As a parent, it’s common to wonder how to get your child to sleep better. You may be noticing that they have disturbed sleep, or they’re waking cranky and seem to need more rest. Or perhaps you just want to make sure they are meeting all of their milestones and creating great sleep habits. Today, Team Snorble has some great tips to help your child and you feel better about their trips to dreamland.
Understanding Sleep For Children
Many of us are wondering, “How do I build good sleeping habits for my child?” Especially when so many of us don’t even know what good sleeping habits are ourselves! Yet children’s sleeping habits really matter. Poor sleep can mimic ADD, make actual ADD worse, is linked to childhood immune issues, and may even set them up for poor cardiovascular health in the future. Academic performance and mental health can be impaired into their teens and beyond. Yet it’s estimated as many as 25% of kids under five don’t get enough sleep each night. As a concerned parent, we know you have questions about your child’s sleep. Here’s 5 common questions, and the answers you need.
Question #1 - How long should they sleep?
How long should a baby sleep? How long should a toddler sleep? While science has set some benchmarks to help you as the parent, don’t forget that every child is an individual, so you could spot some perfectly natural variance. It’s important to observe your little one and get a sense of their regular sleep cycle, so you notice if there’s changes. Here’s some averages, however:
- Newborn (0-3 months old): 14-17 hours
- Infant (4-11 months old): 12-15 hours
- Toddler (1-2 years old): 11-14 hours
- Preschool (3-5 years old): 10-13 hours
- School-age (6-13 years old): 9-11 hours
Remember, no child is average. Your little one may have slightly different needs. If it seems to be leaving them happy and healthy, don’t worry too much, but let these benchmarks guide you.
Question #2 - My working spouse excites the kids late at night, what can I do?
When you have a parent who’s working long hours, it can be difficult to establish a bond with their little ones. You want to catch up on missed quality time. And, of course, a ‘missing’ parent coming home is going to excite your little ones! Yet it can be hard to balance this with establishing a good wind-down routine. If you find that your kids are getting a little too excited when the other parent comes home, look at establishing a family routine. Instead of letting your spouse’s arrival home set off wild, rambunctious play, try bonding activities like reading together, or handling bath time as their ‘special’ time.
Question #3 - My little one is afraid of sleep or the bedroom. Help!
Between ages three and six, over half of children have issues with fears and nightmares at bedtime. They will typically grow out of this as they age, but it can be a very difficult phase. Mindfulness activities could help your little one settle to sleep more easily. Perhaps a journal to help them work through fears, or breathing and relaxation activities to help them calm their body. Our Resources section has some great ideas for mindfulness activities for children. If a nightmare wakes them, a self-soothing story from Snorble® can help them see they don’t need to make too big a deal of the issue, promoting better sleep habits.
Question #4 - How can I help my child sleep better?
Ah, the golden question! We’ve already looked at how mindfulness activities can help your child learn to relax and soothe themselves, and their little buddy Snorble can help with that, too. Research strongly supports establishing a bedtime routine that works for your family as the best way to help children learn healthy sleep habits.
Question #5 - Should I worry about my child’s sleep?
You’re probably already a bit worried if you’re reading this blog- and it’s very natural as a parent. Every little one will have a night or two, or even a phase, where they get overtired or have a rough night’s sleep. However, it’s good to get to know your child’s own sleep cycle well (Snorble can help with that!) so that you notice when their sleep is disturbed over a long period. Watch out for signs of fatigue, attention issues, concentration difficulties, or changes in how they interact with others. Remember, your child’s health team would rather soothe your worries than have a problem ignored, so feel free to discuss any changes you notice with your pediatrician, too.
Introduction to Snorble
Snorble is here to help worried parents like yourself ensure their little one establishes healthy sleep habits that will last them a lifetime. Snorble will help your little one learn to soothe themselves to sleep in a healthy, supportive way. By gamifying the learning experience, it will feel fun for them. In the meantime, Snorble will also give you reports on your child’s sleep cycle for you to better understand their individual needs. You will thus be able to customize the sleep pattern specifically for your child to ensure the best results.
Set your child up for a happier, healthier life with strong bedtime habits that will last a lifetime. Let Snorble make bedtime fun and productive, while your little one learns good sleep habits.