Adequate sleep is a crucial part of every child’s health and wellbeing. Children have no concept of time, which is why they have an unpredictable sleep pattern. That is why good sleeping habits should be fostered from a young age, as they continue to be important throughout life. Newborn babies can sleep for up to 18 hours a day in bursts of 3–4 hours that are punctuated by feeding. With time, they start having extended sleep and waking times that can continue to be erratic in the absence of deliberate efforts to foster the best sleeping habits. The best starting point is to buy the best mattress for babies. In this blog, we are going to take a look at some useful habits that can ensure your baby gets the best sleep.
|Infants (4 to 12 months old)||12 - 16 hours|
|Toddlers (1 to 2 years old)||11 - 14 hours|
|Children (3 to 5 years old)||10 - 13 hours|
|Children (6-12 years)||9 - 12 hourst|
|LTeenagers (13-18 years old)||8 - 10 hours|
For the first few weeks of their life, newborns don't have a sleep schedule. What you need to do is make sure that they don’t sleep for more than 5 hours at a time, as they need to feed in-between naps.
Some people believe that keeping a baby awake during the day helps them sleep better and longer at night. Nothing can be farther from the truth! Exhausted babies have a tough time sleeping, which will keep you up at night and rob them of the much-needed rest.
Feed your baby just before bedtime, so they are not hungry when you place them in the crib. This will extend the time they can sleep before waking up due to hunger, also giving you ample time to sleep.
Don’t wait for your baby to sleep, but rather, put them in the crib as soon as they are sleepy. This will help them learn to fall to sleep on their own. Babies also need cues to sleep!
Place your baby in a crib or on a hard surface on their back until they are a year old, and keep pillows and all stuffed toys out of the space.
Avoid placing your baby in the crib with a cup or bottle. Sleeping with milk or juice in their mouth can cause tooth decay (cavities). In fact, you should avoid introducing any sleep rituals to your baby from at least 1 month. These include things such as rocking them to sleep, having a white noise machine, or playing lullaby music.
While a pacifier may be helpful in comforting your baby and helping them settle, it is advisable to only start using it once breastfeeding appears to be on track (3-4 weeks). A pacifier can also help mitigate the risk of sudden unexplained infant death syndrome (SUIDS.)
It is normal for a baby to get up or move during the night. Don’t respond immediately, but rather wait for a few minutes to try and give them an opportunity to settle by themselves.
You cannot spoil or harm a baby by holding them. It is perfectly okay to rock and cuddle your baby to sleep.
Maintain a regular nighttime routine (bathing, soft music, feeding, etc.) and sleep schedule.
Keep the lights dim during nighttime feeding and diaper changes to avoid stimulation.
If your baby wakes at night and cries after reaching the age of 6 months, check on them to see if there is anything wrong without having to take them out of the crib. They may simply be cold or too warm, or need comforting, which you can do by talking softly to let them know you’re there or stroking their forehead. It is an important part of teaching them how to self-soothe, which will help them go to sleep on their own.
A cool room is ideally suited for the best sleep for everyone, including babies. Keep the thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit to create a conducive environment for your baby to sleep.
What to Do if Your Child Has Poor Sleep Habits
There are also some interventions that can help your baby kick bad sleep habits before they take root. If they don’t want to go to bed or are having trouble staying asleep, try the following:
Reassure them in a calm voice that they are fine, and it's time for them to sleep, after which you can leave the crib (babies should ideally sleep in your room but in their crib for at least 6 months).
While you can continue to visit the room if your baby is having trouble sleeping, make sure to space out the time and do nothing but talk to them before leaving.
Avoid giving them a bottle or picking them up.
This routine may take several nights to produce the desired results, but your child will eventually learn to respond to your voice, calm down, and go to sleep.
If the routine is disrupted due to things such as travel or illness, get back to the habits recommended above as soon as things return to normal.
You can also try swaddling. The pressure babies experience from swaddling is similar to the conditions in utero. It has the effect of comforting them and lengthening their sleep.
Obstacles to Good Baby Sleeping Habits
There are a number of issues that may stand in the way of good sleeping habits for your baby. They include:
When a child is not getting ample nap time or going to bed on time, they may get cranky, fussy, or find it hard to go to sleep at night.
Children may experience nightmares when they have fever and after a physical or emotional event. Talk to your baby calmly, and cuddle & reassure them.
When to Consult a Specialist About Your Baby’s Sleep
There are some problems that need to be brought to the attention of doctors, especially if they persist. You need to consult a doctor about your child’s sleep, if:
Your child snores loudly.
Your child has long pauses in their breathing when sleeping.
You have any other questions or concerns.
At the end of the day, good sleep habits don't take root in one go. You need to realize that it may take some time for your efforts to start showing results. It is unrealistic to expect your child to be a good sleeper from the get-go.
Dont Ignore the Baby’s Cues
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to ignore the baby’s cues. Babies send out signals that indicate when they're getting tired and need to go to sleep. Keep an eye out for cues such as yawning, eye rubbing, and slowed activity. It is the natural time for them to nap as the body will be releasing calming melatonin.
Create a Comfortable Environment
The first step to creating a comfortable environment is to get the best mattress for babies that can go into the crib. It is important to buy a mattress that has been specifically designed with babies in mind as it provides the need levels of comfort, support, and protection.
Order Premium Quality Baby Mattresses
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