Healthy Sleep Habits: How Many Hours Does Your Child Need?
Every parent wants to know how many hours of sleep are recommended for their infants and toddlers. It is true that sleep plays a vital role in the growth of a child and there are some reasonable, science based guidelines to help you determine how many hours your child needs to sleep.
Childhood Sleep Guidelines
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) provides some helpful guidelines about how much sleep children need at different stages in their development. Children who get enough sleep always have a healthier immune system, and better school performance, behavior, memory, and mental health.
Healthy Sleep Habits – Tips from the AAP
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the AASM guidelines and guide parents to make sure that their children develop good sleep habits.
- Make sufficient sleep a family priority. You need to understand the importance of getting enough sleep and you all know that sleep has a great impact on you and your child’s health. Making sleep a priority for yourself shows your children that it’s part of living a healthy lifestyle—like eating healthy and exercising regularly.
- Keep to a regular daily routine. The same waking time, meal times, nap time, and play times will help your child feel secure and comfortable, and also help with a good bedtime. You can help your child to get sleep wherever you are by scheduling the sleep routines.
- Be active during the day. Make sure your kids have interesting and different activities during the day, including physical and some brain activities.
- Monitor screen time. The AAP recommends keeping all screens—TVs, computers, laptops, tablets, and phones out of children’s bedrooms, especially at night to prevent sleep disruption.
- Create a sleep-supportive, safe bedroom and home environment. Before the bedtime dim the lights and maintain the temperature of the room. Don’t spread toys in your child’s bed. Maintain your child’s bed a place to sleep, not a place to play.
- Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle of anything to drink. Water is okay. Anything other than water in the bottle can cause baby tooth decay. Feed your baby first, and then put him or her down to sleep.
- Learn to recognize sleep problems.There are some sleep problems in children like nightmare awakenings, snoring, stalling and heavy breathing while sleeping. You need to recognize these problems to maintain sleep patterns in your child.
- Talk to your child’s pediatrician about sleep. Discuss your child’s sleep habits and problems with your pediatrician, because most sleep problems are easily treated.