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Expert Advice

41 month old: Got a challenging sleeper? There are things you can do to make sure everyone catches some zzzs

Bedtime blues don't always end with the newborn days.

By Now to Love Staff
The go-to-sleep (and stay asleep!) techniques that worked beautifully when your child was a baby or even last year, may need reassessing and changing up around this age.
And while sleep seems to be less of a hot parenting topic once your child passes the three-year mark, you can still face significant sleep challenges such as nightmares, night terrors, sleep walking and of course, bedtime struggles.
You're not alone in this struggle. Only 18 per cent of preschoolers are getting the recommended 11-12 hours sleep a night, research has found.
While your preschooler is likely to be a little more resilient to change than when they were a bub, now is not the time to let go of your routine, especially around bedtimes.
Bedtime struggles don't always end with the newborn days. Image: Getty.
As well as following the familiar steps like bath, PJs play, teeth, books and bed, be mindful of hidden pre-bed stimulants.
Activities like snuggles on the couch while you watch adult TV such as news, iPad time and YouTube, sugary treats like ice cream, and wrestling, chasing or fast-paced games can rev children up before bedtime.
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If you're struggling with the bedtime transition, handle any "special requests" upfront, so they can't use them to avoid going to sleep - check drink, light levels, clothing/warmth and of course do a sweep for any under-bed monsters.
If there's resistance, give them a sense of control by offering simple choices (when you don't care either way): Door open or shut? Dora or Elsa pajamas? Night light on or off? Choose two books.
Early riser on your hands?
If your little one is regularly up before the birds, try these five strategies to keep them asleep or at least in bed a little longer.

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