Spending the day with your baby or little one is always an adventure. You never know what you expect and always have to be prepared for every occasion. It is exciting, fun, but also tiring. As the evening comes most of the time we’re eager to welcome the night and get a good night’s sleep. But this is not always an option as little ones commonly tend to struggle to fall asleep and even if they do, they regularly wake up during the night and want our presence.
How can we solve this problem as parents and what can we do to make sure or kids have a full night’s sleep that will help them grow and collect all the energy they need for the next day? We have a few things to share with you on the topic and will provide valuable information regarding childhood sleep that will certainly come in use at some point.
Keep reading and you’ll be surprised how much you can actually do to help your little one.
Where does the problem with a child’s sleep come from?
Most of the time, kids are so excited about exploring the world that they are disappointed when parents say it’s time for bed. For them, this is like having to pause the fun and do something they don’t perceive as important and valuable for their health and wellbeing.
Sleep problems are extremely popular among young kids. Even if your little one feels tired, chances are that they will want to postpone going to bed as much as possible. The reasons for this could be many. If your child is not getting enough physical activity during the day they may still have a lot of energy during the night time that prevents them from falling asleep. On the other hand, having a new and thrilling day full of activities could keep them excited and active even after the fun is over, again leading to a difficult time falling asleep. Stress is another factor that may cause your kids to have a problem sleeping during the night. Alternatively, it may simply be the case of poor bedtime habits.
If some or all of the factors mentioned above sounds familiar and you think you’ve tried everything but your child still doesn’t sleep well, leave your worries behind. We’re here to help you solve this problem and introduce your little one to one of the most enjoyable times of the day – sleeping.
How much should your child sleep?
Before diving into advice on how you can help your little one fall asleep easier and make sure they stay comfortable and asleep during the full night, it may be useful to introduce you to the normal sleeping hours for your little one depending on their age. At different stages of our lives, we need different hours of sleep in order to fully recharge and be ready for the next day. As adults, we can observe and create our sleeping cycles by ourselves but for kids, this is the responsibility of parents.
If you are the parent of an infant who is aged between 4 and 12 months you should be observing sleep duration of between 12 to 16 hours daily. This time doesn’t have to be all during the night as it includes the naps that your baby takes during the day as well. As your baby grows and reaches an age of 1 to 2 years old, you will notice that they will shorten the sleep duration to 11 to 14 hours a day. As times goes by and your little one becomes 3 to 5 years old, they will be able to gather all the energy they need for 10 to 13 hours. The number of hours needed drop even further by the time your child reaches 6 years old. From 13 to 18 years old, anything between 8 and 12 hours is enough.
It is natural for your kids to develop their sleeping routine in their teenage years but parents’ support is especially important during the first years of their development. So who can you tell if your little one is not getting enough sleep?
Signs that your little one is lacking sleep
You may assume that your child is getting the sleep hours they need but how do you know whether this is true? After all, chances are that you too are asleep during the night and not fully aware of what is going on during that time.
Here are some of the ways you can tell that your child is not getting the sleep hours that are recommended for their age:
- Their moods frequently change
- They are cranky and highly irritable unlike other times
- They cannot concentrate well and find it difficult to focus on different tasks
- They fall asleep during different activities or while taking a car ride
- They seem to “space out” or can’t have regular communication with you or friends
- They take a long time to fully wake up and start the day
If you’ve been noticing some of the above in your child, chances are that they are having a hard time sleeping properly during the night. Although in most cases this is not something to stress over as it is fully recoverable, you need to pay close attention and take measures to help them solve the problem. By doing so, your little one will be able to grow confidently and calmly, with no additional stress or discomfort.
What can you do to help your little one sleep better?
Sometimes, forming certain habits or having routines before bedtime early on and then transitioning into a different age and different cycles can be tricky. For instance, it is natural that when your baby is around a year old they may be used to falling asleep while you rock them or hold them in your arms. As they grow and you see it’s time to teach them to fall asleep by themselves, the change could be sudden and stressful.
It is advisable to avoid stopping any bedtime routines at an instant. Instead, gradually prepare your child for what’s about to happen and always take baby steps to introduce them to something new. This way you will gain their trust and they will know that they can rely on you for what’s right and comfortable for them.
There is a lot that you can do as a parent to make bedtime pleasant and enjoyable for your kids. Here are some of the most popular ways to make your child excited about going to bed:
Set the mood
Having the right setting at home for a good night’s sleep is among the most essential factors when it comes to your child’s sleep. Ensure that your little one’s room caters for their sleeping needs and offers a relaxing atmosphere where they will feel snuggly and sleepy. Lighting is incredibly important. Stay away from keeping the room entirely dark as most children will get frightened and feel alone in a similar setting.
Instead, you can keep the lights dim and relaxing with a glowing star pillow in a color of your choice. Kids love stuffed animals and pillows and there’s nothing better than one that glows and keeps them safe during the night. It can be used as a toy during the day and a night lamp during sleep time with a push of a button.
Make sure there are no smartphones, television, or electronics in the room as they emit blue light which can seriously harm the sleep cycle of both adults and children.
Relax your little one’s body in advance
Now that you’ve created the perfect sleep setting in their room, it is time to prepare their body for sleep. Taking a warm and cozy bath can certainly help your child’s body release any accumulated stress, calm down, and prepare for what’ coming next. Bathing your baby before bedtime is extremely soothing but also useful because of the temperature change.
After the hot bath, your baby’s body will start to cool down. This will immediately make them feel sleepy and ready to zone off into dreamland where they will spend a few hours recharging and collecting valuable energy and resources, essential for their growth.
Give your little one a massage
As an adult, you probably dream of a nice massage before bed. Well, although little ones are not yet familiar with this amazing feeling they will also appreciate it! Massaging your baby is not only soothing and relaxing for them before sleep but is also important in a range of ways. It offers essential skin contact between you and your little one and a close bond, which supports your baby during their growth and development. Avoid massaging your baby’s face and hands.
The provided advice for helping your little one fall asleep is only a small snippet of everything you could to help make this time enjoyable. Observe your baby and get to know their preferences when it comes to sleep to know how to support them better.