If you are the parent of a newborn, you may often wonder how much sleep a child needs. Although babies sleep a lot, this is exactly what they need, and it’s also a good chance for an exhausted mother to catch up on her sleep, too.
Initially, newborns have an irregular sleep cycle because they are still developing their circadian rhythms, which is a sleeping and waking cycle that is regulated by both light and dark. It will take about six weeks to develop a regular circadian rhythm. In fact, by the time your child reaches the age of two, he or she will have spent more of their time being asleep than staying awake.
Here is a look at your child’s sleep needs at different ages and tips to ensure that your child gets plenty of restful sleep as they are growing up.
Choose the right mattress for your baby’s crib. High-quality mattresses, like those created by Moonlight Slumber, are made to very exacting standards to ensure health, safety, and deep sleep. Choosing the right mattress, then, should be on top of your list when it comes to helping your baby improve the quality of their sleep.
Besides selecting the right mattress, you should observe your child’s sleeping patterns so that you can notice when they are showing signs of feeling sleepy. A good time to put them in the crib is when they are drowsy, rather than wait for them to fall asleep. Place your baby in the crib on his or her back with face clear of blankets or any other soft bedding items. Newborns will generally sleep from ten to eighteen hours a day, staying awake for periods of one or three hours.
By six months of age, your baby will no longer need nighttime feedings and will probably sleep through the night. By this time, he or she will need from nine to twelve hours of sleep. Naps will range from thirty minutes to two hours and may be taken one to four times during the course of the day.
This is the best time to develop a regular schedule when it comes to naps and bedtimes. Children benefit from consistency and predictability. It’s also important to establish a family routine that supports these sleeping patterns, like an absence of loud television noise after bedtime.
Between the ages of one to two years, your child will probably need to sleep for eleven to fourteen hours during a 24-hour day. They will naturally decrease their naptimes down to one nap, which can last from a minimum of one hour to a maximum of three hours.
Continue to maintain a regular nap and bedtime sleep schedule and make the environment sleep-friendly. By this time, they will be sleeping throughout the night.
While preschoolers below the age of five will still take day naps, they will not feel the need to nap after five years of age. At night, they will sleep for eleven to thirteen hours.
Besides a regular sleep schedule, it’s now a good time to establish a bedtime routine, for instance, reading to your child as they lie in bed after a hot bath. The bedroom should be cool and quiet and dark. There should not be a TV in the room.
From the ages of six to thirteen, your child’s sleep needs will range from nine to eleven hours. At this time, they may have difficulty in falling asleep if they have been overstimulated by worry about homework, too much TV, and a lot of computer or device screen time. They may also resist the idea of going to sleep on a schedule because they have consumed too much-stimulating caffeine or sugar.
It’s important to recognize what causes sleep difficulty and devise a way to restore a healthy sleep habit. For instance, you can have an hour of winding down time where they stay away from electronic media or eat foods with caffeine or sugar. If they are still restless, then give them healthy sleep-inducing snacks. For instance, bananas are high in magnesium, melatonin, and serotonin.
Why High-Quality Sleep Is So Important for a Child
As a parent, you have to make sure your child gets enough sleep every night, as well as get plenty of rest during the day before age five. The reason sleep is so important for children at all stages of their development is because it has a direct impact on their cognitive and physical development.