- Family and Parenting
What is the Right Amount of Sleep for Children - Are your Children Getting it?
video about sleeping and your child
The right amount of sleep for children
For children, lack of sleep can cause grumpiness, grouchiness, being disoriented (specially when they are in school), and hyperactivity.it is important even for adults to have the right amount of sleep.
When a child gets enough amount of sleep, the parents are more relaxed rather than being stressed because a well rested baby is easier to take care of. It has been found out that sleeping problems among adults can be traced to childhood sleeping habits too.
That is why it is very important to make sure that our children get the right amount of sleep as they can develop habit until they are grown.. Adequate sleep for children is good for their overall behavior, moods and ability to grasp and understand things.
Newly born children (one month old)
(up to 18 hours of sleep)
Newly born children have already unique characteristics, usually they cry or keep on moving when they are sleepy. Sometimes they also rub their eyes. Most of the time they sleep even up to 18 hours a day but that is not continuous, it consists of wake-sleep activity, and it is very irregular. They just sleep on their own and so there is no need for us to be with them or carry them. While it is true that there is no need to carry them while they sleep, sometimes when they cry they need to be carried and to be reassured that you are there for them. They should be put in a place where there is activity during the day. This way they can sleep at night and mostly awake in the day. Playing with them during the day is also recommended.
Infancy (2 to 11 months)
(up to 15 hours)
During infancy a baby usually sleep through the night, it depends on the baby if they still need feedings at night, typically one time feeding is enough. They sleep approximately ten hours in the night and take naps up to three times a day (30 minutes to two hours each time), it really depends on your infant, so always try to be observant. The amount of sleep gets fewer as they reach their first year. Like the newly born, it is better if you put them to bed on their own when they are sleepy rather than when they are sleep already. This is to avoid being dependent for somebody to let them sleep. Usually they sleep on their own. Sometimes teething or other sickness may interfere with their normal sleep. Their motor activity also alter their normal sleeping patterns.
Sleep and Toddlers (1 to 3 years)
(13 to 14 hours)
Toddlers need 12 to 15 hours of sleep in a day and their naptime will decrease. All my children take a nap once only when they are toddler, and naptime varies from thirty minutes to three hours for some. It is better to encourage toddlers to nap in the middle of the day and not near their bedtime as this will disrupt their sleeping schedule at nighttime. Toddlers can experience dreams, nightmares and they are also a bit more mobile now so this will interrupt with their sleep. The key is to stick with schedule of sleep. They become grumpy when they don’t sleep well. Sometimes they have difficulty waking up, or sleeping again when they are disrupted from their sleep because of separation problems etc. We should make sure the place where they sleep is also comfortable, and they should sleep in the same place always. In short we should be consistent and we can let them sleep with their favorite toy like stuffed toy.
Preschoolers (3 to 5)
(11 to 13 Hours)
They sleep almost like ten to thirteen hours at night and they have problem at times with sticking to their schedule of sleep. They have difficulty waking up also. Mostly after four years of age children doesn’t take a nap already as they are busy playing and exploring, hence they are very active. Since at this stage, they begin to imagine things they experience wild dreams and nightmares. They need to sleep consistently at the same time. It is recommended that they also have some quiet time when they can relax before sleeping like playing with their favorite toy, and try avoiding video games and television. The sleeping environment should be comfortable also.
Children in school (5 to 12)
(10 to 11 hours)
They need up to 10 to 12 hours of sleep. Children get tired have multiple activities at this stage like school activities, playing outside the house more often, play video games, computer or watch TV. They have sleeping problems at this stage, that’s why it is very important to instill discipline and consistency.