Sleep Disorders In Children, Babies and Toddlers

Author Name: Heidi Holvoet, PhD

Is one of the common types of sleep disorders in children troubling your toddler or baby? Recognize and treat night terrors , sleepwalking, bedwetting , narcolepsy and apnea early on.

There are two types of disorders you may see in your baby or toddler: behavioral problems ( simply learning to settle well and keep asleep) and primary disorders (issues that require specific attention).

Behavioral problems

Behavioral sleep problems are the most common and harmless type : difficulty falling asleep or self soothing , difficulty staying asleep or sleeping through the night and unnecessary frequent night waking .

We usually don't think of these as true disorders , because they are a normal phase in child / baby development. But, they can disrupt your family life quite badly and, without good guidance, a child may grow into a lifetime of poor sleeping , leading to poor health.

That's why it is so important to gently guide your child with a suitable bedtime method .

Primary disorders in children

There are only a number of sleep disorders young children get.

Night terrors
, bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), sleep walking (somnambulism) and talking (somniloquy) are the so-called parasomnia . They are almost always due to immature development and most children grow out of them without treatment.

Apnea in children and babies and narcolepsy are less common but more serious issues and usually require medical treatment.

See the list and definitions of sleeping disorders for clarification.

When you suspect that your child has a primary disorder, it is important to recognize it through a sleep disorder evaluation and then to find a correct remedy or treatment .

Article Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD - Founder, senior sleep consultant

Heidi Holvoet, PhD

Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 15+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.

Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books. Also, Baby Sleep Advice was awarded "Most Trusted Infant's Sleep Solutions Company 2023" in the Benelux Enterprise Awards 2023.

Heidi continually conducts personal research and participates in continued education and in that way stays up to date with current scientific and pyschosocial infant care.

Association of Professional Sleep Consultants

She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.

Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.

As well as the award-winning baby sleep programs, Heidi offers popular 1:1 consults and easy-access 30-minute SOS Sleep sessions.