Do you struggle to put your child to bed each night?
Does your child wake up in the middle of the night and cry out for you on a regular basis? Do you feel like you’re losing more sleep than you did when your child was an infant?
Sleep can be elusive for parents who are trying to encourage their child’s sleep habits. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, it can make everyday tasks seem much more difficult.
I want to talk to you about how to support your children, and yourselves as a result, in getting a good night’s sleep.
The Right Environment
- First, let’s talk about the environment. Below are some tips to make the atmosphere of a room favourable for sleep.
Reduce the amount of light in your child’s room. If you can purchase blackout blinds, go ahead and do so. Changes in lighting in the street can result in overnight wake-ups, and difficulty falling asleep. Consistent darkness in a dark room can help support healthy sleep habits.
- Reduce changes in sound. You can achieve this by purchasing a sound machine or by ensuring that the environment is quiet throughout the night. This tip can be challenging for parents who watch tv at night in a room below their child’s bedroom, as the changing sounds of the tv can keep or wake them up. In this case, a sound machine can help mask those changing sounds.
The Right Setup
It is essential to have a consistent routine a child can rely on to signal it is time for bed. This can include a relaxing bath, reading time together in bed (with the lights dimmed), turning on a sound machine (if applicable), and reducing background noises.
The Right Time
Depending on your child’s age, the amount of sleep they need can vary. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:
- For newborns (0-3 months)- 14-17 hours per day
- For infants (4-11 months)- 12-15 hours per day
- For toddlers (1-2 years)- r11-14 hours per day
- For preschoolers (3-5 years)- range from 10-13 hours per day
- For school-age children (6-13 years)- 9-11 hours per night
- For teenagers (14-17 years)- 8-10 hours per night
For newborns, infants, and toddlers, these hours of sleep can occur both during the day as well as at night. For older children, these hours happen primarily overnight.
Sleep and sleep routines can be tricky to establish. It is essential to have a consistent routine with minimal disruptions, as it encourages falling asleep quickly and sleeping through the night.
If you have further questions or concerns about your child’s sleep routine, contact our Child and Family Advisor team and have them put you in touch with a Behaviour Consultant who can work with you and your family