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Sleep Problems and Impacts on Lack of Sleep in Toddlers

Is your toddler having sleep problems like lack of sleep?

In this article, I am sharing on sleep problems and suggestions with you which you can manage your toddler’s sleep.

I will also be sharing on how sleep affects learning and physical health because by managing your toddler’s sleep, you can help the toddler to learn better and have good health.

Tired Signs

(12 to 18 months)

The toddler might be overtired if the toddler misses out on his morning or afternoon nap.

- Clumsiness

- Clinginess

- Grizzling or Crying

- Demands for constant attention

- Boredom with toys

- Fussiness with food

Grizzling and Crying

If the toddler has had food within the last two hours and is grizzling and cranky, the toddler is probably tired. If not sure, offer the toddler food. If the toddler takes only a little food and is still grizzly, the toddler needs to sleep.

Reducing Stimulation

If the toddler is showing signs of tiredness, get the toddler ready for sleep by reducing stimulation.


- Take the toddler to the place where the toddler usually sleeps.

- Put toys away.

- Talk quietly and soothingly.

- Close curtains and blinds.

- Turn overhead lights off, use lamps if need to.

- Play soft music.

This will help cut down on background noise.

- Remove food or drink away (if necessary, to prevent choking).

Visit here for more details on “Bonding and Connecting with the toddler”. This helps the toddler to share honestly with the parent next time.

Making Quiet Time Suggestions:

- Give the toddler a gentle cuddle, read a story or sing or play softer music.

- Do an experiment to find out what works for the toddler.

- Massage the toddler.

This helps to soothe the toddler and sleep better.

- Keep the house quiet

Click here to read about “Toddler Development” and “How can Parents help”.

Sleep and Learning

Source: Our Tampines Childcare’s Facebook

Good-quality sleep helps the toddler concentrate, remember things and behave well. Poor sleep or not enough sleep affects concentration, memory and behaviour, making it harder for the toddler to learn.

Concentration and Sleep

If the toddler is sleepy, the toddler may have trouble concentrating or focusing during the day.

Memory and Sleep

If the toddler is tired, it is harder for the toddler to remember basic things like how to spell words, how to calculate etc.

Behaviour and Sleep

If the toddler is sleepy, the toddler may tend to have more problems with behaviour such as grumpy or tantrums at childcare, preschool and home.

For example, the toddler might not cooperate in class or have difficulty following the teacher’s instructions and playing with other toddlers.

Working on sleep problems to help with learning

If the toddler has sleep problems, the parent may try managing with simple behaviour strategies.


- Check the toddler’s sleep habits.

- Play or exercise with the toddler in the day, do not play or exercise with the toddler in the night bedtime routine.

- Start a consistent bedtime routine.

- Seek Professional Help if the toddler has persistent sleep problems.

Visit here for more details on “Manage Toddler's Behaviours Part 2”.

Sleep and Physical Health

- Contribute to the risk of heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes in the toddler’s adult age.

- Feel hungrier and may contribute to obesity.

- Contribute negative impact on how the toddler’s immune system responds.

- Lack of energy in the day.

- Increase injury risk.

The toddler may get clumsier and more impulsive when doesn’t get enough sleep, hence may get injured.

Why Won’t The Toddler Sleep?

Refusing to go to sleep is the most common sleep problem.

This will improve as the toddler grows older.

Prefer to stay up with the family.


- Maintain regular bedtimes and nap times.

- Remind the toddler what is coming.

For example, after brushing our teeth, we will read a story and then we will go to sleep.

Click here to read about “Toddler Bedtime Routine”.

Bad Dreams


- Comfort the toddler and return the toddler to bed.

- Surround the toddler with favourite animal or blanket.

This will allow the toddler to fall asleep again independently without the need to leave the bed and seek the parent out again.

- Seek Professional Help if bad dreams won’t stop.

I hope these suggestions will help you to manage your toddler’s sleep and your toddler will sleep better, learn better and have good health.

Does your toddler “keep calling out or getting up out of bed” after you or your spouse leave the room? Here are tips for you to try it out.

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As a leading preschool and childcare in Tampines, Genesis Childcare 1989 provides a comfortable, clean, well-ventilated and conducive learning environment for your child to learn, explore, discover and be creative. Our Preschool Tampines have over 30 years of experience in caring for your beloved child. At Genesis, we advocate that every child is unique and precious who needs to be loved and cherished.

As a leading early childhood centre in Singapore since 1989, we are committed to nurturing our early learners holistically through various learning areas and positive learning dispositions. We place a strong emphasis on the way our teachers facilitate and interact with the children.

Check out our Tampines childcare’s testimonials regarding the care that parents’ children have received at our Tampines childcare centre.

The children in our Tampines childcare get to learn English, Chinese, Maths, Science, Music and Movement, Arts, Outdoor Play and cookery lessons. Our Childcare Tampines also provides balanced and nutritious meals for the children and helps the children to cultivate healthy eating habits.

Our professional team of preschool teachers has a good understanding of child development and learning principles. We apply them efficiently and set the stage to create a meaningful learning experience that supports your child's discovery.

We consistently create a positive and cozy environment that will give your child a sense of security which builds their self-confidence to explore the world around them.

Located alongside ourchildcare in Tampines is our Nurture Infant House. If you are looking for Tampines infant care or infant care in Tampines, do visit Nurture Infant House. It is for infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. You can learn more about our infant care Tampines here.

Book a school tour now! Click here to read our Google reviews too!

Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 S(520433)

Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 S(520433)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)

Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293


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