Getting enough sleep is one of the most important factors for a child in their physical develop and healthy living. If parents have a child that prefer more play time than sleep, you will have a hard time getting your child to sleep. This can often be an almost impossible task. How do you make sure your child gets enough sleep when they are kicking and screaming all the way? Sometimes it is simply easier to let the child stay up a few extra minutes rather than fight a temper. But when those minutes add up to hours, your child’s health will suffer from this compounded lack of sleep.
Getting Your Child Enough Sleep
How much sleep does a child need? Because your child can function on six or seven hours of sleep, does that mean that he is getting enough? It is important to realize that all children are unique individuals, and what is the required amount of sleep for your child might be entirely different from the right amount of sleep for your best friend’s child.
Babies need significant amounts of sleep, because their bodies are growing and changing at an enormously rapid pace. Generally, during the first six months of life babies will average around ten hours of sleep a night, along with an average of five hours of naps during the day. While these are long periods of sleep, they will include many interruptions for feedings. It is important for parents to feed their babies during the night, as their tiny tummies cannot hold enough food to allow them to sleep through the entire night. At around six months of age they should be encouraged to sleep through the night, because uninterrupted sleep is crucial for a baby’s proper development. At this age naps often are reduced to around three hours. The best way to teach your baby to sleep through the night is to avoid getting them out of bed when they do awaken. Teach your baby to put himself back to sleep without needing you.
Does your child shows sign of sleepiness?
Toddlers nowadays sleep between ten and thirteen hours each night. This also should be uninterrupted sleep, but since this is the time when babies start to actively dream, you can expect to have a dream or two that wakes up your child. It is a good idea to hold and comfort your child after a scary dream. This is also the time when many children drop their afternoon naps. If your child stops showing signs of needing a nap, it is fine for them to drop their nap routine. As your child begins the preschool years, they will still need around ten hours of sleep each night.
But these times are just general rules for children’s sleep needs. The best way to get your child to sleep is to watch his or her signals. You, as a parent, know what signals your child shows when sleepy. Once you start to notice a particular time in the day when your child begins to show signs that she is sleepy, establish this as her bedtime. While you do not have to stop your life for a bedtime schedule, it is important to stick to the bedtime as much as possible. As your child learns to consistently go to sleep at the same time every day, she will begin to develop good, healthy sleeping patterns. The best way to encourage the reluctant child to head to bed is to establish a routine that you go through every day when it is bedtime. This helps the child to wind down and relax after a busy, fun-filled day.