Healthy Sleep Habits
for Children will last a Lifetime
Healthy sleep habits for children are important for the child's health, growth and development. Both daytime and night sleep are necessary for every baby and toddler.
Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day for the first six to eight weeks. They usually don't sleep more than 2-4 hours at a time. They also don't stay up more than 2 hours at a time. When
the baby gets tired, put the baby down to sleep. Don't try to keep the baby up.
When the baby is about 2 months old, try to let the baby fall asleep without any help. Don't rock the baby to sleep every night. The baby might get used to it and it will be difficult to break that habit.
Once the baby is 3-4 months old, the baby will need about 14-15 hours sleep and several naps during the day. A good time to start the night sleep is about 7-8 pm. Try to keep the pattern consistent.
When the baby is about one year old, about 11 hours sleep at night and a nap for about 2-3 hours is suggested. It is best, if the child falls asleep on her own without being rocked or helped.
Healthy sleep habits for Children are also important between the age of 2 and 3 years. The toddler will need about 10-11 hours of night sleep and about 2 hours nap time. This is probably the time the toddler will make the transition to a bed from the crib. Make the move to the bed slowly. Get the toddler involved by encouraging him to put his favorite stuffed animals and blankets in the bed. Put up a guard rail for security.
General helpful tips:
- Start a quiet time like reading a book for about 15-20 minutes.
- After quiet time, follow a routine that includes brushing teeth and going to the bathroom.
- Set a time limit so that it does not drag on.
- Say good night and turn the light off.
- It is important that children learn to fall asleep themselves.
- If the child cries, reassure him/her that everything is fine and that it is time to go to bed. Then leave the room.
- You might have to repeat the above routine.
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