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Sleep Problems and Impacts on Lack of Sleep in Toddlers

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

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.

What matters most to parents? Our most-read articles:

Importance of a conducive learning environment

Holistic Child Development

What to prepare for infant care

Tampines parks that you can bring your child

Cost of infant care


As a leading infant care in Tampines, Nurture Infant House Tampines provides a happy and healthy learning environment for your infants to learn and grow independently.

Our infant care at Tampines have over 10 years of experience in caring for your beloved infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. Check out our Tampines infant care’s testimonials regarding the care that parents’ infants have received at Nurture Infant House.

Check out our infant care Tampines’s gallery for photos taken during activities.

If you are looking for infant care in Tampines or preschool in Tampines or childcare in Tampines, do consider Nurture Infant House.

Located beside our Tampines infant care is our Genesis Childcare 1989. Boasting over 30 years of specialised experience, we have nurtured thousands of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers so if you are looking for childcare in Tampines to start your little ones in life, why not start your search by registering with us for a complimentary guided tour?

Click here to learn more about our childcare centre or click here to WhatsApp us if you have any enquiries regarding our playgroup Tampines.

Lastly, would you like to visit our Nurture Infant House to find out more about our environment and setup as well as understand our operations by talking to our teachers and supervisor?

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

You can visit us at the following venues:

Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433

Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 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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