Children's sleep habits are so important. It affects a child's mental and physical health.
Lack of sleep can also lead to what I'm sure all us mom's have experienced: tantrums. I don't know about all of you, but if my children don't get the right amount of sleep they act out, fight, throw tantrums, and are just really grumpy kiddos.
You want to think that sleep is going to be easy. How hard can it be? You put your kids to bed, read them a story, and to sleep land they go. Wrong. Most of the time bedtime isn't easy. As kids get more and more independent they fight sleep, they don't want to miss anything. They don't realize how much they need sleep, so it's our job as parents to make sure they are getting what they need.
Don't beat yourself up if your children aren't in the exact guidelines needed. Above is a chart that compares recommended hours to reality hours of sleep.
One thing to remember is keeping your children on a sleep schedule. This is one aspect of parenthood you don't want to be as tolerant with. There are things that come up every now and again that can affect sleep schedules, but for the most part keep a routine.
Here are a few tips that can help with sleep:
- Encourage security objects if your child is afraid of bedtime such as a nightlight, stuffed animal, cozy blanket, etc.
- Make sure your child's bedroom is comfortable and safe.
- Have no TV on in your child's bedroom.
- Ease into bed, read your child a bedtime story to help them relax.
- Keep schedules as consistent as possible.
- Avoid caffeine or sugary drinks at least four hours before bedtime.
- Talk with your children (given they are at an age of understanding) about important sleeping habits.
Routine and consistency is key. Once you find the right schedule for your family keep with it. Obviously as your baby/child gets older schedules will change, but as long as you keep a schedule you can ensure your doing your best at keeping your child's sleep habits consistent and healthy.