Sleep is a vital need, essential to a child’s health and growth. Sleep promotes alertness, memory and performance. Children who get enough sleep are more likely to function better and are less prone to behavioral problems, anxiety and moodiness. That is why it is important for parents to start early and help their children develop good sleep habits.
How much sleep should my child get?
- 0 – 2 months – 10.5 – 18 hours
- 2 – 12 months – 14 – 15 hours
- 1 – 3 years – 12 – 14 hours
- 3 – 5 years – 11 – 13 hours
- 5 – 12 years – 10 – 11 hours
The top tip for good sleeping habits in children is to follow a nightly routine. A bedtime ritual makes it easier for your child to relax, fall asleep and sleep through the night.
Typical Bedtime Routine:
- Have a light snack
- Take a bath.
- Put on pajamas.
- Brush teeth.
- Read a story.
- Make sure the room is quiet and at a comfortable temperature.
- Put your child to bed.
- Say goodnight and leave.
- Make bedtime the same time every night.
- Make bedtime a positive and relaxing experience without tv/dvd’s/ipads & tablets/phones. Using devices before bed can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep and have many negative effects on you child.
- Keep the bedtime environment (e.g. light, temperature) the same all night long.
Recent studies tell us that exposure to bright light at night time – which includes most screens; ipads/tablets/laptops/TV; halt the natural production of melatonin in our bodies and so prevents sleep. Children need proper ‘down time’ before bed. This can prevent over-tiredness, anxiety, bad moods, bad dreams, sleep walking & talking.Children who do not sleep properly can be more prone to illness and childhood obesity. We recommend No Screens at night time – encourage your child to read a book instead!