Sleep has been a hot topic around here these days:
“When do we switch from 2 naps to 1?” “When do we cut back on sleep times?” “When do we cap naps?” “My child is waking early.” “My child is struggling going to sleep.”
Let us tell you, you are not alone and it is hard. We know that children getting enough sleep is not only important for their development but it is important for your mental health too! Today we are going to share some tips that we know about sleep .
What we know:
- There are optimal sleep lengths recommended for children. As always this is unique to each child.
|Is my child getting enough sleep?|
|1 – 3 months||81⁄2 hrs – 10 hours||3 naps (total of 5 – 7 more hours)|
|6 – 9 months||11 hours||2 naps (total of 3 – 3.5 hours)|
|12 – 18 months||111⁄4 hours||1 or 2 naps (total of 2 – 2.5 hours)|
|2 years||11 hours||1 nap (90 minutes – 2 hours)|
|3 years||101⁄2 hours||1 nap (90 minutes – 2 hours)|
- Children thrive on consistency and routine : develop regular times for naps and bedtime. Assess their bedtime by reading their cues : if they are “over tired”, it will cause restless sleep. If they are not tired enough, they might not have enough sleep drive built up to keep them asleep. https://www.lindsaylewissleep.com/blog/2021/6/16/3-am-crib-party
- Develop a regular going to bed routine : sometimes this looks like quiet play, snack, bath, brush teeth, read book, a big hug and then bed time.
- Help your child be ready for sleep by – eliminating technology at least 30 mins before bed, using calming voice tones, dim lights, close curtains, add soothing music
- Make the expectations clear and set the boundaries ie “it is time to be in bed, we can play tomorrow”. Use language like First…Then (ie. first we brush our teeth, then we’re getting our PJ’s on). Use a visual schedule, we use this website https://challengingbehavior.cbcs.usf.edu/docs/Routine_cards_home.pdf
- When your child gets lots of exercise or outside time during the day/evening, it helps their body need sleep.
Remember that creating new habits takes time and consistency- which is hard when we are tired ourselves. Be patient, be kind and remember this too shall pass.