Sleep troubles and difficulties such as insomnia, bedtime fears and terrors, and bed-wetting are common among children. When they experience these troubles, their sleep pattern is disrupted which may eventually result to waking up every night. One of the biggest sleep issues in children is insomnia and insomnia makes it hard for a child to settle down at night. In fact, 48% of these children are boys and 52% of these are girls.
Medical-Related Why 3-Years-Old Wakes up Every Night and What You Can Do about Them
Lifestyle or habits and the quality of sleep are connected. How a child spends his or her day may interrupt his or her sleep. Here below are the reasons why 3-years-old wakes up every night:
Although a 3-year-old may be considered too young to be stressed, it is important to know that children also experience stress in life and these may disrupt their sleep. These stresses are often caused by issues at home such as marital problems, new baby arrival, or changes in sleeping environment such as movement into a new room or a need to share a room with other people.
What can you do?
Whenever my child is stress and anxious, we used to play simple activities when we cannot go out. Playing playhouses and slides in our home relieves his stresses and at the same time, these play times relieves my stress as well. However, there days when my little boy is not in the mood to play so I make sure that I always have this fidget that can relax him.
Comes in different color
When it gets some sand, it will take a while to make it smooth again
Medications may also be counted as one of the reasons why your 3-year-olds wake up every night. ADHD drugs and antidepressants cause insomnia in children.
What can you do?
When your 3-year-old is taking medications, you cannot stop using them especially when they are prescribed. Providing them a low-key reassurance can be a way for you to deal with them whenever they wake up every night. Whisper the words “it is okay” to them and personally, I think that this is just right. This will calm them and it will make them feel that they are safe.
Sleep apnea, allergies, stuffy nose, itchy skins, boils, and eczema are medical problems which may cause your 3-year-olds to wake up every night. For this reason, keeping your connected with your health care provider will be of great help as they may tell you the causes of your child’s sleep disturbance.
What can you do?
For allergies and skin problems, consider using creams. I always have this anti-itch cream because my baby’s skin is always itchy especially when it is hot. For first-time moms, this is the product that I can recommend to you.
Easy to use
The opening is kind of big so a lot can come out
For stuffy nose, use cool-mist humidifiers. This does not just make your child feel better but it will also make his or her room free of virus and germs.
Comes with different colors
The mist output is adjustable
Comes with an essential oil
Auto shut down feature
The upper part is slippery
There is no handle
Teething 3-year-olds can make them cranky and irritated and these feelings might wake them up at night.
What can you do?
For 3-year-olds who are still teething, you can try using a teething relief. Personally, I recommend this Boiron Camilia Teething Relief product as it does not just act as a teething solution but it also helps manage minor digestive problems.
Do not interact with other medications
Easy to use
Made from natural ingredients
Some children do not like the taste
Constipation and indigestions are possible reasons why your child wakes up every night. Additionally, when your 3-year-old tries to expel his or her stool in the middle of the night, he might actually wake up.
What can you do?
If your 3-year-old is having digestive problems, doing exercise and drinking plenty of water is one of the solutions. Also, reducing foods that may cause constipation and increasing consumption of fiber-rich food will help. Personally, when my child is having digestive problems, I use this probiotic and in no time, my baby will feel better.
Can be added to any cool drinks
No artificial colors
Some parents say that the product does not dissolve well
Lifestyles, Behaviors, and Habit-Related Reasons Why 3-Years-Old Wakes up Every Night and What You Can Do about Them
Do not skip this if you only think of caffeine as coffee. Sodas and energy drinks also contain caffeine and this content keeps your 3-year-olds awake at night. As much as possible, do not allow your child to consume these kinds of drinks.
What can you do?
Instead of using caffeinated energy drinks, consider using this product. This is an organic protein shake which includes lots of vitamins and minerals. By using this, you are giving a way for your child to drink a healthier beverage.
Contains lots of vitamins and minerals
Perfect for picky-eaters
Should be consumed in one drinking
Being in a dark place may cause a child to have this sleep anxiety. 3-years-old may be frightened because of the idea of monsters and other scary creatures. To get off this idea, understand your child’s fears and explain the real and imagination to them. You can use a night light and a security toy that they may cling on to such as toys or blankets.
If your baby is kind of scared of the dark, you can actually use a night light. There are many night lights available but I want to recommend this color changing night light to you. This will surely be loved by your little ones!
Comes with a timer so you do not have to worry about the blue light
Safe to use
The remote is rechargeable
Some kids may not like the design
The feelings (either happiness or sadness) of your 3-year-old throughout the day will manifest in their dreams at night and sometimes, these dreams may become disturbing.
What can you do?
Before your baby goes to sleep, encourage him or her to have a sweet dream by helping them stay relaxed. After a nightmare, be with them and make them understand that their dream is unreal. Offer comfort and boost their mood. You can also use a night light as a nightmare-chaser.
Sleepwalking is not only about walking while sleeping but it also includes talking and sitting up in the bed.
What can you do?
As much as possible, do not wake up a sleepwalker. Instead, try to guide your 3-year-old’s back to their bed. Make sure that their room windows and doors are closed for their safety. Keep away sharp objects and toys, as well. Additionally, engage your child in relaxing activities before bedtime such as reading relaxing books. I want to recommend this bedtime book for kids as I find it very meditating for my child. Surely, it will work for you too!
Comes with only 2 books for one purchase
Bladder control for 3-year-olds must be hard especially during at night. Bed-wetting usually happens to children two to four years old and when they do bed-wet, they kind of feel humiliated and embarrassed.
What can you do?
The number one solution for bed-wetting is avoiding too much fluids before bedtime but personally, I do not think this is kind of right because you will never go wrong with water and fluids as it can keep a child from being dehydrated. So, I think using a water-proof mattress can be a better option.
Comes with different bed size variation
Easy to assemble
Comfy to the touch
You need to gently clean it in the washing machine
If you do not like the water-proof bed sheet, teach your child how to change sheets as this is a way to teach them responsibility and when they are able to have a “dry night”, give them rewards for it! This system will motivate them!
What Happens When 3-Years-Old Keeps Waking Up Every Night
If a 3-year-old keeps on waking up every night, he or she may experience lack of sleep. Eventually, this lack of sleep may lead to
Irregular sleep in children makes them become less attentive as their brain cells do not get refreshed and reenergized. As a result, they will have a compromised attention regulation when they wake up.
Short-term memory loss
A child’s cognitive function is affected by his or her sleep. If he or she had a bad or incomplete sleep, a child may become irritable, frustrated and may also have a short-term memory loss.
Delayed response time
When a child is unable to get an adequate sleep because of his or her night waking, he or she might also have a delayed response time. This is connected with the first point, attentiveness.
When a child is unable to get a quality of sleep because of his or her night waking, his behavior is affected and this includes his or her temperament. 3-year-olds who had less nighttime sleep tend to be more angry and frustrated. If your baby is manifesting this behavior, you can actually try these calming tablets for your little ones.
Easy to use
Provides instant relief
Safe to use
Contains no artificial flavors, dyes, or parabens
Some kids may spit the solution where the tablets were dissolved
How to Prevent Your 3-Years-Old from Waking Up Every Night
If you see that your child is having sleep problems including wakefulness at night, here are some tips for you:
Choose a perfect bed
Make sure that the bed your 3-years-old is very comfy. Additionally, allow them to stick on this bed. One way of practicing them to absorb their bed is by actually allowing them to use it even during their break times such as when you read books to them, when they do their home works, and any other things aside from relaxation.
Make their bedroom comfortable in the eyes
Of course, keeping their whole room comfy in the eyes is as important as keeping their beds lovely. Keep your child’s room cool. Also, try to keep your child’s room minimal and do not overload it with toys.
Stay on a specific sleeping schedule
Sticking on one sleeping schedule will make your child sleep and wake up naturally. By this, you will no longer worry as your child’s waking up at night will surely be minimized. Additionally, remind them 30 minutes and 10 minutes before sleep time. This is a way to allow their mind and bodies to prepare for sleep. Personally, I find this morning and bedtime checklist chart very helpful as they allow my child to understand routines and it makes their body in condition. It can also be considered as a reward chart so that your baby will be motivated to do what can make them better.
Easy to clean
Dry erase markers are not included
Make sure that your child is not hungry before he or she goes to bed
A light snack such as banana and milk will do before bed time. However, when your 3-years-old is already full, there is no need for you to make them consume a light snack. If you do not want to prepare anymore, you can actually try this ready-made banana-milk drink for your little ones.
Healthy to eat
Organic and contains lots of vitamins and minerals
Some may not like the taste
Encourage your 3-years-old to be active
Regular morning exercise is a great way to help your 3-years-old prevent restlessness. So, as you do your personal exercise, allow your little ones to join you even if they do it for fun! However, take note that your child should no longer do vigorous exercises 3 hours before he or she sleeps. You can try this yoga mat for your little ones and they can set these up on their own while you set up yours.
Easy to assemble
Comes with a storage bag and instructions
Cleaning these mats takes a lot of effort
Allow your 3-years-old to receive natural light ever morning
Using blinds instead of curtains will actually help your child wake up and get a fixed sleeping pattern. By this, your child will no longer feel restless especially in the middle of the night. In our home, we use this kind of blinds as they are easy to clean and the shade of the sun is not that strong when we use them. You can try it and your kids might love it too!
Comes with different sizes
You need to ask a professional so that they can be installed perfectly
Take into consideration about napping
Naps will always be there especially for children. Make sure that when your child takes a nap, his or her nap is not that long and not that close to bedtime.
Make your 3-years-old “gadget-time” limited
If your child owns a tablet, try to limit his or her usage. Additionally, those electronics that emit blue light such as TV can disrupt your child’s sleep and sleeping pattern. So, if you can, turn these electronics one hour before bedtime.
Establish a soothing bedtime routine
A warm bath will surely soothe your 3-year-olds and when you are able to soothe them before they sleep, you will surely prevent them from waking up at night. In the list above, you can use the bedtime routine checklist to accomplish this point.
Spend a quality family time
Some 3-year-olds stay awake at night because they want to spend more time with their parents and other family members. So, spare some time with your 3-years-old and interact with them before bedtime especially when you have worked outside your home the whole day. If you want to make your family time educational, you can try this Learning Resources product. Surely, your family time will be meaningful!
Comes with different activities
Watch out for kids who like to put stuff on their mouth
What Can You Do When Your 3-Years-Old Wakes up Every Night
When your 3-year-old keeps on waking up every night and you think you have done the ways you know to prevent it, here are some tips for you to deal with them:
White noise machine
Putting this product to your 3-year-old’s room will block out noises which may cause your child to wake up at night. Personally, I recommend this baby sound machine product as it can be controlled using your smartphones. It comes with a lot of features and you will love it as I do!
Comes with a night light and you can choose from different colors
Can be controlled by Alexa voice
Comes with a child sleep trainer feature
White noise soother
Has a toddler lock
Alexa voice cannot control the white noise
Don’t rush in
When you hear your 3-year-old cries at night, give him or her a few seconds to minute. Is he crying in his or her sleep? Is he dreaming? Is he fussing? Majority of babies who cries night are fussing. So, try to allow your 3-year-olds to go back to sleep on their own. Believe me, this is worth a try!
Go to your child
It may sound opposite to the point above but it is not. Go to your child and check him or her after fussing. Make sure if he or she is back to sleep or he or she is now awake. You can actually try a baby monitor. This will surely help you.
Provides a complete view
The smart sock (heart monitor) is bought separately
Patience is very hard to keep throughout the day when you are a parent when your mind is already full and exhausted. When night comes, this patience gets lesser more especially when your sleep gets disturbed as well in the middle of the night. However, you just have to hang in there and enjoy the moment! Remember that one day, all will be better and one day, everybody in your home will be sleeping tight.
As a parent, your child’s waking up at night will surely trouble and frustrate you. Although waking up at night is part of a child’s normal life. Regular or everyday event like this is not healthy. So, take some steps and do something about it in order to help your child cope up with this sleeping problem. Personally, I find the Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier for Bedroom, Baby Sound Machine, and Owlet Cam Smart Baby Monitor very useful because they also calm us (parents), make our sleep of great quality, and they give us a peace of mind no products can ever give!
Is there a sleep regression at 3 years?
Sleep regression is normal for babies up until 2 years old. However, even 3-year-olds experience this. Sleep regression is a classic sleep interruption that can be experienced by a child at all hours.
How can I keep my 3-year-old sleep through the night?
There are many ways in order for you to make your child sleep through the night and the very effective way is by making your child feel secured and safe.
What is a reasonable bedtime for a 3-year-old?
At 7 pm to 7:15 pm, a 3-year-old must already be preparing himself or herself for night wash or night bath. 7:15 pm to 7:30 pm is a great time to do reading and relaxing activities. When the clock ticks at exactly 7:30 pm, goodnight kisses and bedtime should already be done.
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 Masand, P. R. A. K. A. S. H., A. P. Popli, and J. B. Weilburg. “Sleepwalking.” American family physician 51.3 (1995): 649-654.
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 Dahl, Ronald E. “The impact of inadequate sleep on children’s daytime cognitive function.” Seminars in pediatric neurology. Vol. 3. No. 1. WB Saunders, 1996.
 Bastien, Laurianne, Émilie Tétreault, and Annie Bernier. “Disentangling the direction of associations between sleep and temperament in toddlers.” Behavioral sleep medicine 18.4 (2020): 523-536.
 Altena, Ellemarije, et al. “Dealing with sleep problems during home confinement due to the COVID‐19 outbreak: Practical recommendations from a task force of the European CBT‐I Academy.” Journal of Sleep Research 29.4 (2020): e13052.
 Tikotzky, Liat, and Avi Sadeh. “Sleep patterns and sleep disruptions in kindergarten children.” Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 30.4 (2001): 581-591.
 Pesonen, Anu-Katriina, et al. “Temporal associations between daytime physical activity and sleep in children.” PloS one 6.8 (2011): e22958.
 Mindell, Jodi A., et al. “Sleep well!: A pilot study of an education campaign to improve sleep of socioeconomically disadvantaged children.” Journal of clinical sleep medicine 12.12 (2016): 1593-1599.
 Mindell, Jodi A., et al. “Bedtime routines for young children: a dose-dependent association with sleep outcomes.” Sleep 38.5 (2015): 717-722.