2-year-old wakes up at night for hours

What to do if your 2 year old wakes up at night for hours

Change is a constant thing when you have growing children. They usually experience changes in their sleep pattern from time to time. It is, therefore, common to see a 2-year-old waking up at night for hoursSuch behaviors can affect your and your baby’s sleep quality if not promptly checked. What could be responsible for such actions? Read on, as this blog post will x-ray several possible reasons for your 2-year-old waking up at night for hours. We will also proffer helpful tips on preventing your toddler from losing valuable sleep time at night.

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Reasons your toddler wakes up at night for hours 

Your toddler may wake up at night and find it hard to fall back asleep, keeping them awake for hours, due to the following reasons:

  • Hunger: Unlike adults, toddlers have smaller stomachs, making them get hungry more often. If your toddler does not eat enough before bed, they will likely wake up hungry and thirsty at night. They will not be able to sleep again until they have eaten.
  • Fear of the dark: As toddlers, children will already begin to be aware of their emotions. They have a sense of anxiety which makes them dislike being in the dark, especially at night. Your toddler may stay awake for hours at night because they fear monsters or sleeping alone. 
  • Teething troubles: Toddlers experience pain during the teething stage. If they begin to feel pains in their gums at night, they will likely not be able to sleep for hours and instead cry and fuss out of discomfort.
  • Distractions: Toddlers’ night sleep can be disrupted due to various distractions around them. These include noise and bright lights. 
  • Extreme temperatures: Toddlers find sleeping hard when the temperature in their room is not right. They may stay awake for hours if they are freezing or extremely hot, probably due to over-swaddling or wearing too many layers of clothes.
  • Illness: Toddlers find sleeping hard at night if they are not feeling well. They could be down with fever, cold, or cough. Due to the pains and discomfort, they experience from these illnesses, they will stay awake for hours at night.
  • Developmental changes: As toddlers develop, they experience a lot of changes. There may be a change in their sleep pattern after a while, making them stay awake for a better part of the night. 
  • Over-excitement: Toddlers may also find sleeping hard at night if they are overly excited about something. They may have learned a new skill they would rather continuously engage in than sleep. 

How to stop your 2-year-old from waking up at night for hours 

The best way to stop your two-year-old toddler from waking up at night for long hours is to identify and solve the problem’s cause. The following tips may also help.

  1. Ensure that your toddler eats to their satisfaction before going to bed daily.
  2. Ensure they have their bath before bed as that can have a soothing effect on their nerves, improving sleep.
  3. Ensure they receive proper medical care for any illnesses they may have. Give them their medications before they go to bed.
  4. Please do all you can to eliminate any form of distractions from around them at night. Turn off all electronic devices. Also, turn off all bright lights. If you must allow light in your toddler’s room, ensure it is dim.
  5. Ensure the temperature is right in your toddler’s room. During cold weather, set the heater at an appropriate mark. Do not also cover them up too much to avoid overheating.
  6. Take some measures to help them overcome their fear of the dark. Leave dim lights on in their rooms so they don’t sleep in total darkness. Also, tell them some happy bedtime stories before they fall asleep.
  7. Allow them to go to bed at a specific time daily so their bodies get used to a sleep schedule.


A good night’s sleep is necessary for the proper development of your toddler. Try the above tips to solve the problem of your 2-year-old waking up at night for hours. That way, you and your toddler will enjoy good hours of sleep every night. Consult your pediatrician if your baby stays awake after applying all these tips. Have them adequately checked and treated for any sleep disorders, if any.

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