At some point, every parent stresses out because they think their child might not be getting all the quality sleep that he or she needs; and although there is no one-size-fits-all solution because every child is different, setting up healthy sleep habits is of vital importance for the whole family.
Following a consistent bed schedule is crucial for growing kids’ development, but it’s only regular that they sometimes develop some sleep issues. Many of these challenges are linked to the child’s stage of development, so it’s probable that as the child ages, these issues will resolve themselves. Patience from the parents is a must, but if the situation grows in discomfort, then maybe it’s time to seek professional help.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, here are some signs that your child is not getting enough sleep:
- IT IS DIFFICULT TO WAKE YOUR CHILD IN THE MORNING AND HE IS NOT ABLE TO “GET GOING” WITHIN 15 MINUTES.
- ON WEEKENDS OR SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, YOUR CHILD SLEEPS AT LEAST 2 HOURS MORE PER NIGHT THAN SHE DOES DURING THE SCHOOL WEEK.
- YOUR CHILD FALLS ASLEEP DURING SCHOOL, SHORT DAYTIME CAR RIDES (E.G., 10 OR 15 MINUTES), OR AT OTHER INAPPROPRIATE TIMES (E.G., ATTENDING A SPORTING EVENT OR PARTICIPATING IN A FUN ACTIVITY).
Additionally, here is a guide of estimated hours that your children should sleep daily according to development stages to get proper rest. Remember that you also have to take into account the amount of time spent napping:
- Newborns (up to three months): 14 to 17 hours
- Infants (four to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
- Toddlers (one to two): 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (three to five): 10 to 13 hours
- School-age (six to 13): 9 to 11 hours
- Tweens and Teens (14 to 17): 8 to 10 hours
The importance of healthy sleep practices should not be underestimated because the lack of it can negatively impact overall wellbeing, so here are some recommendations to reinforce normal sleep cycles:
- Avoid naps late in the day.
- Reduce food and drink with high caffeine and sugar content, especially in the evening.
- Cut down on nonessential afterschool activities.
- Create a bedtime routine centered on quiet activities such as reading or listening to mellow music.
- Avoid high-energy activities 3 hours before bedtime.
- Use the bedroom for sleep only, not for communicating with friends, watching TV, or eating.
- Make the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
And last but not least, remember the importance of taking care of your own sleep routine. Here you can find the perfect ally to help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling refreshed.