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2 year progression

Two things lack at this age; self-regulation and self-control.


Around 2 years old your little person suddenly finds their place in the world. They will become very aware of their surroundings, who is in their space and what they want (and nobody wants anything more than a toddler at bedtime!)


Their speech is developing at an incredible rate, they are often eating everything in sight and their little legs can barely keep up with the speed in which they decide to do everything!


Two things lack at this age; self-regulation and self-control. Insert tantrums and aggression! Have you noticed that all of a sudden your little angel has become incredibly irrational and unreasonable? Trying to negotiate, reason or sometimes just plain understand how they are feeling and behaving can result in some very testing power battles.


Sleep at this age is often disrupted for a number of reasons:


  • The child has moved from their cot to a big bed too soon

  • They have two cups to fill; power and attention

  • Huge cognitive development, increased language, physical and social skills

  • There is a big transition happening in their world; a new sibling, moving from nursery to pre-school at day care etc

  • Separation anxiety still very much relevant at this age



Two years old is also a time when toddlers may decide to nap strike. It’ll often appear that they don’t need their one nap anymore as they continue to refuse sleep time, resulting in a very overtired kid come evening. Your child has developed a sense of awareness and the fear of missing out is heightened around nap time – why would they sleep when they could hang out with you and do what you’re doing? Keep persisting with offering the nap at this age. At the very least you will encourage some much needed quiet, slower paced time in the middle of the day (and gosh don’t we all need that!)

"Children usually behave the least for their parents because you are their safe place. The place where they can challenge the boundaries because they feel safe and secure to do so".

Alternatively you might find that the midday nap starts robbing night sleep. Have you noticed that your 2yr old is now mucking around at bedtime, waking overnight or trying to start the day too early? At this age they need a total of 11-13hrs sleep in a 24hr day. So, if they sleep 12-2pm then we wouldn’t expect a 7pm-7am 12hr stint overnight. Try cutting the nap down to 90min max, so that you’re little love has enough sleep debt to fall asleep quickly at bedtime and have a long, restorative sleep overnight.


As with each progression – keep calm, consistent and patient as you support your little one during this phase.


If you need any additional information or support please feel free to contact me at amy@littledreamers.co.nz to book in a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to talk about what is happening for your baby and how we help.

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