Parenting is an amalgamation of countless challenging tasks. This unpaid job also requires you to monitor your child’s healthy sleep routine. Perhaps, you do know that your child’s sleep time will consequently affect your sleep schedule and sleep duration. Because even during your sleep, your worst nightmare is waking up to your toddler crying and not being asleep at a decent hour.

Why should parents emphasize more on a consistent bedtime?

Did you know an Australian experimented conducted on school going children concluded that children who have a variable bedtime with 60-minute difference were twice as likely to exhibit a more hyperactive behavior and had difficulty in controlling emotions? And children who had two-hour difference in bedtime were 6 times more temperamental! So your child’s varying bedtime can only aggravate his behavior overtime.  

What do you think bedtime should be exactly?

Do not worry parents! We have all the necessary information you need to structure the perfect sleep schedule for your child which will give uninterrupted time to mothers to watch cooking and television shows and ample time to fathers to not miss out on sports updates!

Age

Total Sleep per day

Average Wake Time

Bed Time

Changes You Need to Monitor

Birth to 6 Months

15 to 16 hours

Varies at average 1-2 hours between naps

N/A
  • You know how frequently you need to feed your newborn. So there sleep time can’t be fixed.
  •  Just keep a close eye on baby’s sleep cues and put down for sleep when baby seems tired.
  •  If your baby starts to sleep for one long stretch at night, continue with it and make baby habitual of sleeping at one particular time.
6 Months to 12 Months

12 to 15 hours

Average awake time is about 3-4 hoursAnytime between 7 to 11 p.m
  •   Your baby might be taking 2-4 naps at this age. So congratulations! Your baby is now ready for a predictable sleep schedule.
  •    You now have to establish regular naps as in the latter part of this time frame, babies are prone to be overtired due to sleep regression.
  •   Set up early bedtimes at this age.
Toddlers (1 to 3 years)12 to 14 hoursAverage awake time is about hours

6 to 8 p.m

  •   You will now begin to notice how your toddler will just require one afternoon nap.
  •   But make sure nap’s duration is 2-2.5 hours. Use earlier bedtime to transition from 2 naps to 1 nap per day.
  •    By age of 2 the more appropriate earliest bedtime for your toddler will be 7 p.m.
Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)10 to 12 hoursAverage awake time is 12 hours if the toddler doesn’t take a nap7 to 8:30 p.m
  •   Your child at this stage will give up on afternoon naps. But to overcome tiredness, try to substitute afternoon rest time with a nap time.
  •   Or alter the bed time in such a way that you child is getting roughly 12 hours of unbroken sleep. However, make sure your child isn’t napping. Otherwise he might get overtired.
  •   Use later bedtime for children who want to transition away from naps.

Is your child getting sufficient sleep? How Much Sleep Do Babies, Toddlers and Kids Need?

Toddlers:

Signs of a tired and sleep-deprived toddler are not so blatantly obvious so you have to read subtle changes in their mood. If your child tends to get cranky, irritated and aggressive in afternoon over petty things, he might be sleepy. He would act sleepy during the day and would struggle to leave bed in the morning.

Infants:

If you are a naïve parent of an infant or a young baby, you will see them rubbing their eyes or getting clumsy and clingy often. This means they are showing how they are sleepy. If they don’t find a comfortable place to rest in, they will cry or yell loudly.

Why shouldn’t you ignore the symptoms of insufficient sleep?

How Much Sleep Do Babies, Toddlers and Kids Need - Why shouldn’t you ignore the symptoms of insufficient sleep

Do not ignore the signs of insufficient sleep, as they can be very hazardous to your child’s health. Lack of sleep can affect your baby’s brain functioning and development and slow down the metabolic processes in his body. This might weaken your child’s immune system greatly. This will then gravely affect his memory and cognitive scores.

Your child will get moody and will have separation anxiety from you. Therefore, now you have to be more cautious about your baby’s sleep routine.

Here is a small exercise for you to test if you are tracking your child’s sleep routine correctly! Let us see how well do you do!

Questionnaire:

  • Do you keep a record of the time at when your child goes to sleep at night every day?
  • Do you time the length for how long does your child sleep each time?
  • Do you have your child’s morning planned? Are you punctual about his 3 major meals of the day?
  • Do you give your child the chance to decide when he wants to take a nap?

Results:

If you answered yes to all these questions, then kudos you are doing a good job keeping a meticulous check on our child’s sleep. If not then no need to panic. You can redeem your mistake and alter your child’s sleep in accordance with this.

How can you monitor a sleep schedule for all age groups children?

  • You can encourage a more regulated sleep schedule for your baby by making sure the naps take place in a consistent sleep environment. It is concluded through research that best naps occur in your baby’s crib.
  • Time your baby’s nap. Make sure that you are punctual about his nap and keep the length of the nap same every time so your child is on a sleep schedule.
  • If you really want to be punctual about your child’s sleep routine, make a chart and fill it every time your child himself goes down for sleep and wakes up. Observe his sleep pattern for over a week or month to see his progress or the need to introduce changes in his sleep pattern.
  • If you are parent of an infant, play with him during the day time and keep him active and working. And make sure he takes small duration naps in the morning and has wider exposure to daylight. And when you feed him to sleep, make sure you do it at night in dark so he is prone to sleeping at night for longer hours and makes a habit out of it.
  • If your baby is off the schedule do not push her or force him off that routine. Let your child wear off his tiredness by napping occasionally or sleeping when he wants it. Give him the opportunity to decide for himself when he wants to sleep. You can force him towards it. It is like fighting nature.
  • Do start to recognize when your baby is getting tired. Signs like yawning, fussing, rubbing eyes, feeling lazy and looking away from you clearly indicate that your child is ready for bed. Identify these and then put your child to sleep.
  • Be a patient parent and have a realistic expectation from your child. Set a routine for your child but give him some time to adapt to it and slide into that routine comfortably.

Your child can’t catch sleep and so you are up at night too? We have a solution!

Are you the parent of a child who cries in the middle of the night and wakes you up? Haven’t you had a good night’s sleep in a long time? Don’t worry! We just have the answer for you.
If you are raising your baby with a partner, try splitting the up the night in two shifts. And one of you can coddle the baby back to sleep each time. Or try napping when your baby is sleeping. This will give you sufficient time to complete your average sleep hours per day.

Does your toddler have trouble staying in bed?

If your toddler hope outs of bed every 10 seconds then maybe he is not really tired and you are pushing him to sleep. You should then assess his sleep schedule. Try using a door around your child’s bed so he doesn’t escape his bed without you knowing. If they don’t work then technology to the rescue. Use the baby monitors and cameras efficiently to keep your toddler in bed.  

How to structure your kids’ bedtime routine? The 3 B’s to sleep.

Brush. Book. Bed. These are the 3B’s to sleep that will definitely send off your little ones to comfortable, pleasant hours of sleep. After you have consulted your child’s pediatrician and your child is allowed to brush his teeth, make sure he does it every night before going to bed and makes a habit of it. Then you should try to read him his favourite bedtime story or a lullaby. This is the prime time for the two of you to bond emotionally.

Importance of Naps

How Much Sleep Do Babies, Toddlers and Kids Need - Importance Of Naps

What are naps? And How Much Sleep Do Babies, Toddlers and Kids Need?

Sleep is a major requirement to survive. And as parents you probably have forgotten what a complete, uninterrupted sleep might be as you are living on small duration sleeps at irregular times otherwise known as naps.

It is important for young kids for healthy development. As crucial physical and mental growth occurs in childhood, kids need a lot of it. It prevents kids from being overtime and freshens their mood. It provides a healthy break from all day chores.

Sleeping disorders in children

Sleep apnea:

It is terrifying as in this condition your child might stop breathing for 10 seconds while sleeping and probably won’t even notice.

Night terrors:

These are scarier than nightmares and can scar your child mentally. Your child would suddenly get up from sleep being scared and anxious.

Restless leg Syndrome:

If your child complains of having a bug crawl on his leg or has ‘wiggles’ then they may experience poor sleep due to RLS.

Others are minor disorders like:

  • Sleep walking
  • Bedwetting
  • Snoring
  • Excessive Daytime sleepiness

How to treat these disorders?

Sleep disorders can lead to children being annoyed and tired. You will see that they will have behavioral problems and they cannot adjust socially. If you discover any of these disorders, firstly consult your pediatrician. From there you can conclude if any further medical processes are to be conducted. Don’t ignore any of these conditions.  

There are four stages of sleep; first begins from NERM and it then descends into REM sleep.

Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NERM)

This type of sleep is dreamless sleep.  In this type of sleep the breathing and heart rate are low and regular. The blood pressure is also low and the sleeper remain stagnant. About 80% of sleep is NERM sleep.

Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

This is the type of sleep in which dreams occur. They are with 1-2 hour time difference between each. They vary in length from about 5 minutes to an hour approximately. The breathing and heart rate is regular during this type of sleep.

Also check: Essential Oils for Baby Sleep

Final Thoughts?

How Much Sleep Do Babies, Toddlers and Kids Need - Final Thoughts

I get how your nights are an endless cycle of sleepless hours. And after becoming a parent you would have identified the significance of having a sleep routine. You just have to make sure that your child is getting sufficient sleep and it goes uninterrupted. Because the chances are that if your kid is sleeping, you might sleep better too. So set up a sleep schedule and follow it. Good night and sleep tight!

Kindly let us know your views and opinion in the comments section below. Do share your experience as a parent and the common problems you have been encountering while setting up a sleep schedule.