Tips to Get Your Child to Sleep Through the Night
Updated: Apr 1
We all know that sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine. It is an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. This is even more so for kids, as they are growing and developing.
Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.
However, as parents, we know that bedtime battles are real. Every parent has had to deal with the difficulty of putting a child to bed at some point of time.
Luckily, you are not alone. Follow these tips to get your child to sleep so that you and your child can get a good night’s rest!
Know How Much Sleep is Needed
Children need different amounts of sleep, depending on their age. Understanding your child's sleeping needs and unique sleep patterns is important for you to put them to bed. As a guide, follow:
· 1 to 4 weeks old: Newborns sleep approximately 16 to 17 hours a day. They have not developed a night/day sleep cycle.
· 1 to 4 months old: Babies of this age still tend to sleep about the same number of hours, but their night/day sleep cycles begin to kick in, allowing them to sleep longer at night. At this stage, it is possible for babies to sleep through the night, if you follow a well established routine.
· 4 months to 1 year: Babies of this age still require between 14 to 15 hours of sleep daily. Most of them are able to sleep through most of the night. During this period, it is important to establish healthy sleep habits for your child.
· 1 to 3 years: Most toddlers need about 12 to 14 hours of sleep.
· 3 to 7 years- Approximately 11 to 12 hours of sleep.
Establishing Your Baby's Routine
Routines work really well with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. To start off, understand how to calculate time between feedings. Aim to have the baby well-fed at each feed and have a simple wake time activity after the feed, before putting the child down for a nap. When this feed/wake/nap routine has been established, consider dropping one of the late night feeds (for example at 12am/1am) when the baby is 3 months old to teach him to sleep through the night.
For your baby's bed time routine, aim for a routine that is comforting and relaxing. For example, after dinner, set a routine that includes a simple playtime, bath time, brushing your child’s teeth, a bedtime story, and then bedtime.
Screen Off Time
It is widely proven that the blue light from a TV or mobile phone screen can interfere with an individual’s sleep hormone production. This means that if there is screen time before bed, your child will find it harder to fall asleep! Make the bedroom a screen-free zone. Instead of using a phone or watching TV, consider reading a bedtime story to your child.
Use of sleep props: Some sleep props such as a special blanket, stuffed animal or pacifier are harmless and you can consider using them. However, do make sure that your baby does not bring the sleep prop with him everywhere he goes! The sleep props should also be washed thoroughly and regularly to prevent contamination.
Exercise and other wake time activities
Regular exercise during the day helps children fall asleep more easily at night. Do note that you should keep exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime so that they will not be too alert to sleep!
Walking or taking a stroll outside is a great activity for children. By six months of age, your baby becomes fascinated with the treasure of the creation that is out there! A regular walk becomes a big adventure for your child and it is healthy for you too!
At Nurture Infant House Tampines, regular outdoor activities are an important part of our curriculum. We are located 1 minute away from a playground, and 5 minutes away from greenery. Outdoor play is literally just a few steps away!
For babies, blanket-time and playpen-time is important to stimulate their development and sustain their attention span. With the boundary of a playpen, it will aid to help the child focus and concentrate on the activity at hand without be distracted constantly.
Do check out the equipment and resources that we use on a typical day at Nurture Infant House Tampines.
Positive Sleeping Environment
It is important to create an environment that is conducive for sleeping. It is good to keep the room dark, quiet, and cool. If you child needs a little bit of light to be present, consider having a dim night light in the room. Remember, the bedroom environment should promote sleeping!
Say Goodnight to Bedtime Battles
When your child sleeps better, so do you. With these tips and tricks, you can say goodnight to bedtime battles!
Infant care centres that have daily routines that include structured activities and rest are good for cultivating your child’s healthy routines.
For parents living in the Tampines, Nurture Infant House has had 20 years of experience in caring for your beloved children.
Click here to learn more about our infant care centre!
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