We are stewards of our children, hence, we are held accountable and responsible for their overall health and growth. Since they do not know better than us, it is vital that we give positive and proper governance over them. Educating them on what matters and being good examples of those are critical as they grow.
The best thing we can do for them as they are on their development stages is to make sure they get enough sleep. Apart from the vaccines and vitamins that we give them, this aspect goes beyond the positive and sustains their bodies of its needs.
Sleep is of utmost importance to children as this contributes to their overall growth and development. This goes beyond physical, it also serves well for their emotional and mental health. As kids grow older, more factors come into play, and if not monitored properly, these can hinder them from getting the amount of sleep they need on the daily.
Understanding Their Need of Sleep
To be effective in helping them get enough sleep, you have to know how much they need of it every day. The amount of sleep required from them depends on their development stage and age. So to help you have an idea on how many hours of sleep they need, read on the following.
Newborns aged zero to three months need about ten and a half hours to eighteen hours of sleep in a day. Babies aged four to eleven months need nine to twelve hours of sleep in a day. Toddlers aged one to two years old need about eleven to fourteen hours of sleep in a day.
Kids aged six to thirteen need nine to eleven hours of sleep in a day. Teens aged fourteen and above need around eight to ten hours of sleep in a day. If you’ve noticed, children who are in their early developmental stages need more sleep as compared to older ones.
Sleep is essential for everyone as it is the only time to rebuild and recover from daily stresses in life. Moreover, this is critical for kids as other than repair and regeneration, development of their body systems are happening as well. Those who get less amount of sleep per day exhibit decline in productivity, energy and learning abilities.
Not only do those happen, their immune system suffers as well. They become more susceptible to acquiring different diseases. Over time, their bodies lose the ability to fight against viruses and bacteria. So the efforts needed to get them to bed on time will depend on your ability to do so.
How You Can Help Your Child Sleep Better?
Being mindful and conscious of the things we do to our kids can go a long way in helping them get the amount of shut-eye they need. There are a lot of resources that you can check, a good sleeping website can help. If you are still clueless on how you can improve your child’s sleeping quality, read on to know more.
- Set a schedule for naps
Sometimes, kids cannot complete the number of sleep hours they need in a day in just one bulk. While this is inevitable and difficult to control, you can make up for it by letting them have regular naps instead. The key to starting them on that would be setting a regular napping schedule. Limit it to thirty minutes per session to make sure this does not interrupt their sleep at night.
- Limit technology access
It is true that technology has opened new avenues of helping kids learn more, having too much of it can be harmful to them too. Blue light from tablets, computers and mobile phones can prevent the production of serotonin and melatonin. These hormones are responsible for making them fall asleep.
To balance the effects of technology on your kids, make a house rule of turning off all electronics two hours before their scheduled bed time. You can also use a colorful LED sleep or wake clock to keep it cute and interactive. This helps your kids determine whether it is time for sleep or waking up.
Read Also: Is Sleeping Near Your Smartphone a Bad Idea?
- Reinforce positive behavior
Kids can sometimes struggle with abiding to their sleeping schedules. So to give them a positive outlook towards this, reward them from time to time especially when they stick to their sleeping routine. You can start with stickers to track the number of nights they stick to it. Or you can set an ultimate reward after a week of good sleep for consecutive nights; it can be a trip to the park, a picnic or a few gaming sessions.
As for failed attempts, make sure to extend your patience and avoid getting mad at them. Continue trying and explaining its importance instead of punishing them for getting up early or sleeping late. Learn how to mold their behavior.
- Keep them active
Kids who spend most of their time at home in front of cell phones, computers and tablets are more likely to feel less sleepy at night. A good way to keep your kids healthy while preparing them for their sleeping schedule would be engaging them with exercise. Keep them active, have regular playtimes, walks in the park or other physical activities. Put their energy to good use so they can recharge and sleep better at night.
- Watch their diet
Be mindful of the intake of your child. It is important to load them with vitamin and nutrient-filled food on a daily basis. And since sweets can be taken from time to time, it is recommended to get them off it or to not let them have sugary treats a few hours before sleeping. This can give them a sugar rush and get them feeling active even on their scheduled sleeping time.
- Set up an atmosphere for sleep
Create an ambiance for sleep and continue doing it on a regular basis. Set up dim lights, play music, have comfortable sheets, and arrange the room to make it as comfortable and cozy as it can be. Remove distractions such as toys and other attention-catching items before bed. This lessens the stimuli around them and gets them ready for sleep.
- Create a sleep diary
It is good to keep track of your child’s sleeping schedule. This shows you how well they are sleeping or how poor their sleep hygiene is. Keeping a sleep diary can also be a good method to check if your child is experiencing sleeping disorders. From there, you will be able to know whether you need to seek for professional help.
It is important that the kids sleep, but it is equally vital to make sure that they are getting a good quality of sleep every time. Helping your child sleep better at night and even in naps can guarantee optimal functioning on a daily basis. By following the steps mentioned above, you will be able to establish good sleep hygiene for your child until they grow up.
Thus, this ensures your child of a brighter, more energetic, smarter and optimistic outlook in life. Help them achieve more in life by building a good foundation today. Strive harder to give them the best quality of sleep at night.