A bedtime routine can help prepare the child for sleep, and it is common for children to wake briefly during the night without being aware of it. Here are ten tips to help your child sleep well at night.
Know Your Child's Sleep Needs
The amount of sleep your child needs will vary with their age. As a parent, it's essential to know your child's sleeping habits, including how many hours they sleep at night, how many hours they nap during the day, and what kind of schedule they follow.
Based on your child's age, here is a rough guideline for how much sleep they should get-
|Age Range||Sleep Needs|
|Newborn||16-17 hours per day|
|1-4 months||14-15 hours per day|
|4 months-1 year||14-15 hours per day, with naps|
|1-3 years||12-14 hours per day, with 1 nap|
|3-6 years||11-12 hours per night, 1 nap|
|7-12 years||10-12 hours per night|
|13-18 years||8-10 hours per night|
10 Strategies For Helping Your Child Sleep Well
1. Bedtime Routine for Better Sleep
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can improve your child's sleep patterns. A bath, reading, and a chat can help prepare your child for bed, depending on their age.
2. Relaxation Before Bed
Encourage your child to relax and unwind for a few hours before bedtime. Reading, music, and breathing exercises are all good options.
3. Consistent Bedtime and Wake-up Time
Maintaining a regular bedtime and wake-up time, ideally no more than 1-2 hours apart, helps regulate your child's body clock.
4. Limit Naptime for Older Children
Longer and later naps can disrupt a child's ability to fall asleep at night. Preschoolers should have no more than a 20-minute nap early in the afternoon.
5. Bedroom Noise and Light
A dark and quiet bedroom is conducive to sleep. Turn off electronic devices and avoid bright lights before bedtime. Use a warm-colored night light if necessary.
6. Exposure to Daylight
Bright light can inhibit melatonin production, so encourage your child to spend time in direct sunlight during the day.
7. Proper Timing and Quantity of Food
Feed your child a nutritious meal at an appropriate time to prevent hunger or discomfort at bedtime. A healthy breakfast can help establish a good internal clock.
8. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine-containing drinks and foods should be avoided in the late afternoon and evening.
9. Skip the Clock
Discourage your child from constantly checking the time by moving the clock out of sight.
10. Nighttime Safety
A night light can help children feel secure. Avoid scary media and reward bravery.
Keep in mind that children pay more attention to what we do than what we say, and this is important to remember. Prioritizing your own sleep will make you and your child better role models.
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