According to the Sleep Foundation, these are the recommended hours of sleep needed for different age groups:
Newborns -14-17 hours
Infants – 12-15
Toddlers – 11-14 hours
Preschoolers – 10-13 hours.
For children, adequate rest translates to improved mental and physical development and health. For you, sleep improves your concentration, the ability to cope with problems while also increasing energy, happiness and reducing health risks.
But if the little one’s sleeping schedule is all over the place, requiring you to soothe, rock, or hold your child for them to fall asleep, chances are you’re not getting the deep, quality sleep you need to help you take the best care of yourself and your youngest.
The answer? Create peaceful sleeping areas and a bedtime routine. For guidance, take a look at the tips below.
Our environment has a significant impact on the way we feel.
As expected, cluttered, noisy rooms with bright lights are not conducive to a good night’s sleep for you or your little one.
So, to create a haven for relaxation and sleeping, here are a few alterations you can make to your bedrooms.
Upgrade Beds: Investing in a soft, cosy bed from Divans Beds Centre and fresh bedding accustomed to your needs. Be it a supportive mattress with cooling technology or hypoallergenic bedding for the baby will incite relaxation and aid a quality snooze.
Tidy Up: Putting away washing, teddies, and so forth will provide a distraction-free sanctuary for you and your children to focus on sleeping.
Install Blinds: Blackout blinds are ideal for blocking out daylight and promoting sleep.
Now it’s time to create a bedtime routine.
Things you could include as part of the little ones bedtime routine are:
- Bath time
- Warm milk
- Take children to use the toilet
- Bedtime story
- A cuddle and a kiss goodnight
For parents, their bedtime routine might consist of:
- A light, healthy snack
- Warm bath
- Skincare routine
- Reading a book
Adjust the routine as and when needed to see what works best for you and your children.
But where possible, remain consistent. Repeating the routine will allow the circadian rhythm, our body’s internal clock, to prepare you and your child to wind down naturally at the same time each night.
Completing a bedtime routine can be challenging. Here are a few common hurdles:
- Babies and toddlers crying
- Children getting into their parent’s bed at night
- Little ones attempting to negotiate their bedtime with parents
- Kids elongating their bedtime routine by asking for snacks, using the bathroom, etc
It’s important to quell concerns and remain firm with your bedtime routine. First, it’s essential to know a little crying can be okay. Some may cry for a short while before settling down, especially if they are new to the routine.
Reading the parents’ guide, the Ferber Method for sleep training and implementing this as part of creating a sleep routine for babies, in particular, may allow parents to minimize crying and help babies sleep more easily at home.
To give children the feeling of safety and comfort in their rooms a night light or object, such as a favourite teddy for the child to have nearby, can assist in keeping children in their beds and help them fall asleep.
For children attempting to elongate their bedtime, stay strong! And keep working through your chosen routine. Eventually, children will get used to it.
Creating a good bedtime routine for your little one is just as crucial for you as it is for them. The above guide contains a few tried and tested ways to help children and parents get some much-needed rest.
Introducing a bedtime routine may be challenging to begin with. But eventually, it will become an ingrained part of your daily life.
The result? Well rested, happier, healthier children and parents.