Most parents know that babies and children need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development. However, many are unaware of exactly how many hours children actually require. And let’s face it; sometimes it can be extremely hard to judge just how tired our children are!
Babies and children who are extremely tired don’t always slow down like adults do. In fact; the majority of small children actually show signs of hyperactivity when they’re most in need of rest. When our little ones are acting so energetically, resisting bedtime and insisting that they want to play, it can be extremely deceiving. While a tired child may show signs of wanting to rest by prompting for a cuddle or reaching for their baby comforter, an overtired child may start acting like they’ve eaten a box full of Smarties!
Of course, if you are concerned that your child may have an underlying sleep disorder, it is important that you seek medical advice so that an evaluation can take place. In most cases, however, sleep deprivation in children can be helped with changes to the bedtime routine.
Consistent research shows that an early bedtime (between 7pm and 8pm), together with a regular soothing and calming routine works best for babies and young children. TVs, tablets and energetic games should not play a part in bedtime habits – even if your child insists on having them! An effective and relaxing night time routine should not need to consist of more than a bath, a book and a baby comforter. Too much stimulation will affect both how long it takes for your child to fall asleep and the quality of sleep they achieve.
Every child is different with their own unique requirements for sleep. As a guide, however, your child should be getting the following amount of sleep per night to be fully rested:
Newborns:14 to 17 hours
0-3 months: 18 to 19hours
4-11 months: 12 to 15 hours
1-2 years: 11 to 14 hours
3-5 years: 10 to 13 hours
Click here to read how our baby comforters have transformed the sleeping habits of so many babies.