Kids need to get enough sleep to make sure that they develop properly.
Why is sleep important for children’s health?
Babies and children require adequate rest to meet their mental and physical needs. Growth hormones are mostly secreted during deep sleep. It also protects your kid’s heart from vascular damage. From infancy, lack of sleep can lead to increased weight. Sleep deprivation can reduce cognitive function. Kids who are consistently tired gets easily distracted and disrupt the learning process.
So, how can you make sure your child is getting enough sleep?
This article contains the most helpful children’s sleep guide. So, you better sit back, relax, and prepare yourself for the glorious gem you are about to read.
Everything You Need To Know About Your Kid’s Sleeping Needs
Sleep needs change throughout a person’s lifespan. Also, not all children are the same, so you can expect their sleep needs to be different. There are a lot of things to learn about children’s sleeping needs.
For most parents, especially first-time ones, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with all the information overload available online. There are also several myths that can create confusion. It is quite a fairly controversial topic to discuss, which is why it is crucial to be fed with proper information.
What Will You Be Learning In This Guide?
Parents will find the information very useful for their newborn to kids up to 12 years of age. It helps solve the following concerns:
- What is the regular sleep pattern of a child?
- What are the sleep requirements of your child or baby?
- How can you guarantee that your little one is getting the proper amount of sleep?
But first, to understand your children’s sleep needs, you must be familiar with the sleep chart for kids.
The Ultimate Children’s Sleep Chart
|7 to 9 hours in 3 to 5 naps|
|4 to 5 hours in 2 to 3 naps|
|2 to 3 hours for two naps|
|1 hour or no naptime|
|Naptime not required|
On the table shown above, you will see that the sleeping hours of every child differ as they grow older. Read on for tips that can help you understand the sleeping pattern of your child a little deeper.
Helpful Facts About Your Little One’s Sleeping Behaviour (As Determined By Age)
For Newborns to 2 Months
- Newborns sleep in every two to four hours. These kids often wake up for feeding time.
- Babies look restless, tossing and turning while asleep. But, you need not worry. This is a pretty normal behavior because twitching is common for these babies.
- Expect to hear some sucking noises, as well.
- Tricks can be tried to soothe a newborn. Try, rocking, using the pacifier, and swaddling. Cuddling your baby can easily make them fall asleep.
For Two to Four Months
- At this age, babies can sleep for six hours a night. Nap times can be easily scheduled.
- Now, to successfully introduce scheduled nap times, spend time playing with your baby and try to expose her to daylight and restrict light exposure at night time. This is to establish the concept of daytime and nighttime.
- Create a routine for your child before bedtime. You can incorporate bath time, feeding time, and a bit of cuddle time in it.
For Four to Six Months
- In this period, the nighttime feedings become less or stopped altogether.
- At around six months, 60% of babies have learned how to sleep through the night.
- It is normal for babies to wake up certain times during the night, but most of those that have managed to sleep through the night can easily fall back to sleep.
For Six Months to One Year
- Sleeping through is an issue for babies at this age because they now experience separation anxiety. Your baby can feel if no one is around and may resort to crying upon waking up.
- Check your baby every once in a while. But, when doing so, try not to carry your child. Instead, do some back rubs or sing a lullaby. Limit the time of your visits, as well.
For One Year to Two Years Old
- When it comes to sleeping, the issue with toddlers is their newfound energy. Active ones are unable to feel relaxed at nighttime.
- You can try limiting physical activities too close to bedtime and establish a calming routine, instead. This is the perfect time to introduce children’s bedtime story-telling.
- One other problem is that toddlers now know how to get out of their own crib. If you do not want to allow a co-sleeping situation, where your kid runs to your bedroom and sleep there, you should always make an effort to bring your kid back to his or her room. Doing so will prevent the habit from forming.
For Two to Five Years Old
- Most kids from this age group are against bedtime sleeping and naps. So, be prepared for a lot of pleading or “it’s my way or the highway” speeches.
- Toddlers and preschoolers may be dealing with adjustment difficulties, such as starting school and transitioning to a big kid’s bed. Some also suffer from night fears. Help them as much as you can. If they are no longer intimidated by these changes, convincing them to go to bed may go a lot smoother.
- Use a night light to shoo away monsters under the bed.
- To maintain a healthy sleep pattern, develop a routine and sleep schedule. Establish the rules and be strict about them.
For Five to 12 Years Old
- A number of factors can mess up the sleep schedule. Some kids at this age begin to recognize social obligations. There are also more homework and group projects to attend to.
- Lessening soda and other sugar-laden drinks and treats can effectively reduce hyperactivity in a child.
- TV time should be started once they are done with all their homework and must end before dinner so that there will be more time to just relax and calm the mind for bedtime.
- Adjust the design of your kid’s bedroom. Set a quiet, distraction-free, and cool environment that can easily put your kid to sleep in no time.
It is hard to make sure your kids get the correct amount of rest since you cannot monitor them day in, day out. This is especially true for working parents. Additionally, the older kids are also starting to live independently, so that is a considerable factor to think about.
Some Tips You Can Do To Create A Healthy Sleep Routine For Your Child
The following tips are more suitable for toddlers and growing kids.
Prioritize Sleep As A Family.
Do not just impose the bedtime on your kids, set an example. Set a schedule for you and your kids. Make sure that the whole family is keen on following them. Some sure signs that your kids are getting sufficient sleep is if they fall asleep within 30 minutes of tucking them into bed, wake up with ease on mornings, and do not snooze off on afternoons.
Address Sleeping Troubles.
Some kids experience struggles not only in falling asleep but also on staying asleep. Some are snorers or have heavy breathing patterns. The results can be seen in the daytime. A tired and unproductive kid probably had a lack of sleep during the night. Best consult your pediatrician for these issues. This can be a concern, especially for younger kids.
Set A Routine.
Routine works! Practicing consistency on the sleeping schedule can help remedy mild sleep problems. Some things to be included in the routine are brushing of teeth, a quick shower, changing to PJs, and drinking water before bedtime. Book reading is also a great way to bond with your child.
Have Healthy Bedtime Snacks.
As part of growing years, children need more than three meals in a day. A light snack after dinner can prepare their bodies for a good sleep every night. Some of the healthy options are cereals in milk, nuts, or fruits. Avoid chocolates and large snacks.
Set A Comfortable Sleeping Environment.
Make sure that your kid is okay with the lighting and temperature of his or her bedroom. Limit the noise that might enter the room. Electronics should also be restricted. Additionally, make sure that your kid is rightfully dressed for sleeping time. Most kids are unable to cover themselves at night if the blankets are kicked to the side.
For some kids, bedtime means alone time. And for those who are suffering from separation anxiety, this can be a problem. Introducing a security object like a stuffed bunny or a cute blanket can bring a sense of security to your kid while he or she sleeps the night away.
Do Not Heed Their Requests.
Before completely nodding off, kids normally have too much fuss going on. For example, some kids will insist on going for another bathroom trip or might request for another book (“just a short one, pretty please?”), reduce the need for these extracurriculars by incorporating them on the nightly routine. Once your kid is in bed, make sure he or she stays there. Do not argue if your kid gets up from the bed, instead patiently walk him or her back to bed.
A healthy sleep life for your child will do wonders during their growing years. Placing attention on this is a good way to nurture your child. The first step is to understand their needs so that you can effectively execute a plan that will ensure they get the rest they need to reach their maximum potential. Remember, a well-rested kid develops an improved physical and mental health.