
  • When your preschooler stops napping (at around four years old) make sure she has some late afternoon “quiet time”, and her bedtime should be moved to one hour earlier than it’s been. So if she’s been going to bed at 8:30, start making 7:30 her bedtime.
  • At around five years old, bedtime can be extended to 8:00 pm, and your child should sleep until 7:00 am – if this wake up time is too late due to early school hours, then you’ll have to adjust the bedtime to be sure he gets eleven hours of sleep each night. 

Preschool-age kids can be very clever when it comes to hiding when they are sleepy and this can make it hard for parents to get their sleep schedule right.  Just as you would a baby, watch for those typical sleepy cues:  yawning, rubbing of the eyes, perhaps thumb sucking, and of course crankiness.  Sometimes you may notice that your child seems to get a “second wind” – this typically means that you missed his sleep window, so begin getting him to bed 30 minutes earlier than you have been.  On that same note, if you notice that your child begins falling asleep in the middle of your bedtime routine, or if she’s falling asleep the second you turn out the lights, these are signs that you’re putting her to bed too late, so bedtime should be moved by 15 to 30 minutes earlier.  

For more information and tips on sleep training at different ages, check out my other hubs (and you'll find a couple of limks just below in blue.)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lily Rose profile image
      Author

      Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks for visiting, Susie!

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 7 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Good tips. I will pass this on to my children.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)