Sleep is an essential part of anyone’s routine. It is equally important to food. Sleep pattern plays a very crucial role in your child’s life. Read through these tips for healthy sleeping pattern of your child. A child must follow healthy sleep pattern right from the time he is born throughout his childhood. Ideally even an adult must follow a healthy sleep pattern
Now you must be wondering that how can a newborn follow a healthy sleep pattern. Well yes a newborn can certainly sleep at night and be awake during day time just like we do. I have given these tips to many pregnant women and I followed them too. It really works.
Do’s and Dont’s
Difference between day and night
Firstly right from the day your child is born do show the child what is difference between day and night. To inculcate this use natural light during the day time and bright light post sunset. However once the sleeping time comes closer change the bright light to dim light. The room where you make your child sleeps must have a dim light. As per your family routine you can use different type of lights.
Example on sunset if you are using bright light then post 8 pm you can switch off the bright light and use dim light
Decrease all the noises and voices
Once you have decided the sleep time of your baby avoid watching TV at high volume and don’t talk at high pitch
If your child wakes up at middle of the night then feed your child in the dim light itself and no need to turn on the bright light
After feeding don’t talk nor play with your child. This is one of the biggest mistakes many parents make which stimulates the child
Maintain a regular bed time routine
The child does understand if bed time routine is made clear to him. Example applying moisturizer, giving bath, changing clothes, singing lullabies or prayers before sleeping
Keep a standard bedtime regimes so that the child doesn’t get confuse and get a signal to sleep
Gage your child’s sleeping pattern
- If you plan any family outing and if your child is very small then you can keep a carry cot and make your child sleep inside the cot. At an older age try to reach home at his sleep time
- Carry a night suit so that even if you are late the child is not disturbed on reaching home
- Every child is different when it comes to sleeping. Your child may be someone who can sleep with loudest of sound around or he might be someone who needs pin drop silence
- You must identify if your child needs nap time or needs long sleeping hours to remain fresh. As a parent you must plan your schedule especially till your child is around 5 years old. It’s important to understand the comfort level of your child. Even post 5 years it is important to respect the sleep pattern of your child.
Milk and sleep time
It’s a belief that a child who drinks milk sleeps well. Hence parents force their child to have milk before sleeping. However it’s not compulsory. Your child can sleep peacefully even without drinking milk if he has good meal. It is not mandatory to make a habit of giving milk to your child before he sleeps. If your child feels hungry before sleeping you can give some other food item too depending on what tradition you have at home.
Where to make your child sleep?
- This is one question which is often asked by most of the parents during the session. Firstly when the child is born try not to give him much of rocking habit to make him sleep.
- Try to sing lullabies while sleeping when your child is a newborn.
- Make your child sleep at different places in the house right from the time he is born, example if you have a cradle then make him sleep on the cradle, bed, floor etc. Try this specially during the day time. This will help the child sleep peacefully even if you go at someone else’s house.
- Avoid making your child sleep with you on bed with you, if you plan to make your child sleep on his bed or his room on growing up.
- My 18 months old daughter till date sleeps on her own bedding and I haven’t introduced this concept to her that she can sleep with her parents. She sleeps very happily in her own space.
- When an infant learns to sleep on her bed/bedding the transition to make the child sleep in other room is smooth as compared to the child who sleeps with you.
In some cases the plan is not to make the child sleep in other room however the sense of independence is different when the child learns to sleep in his space.
What is Healthy sleeping pattern
- Healthy sleeping pattern is when the child gets proper sleep. He should be fresh and active during other hours of the days
- If your child sleeps too much or too less than his body requirement, then it might hamper the function of your child.
- Example- a child who sleeps less will have difficulty in concentration, activity levels will go down and might appear lazy.
- On the other hand if your child sleeps too much then he might have very high levels of energy, distracted and at times are disoriented too. Many children are fresh with small nap time and it’s completely fine if a child feels fresh post nap.
- Don’t force your child to sleep in afternoons if he doesn’t wish to.
- Like I always say that children will imitate you in most of the walks of the life. Hence if you are somebody who wants to watch TV till late night and want your child to sleep on time then that is going to be tough
- Similarly if you are busy with your gadget and if you keep shouting on your child to go to sleep it might work in initial days of his life but as the child grows older it will backfire
- Also many parents want their children to brush the teeth or do prayers before sleeping. All this can be expected only if the parent is willing to follow along with the child
Sleep and Health
- A body who sleeps well works best. During entire day we all are busy with so many activities irrespective of you being at home or working outside. These days children are also equally busy. Hence sleep is the best time to rejuvenate your mind and body.
- According to AAP children need particular hours of sleep. Go through this table to understand how much sleep does your child needs.
- Also use of devices impacts the sleep pattern of your child. There is a study done which suggest that there is a”strong and consistent association” between bedtime media device use and inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Bedtime stories are highly recommended. However a story which has happy ending and something beautiful to sleep on
- Avoid any sort of arguments or negative statements before sleep time as it impacts the child
- If your child wish to sleep with his favorite doll or a shawl then there is no harm
- Let your child enjoy these golden days in which he can sleep, dream what he wants and you can also smile while your child sleeps peacefully
If you follow any other tip to inculcate healthy sleeping pattern in your child then kindly mention in comment section. You can also drop a line of feedback.