Sleep challenges are known to be common across all ages. In kids, this can lead to parents feeling tired, overwhelmed, and not sure what to do, to set a good sleeping pattern for the child.
Good sleep is key to creating a peaceful, rested environment in the home. I know this first hand as this was my experience with my two daughters. The transformation we experienced as a family motivated me to become a certified sleep consultant and help families overcome sleep challenges in babies, toddlers, and young kids.
Common Sleep Challenges In Babies And Toddlers
There are many sleep challenges a new parent may experience, for example:
- Multiple night wakings
- Resistance to daytime naps
- Late bedtimes
- Early rising
- Inconsistent bedtime and wake up routines
- Too little sleep
- Cat-napping (30 minutes or less)
- Negative sleep associations
Reasons Why Babies And Toddlers Experience Sleep Challenges
This is a big one. Depending on what and when the child is consuming can have a big impact on sleep. There are also plentiful additives, preservatives, and chemicals that we find nowadays that are hidden in packaged foods which can have adverse effects not only on sleep but also on behaviour and immune systems.
Exposure to blue light
Usually from TV screens, computers and mobile phones before bedtime can disturb the quality of sleep.
Allergies from certain foods or intolerances and common colds can impact sleep greatly.
How Many Hours Should Kids Sleep?
The chart below is the new recommended average guide for newborns to children aged up to 13 years.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep?
Sleep is essential for the development of the brain, body, emotions and development and determines growth from early childhood all the way through adolescence. Here are just a few benefits of good sleep in kids:
- Boosts immune system
- Increases concentration and focus
- Release of growth hormones
- Reduces risk of injuries
- Promotes growth
Common Symptoms Of A Child Who Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation affects children in different ways to adults. Sleepy children tend to speed up rather than slow down. Symptoms include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Reluctance to get up in the morning
- Over-activity and hyperactive behaviour
- Moodiness and irritability
What Role Do Parents Play In Making Sure A Child Gets Enough Sleep?
Routine eliminates power struggles and helps children to predict what will be happening next.
Am I Being Too Strict If I Follow a Sleep Shedule?
Not at all, but at the same time, parents shouldn’t be so rigid and have room for minor setbacks that may be caused by an illness, a developmental milestone or a change in the environment, etc.
Are There Any Nighttime And Morning Routines That Can Help?
- Set the environment – Your child’s room should be of the correct temperature, quiet, dark and secure. Having blackout curtains/ blinds is super helpful to set the bedtime scene.
- Keep things quiet and mellow an hour before bedtime.
- Having a bedtime ritual such as bath, story time, lullaby.
- Encourage outdoor play
Where Can I Find Help If My Child’s Sleeping Challenges Persist?
I would love to have a chat with you and help with sleep challenges in kids from 0 – 6 years old. Get in touch to book a free 15-minute consultation at [email protected].
What I do best:
- Establish a routine that works for the family based on their parenting styles.
- I do not believe in one size fits all approach, all my plans are individual planned as per the unique needs of the family.
- Help babies and toddlers fall asleep without parent intervention (gradually).
- Boost confidence and empower parents with education and support.
- Help families become rested, healthier and happier.
In my experience, working with a sleep consultant offers practical, personal solutions that would work for your family, as all home dynamics are unique. Remember, Mum, sleep is one of the ways you can care for yourself as a new parent, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Find out more about me and how I can be of support to your family at www.supersleeper.pro.
I hope this article will be the first step in successfully understanding and meeting your child’s sleep needs. As well as help you get the rest you need as a parent.