A good night’s sleep is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle, for you and your children. Here are our top tips for sleep-deprived parents and kids.
Know How Much Sleep is Necessary
Everybody’s different, but in general, newborns need about 16 hours each 24-hour period while babies over six months need about 14 hours. Toddlers should get between 10 and 13 hours and preschoolers between 10 and 12 hours.
Newborn babies need to know what you want them to do in order to develop routines. If it’s time to sleep, let baby know by, for example, singing him a song and laying him gently in his crib.
It’s tempting to pick up your crying seven-month-old when she wakes at night. But giving a comforting pat and some gentle reassurance will help her settle faster than if you take her out of the crib.
Toddlers and older children need time to move from their activity-filled lives to bedtime. Plan quiet time for the last half hour before tucking them in.
Television, computers and other electronics can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Preschoolers need time without these things for a half hour or so before bedtime.
Talk About Nightmares
Bad dreams are part of life and really can be scary for children. Take time to reassure your child that dreams are not real and that she is safe.
See the Doctor When Necessary
If an issue like consistent loud snoring or night terrors is worrying you, discuss it with your doctor. He or she is there to help make sure you and your child are getting the sleep you need to reach peak health and live the life you desire.