Sleep is such an important part of a child’s formative years
Sleeping, or perhaps the lack of sleeping is one of the most widely discussed aspects of baby care. As new parents quickly realize, both the quantity and the quality of their infant’s sleep does affect the well-being of all members of the family.
With that said, sleep challenges won’t necessarily end when your child moves from their crib into a bed. Instead of just crying, it will now be making requests to stay up later or simply just refusing to sleep! Instead of 4 a.m. feeding time, it will be a nightmare waking them or they might be awake looking for water.
So the questions are; how do you get your children to sleep through their crying, wining, and clever tactics to avoid sleep? What if you are awoken during the night? And the important question then; how much sleep is actually enough for your children?
How much sleep is enough?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. The quantity of sleep required does vary from age to age. There’s no rule as such to say your two year old infant needs a certain amount of hours sleep per night. Children vary, environments vary and there could be a number of reasons that an infant or older child is or isn’t sleeping enough.
Two-year-old Zack might sleep in for eleven hours, while three-year-old Jane might be just as alert the next morning after sleeping for only eight hours.
Sleep is so important to children’s’ well-being. You might think that lack of sleep wouldn’t affect behavior, think again! There is a link between the two but it might no be too obvious, especially to those of you who are new to parenting.
When us adults become tired, we can be irate or just have low energy, but when children get tired and are losing out on sleep, then they can get hyper, disobedient and portray other drastic changes in their behavior.
Below are some examples for younger children, to help you in your own parenting and dealing with sleep issues:
Babies (up to six months old)
The internal clocks of newborns are not yet developed fully. They can sleep up to eighteen hours in a single day, divided equally between the day time and night.
For the first few weeks, it’s important that newborns are woken up every three or four hours until they have a good weight gain. After these initial weeks, it’s ok to let your baby sleep for longer durations (four to fives hours)!
This is because it’s approximately how long a small stomach can go for between each feeding. If your baby gets a good sleep at night, it’s a good idea to nurse or bottle feed them a little more throughout the day time.
Falling asleep by themselves is the ultimate goal for your baby. They should learn to return to sleep, should they wake during the night.