How Do I Know If My Child Is Getting Enough Sleep?
During the first two weeks of your baby’s life, he’ll wake up frequently. This is due to his stomach being so small that he requires feeding every 2 or 3 hours. Naturally, parents who don’t know this may wonder if their child is getting enough sleep.
The good news is that, as time goes by and babies grow, their sleeping times will get longer and longer. We have our part to play though, and we must create a pleasant environment for our baby to be able to get enough sleep.
Having a comfortable crib or bed, a room with dim lighting, and a comfortable temperature are keys to helping children sleep well at bedtime. It’s also a good idea to make sure the house is quiet just before they go to bed, and avoid games that may overstimulate them.
Recommended hours of sleep according to age
It’s important that we know whether our child is sleeping the correct number of hours for his or age. This doesn’t need to be all in one go, as the baby or child can sleep several times a day.
- Newborns: at least 16 hours a day.
- From 3 to 12 months: 15 hours.
- From 1 to 2 years old: around 14 hours.
- From 2 to 5 years old: 13 hours.
- From 5 to 9 years old: 10 hours.
- From 14 to 18 years old: at least 9 hours.
At 6 months of age, babies begin to sleep less during the day, and so their nighttime sleep increases. Excellent news for parents!
However, we must take into account that all children are different, and so are their sleeping needs. Some will sleep more, and others will sleep less.
If you still think that your child isn’t getting enough sleep, you should try to figure out the possible causes and find a solution as quickly as possible.
Look out for the signs
You must always be alert to any signs of tiredness that babies show. If they’re tired, they’ll rub their eyes, have a redness in the area of the eyebrows, suck their thumbs and yawn. So, as soon as you see these signs, try to put your baby to bed as soon as possible.
One thing you must do is avoid taking him in your arms to try and get him to sleep. Although this is undoubtedly done through all good intentions, it will actually make it difficult for your baby to fall back asleep on his own whenever he wakes up. He’ll become dependent on his mom picking him up.
“If you think your child isn’t getting enough sleep, you should try to figure out the possible causes and find a solution as quickly as possible”
What should I do if my baby wakes up often?
Maybe you’ve noticed that your baby wakes up a lot during naps, or is restless when he’s asleep and cries a lot. This may mean he’s having trouble going from one sleep cycle to another, but he doesn’t actually completely wake up.
What you need to do in this case is try not to wake him up by taking him out of the crib, and to not give him his bottle. Just go into his room quietly and check that everything is in order, touching him with your hand to calm him down.
By doing this, you’ll avoid wakening him completely. If you do wake him up then it’ll be very difficult to get him to sleep again. If you don’t follow these guidelines then the child could begin to experience sleep disorders.
Good habits to make sure children get enough sleep
Putting children to bed, getting them up at the same time each day, and encouraging them to sleep on their own will help them have more self-confidence. It’s also a great first step towards avoiding sleeping disorders.
We need to realize that children are born as an open book and we’re somewhat responsible for filling their pages, according to the behavior and experiences they acquire.
When a mother notices that something is wrong and that her child isn’t getting enough sleep, she should analyze what routines she has taught the baby, whether they’re adequate, and whether they’ve been carried out properly.
Parents are responsible for their child’s physical and mental well-being. That’s why they must be careful about everything that could influence their child’s proper development. Having a good sleep routine will not only benefit the child‘s health, but also the parents’.
If we notice that, after all our efforts, our child still doesn’t get enough sleep, then we should go to a specialist who can recommend the best treatment. Always remember that sleep is a fundamental part of children’s growth and development.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Sánchez, M. (2004). Los niños que duermen con sus padres pueden sufrir trastornos del sueño y del desarrollo. El País. [En línea] Disponible en: https://elpais.com/diario/2004/03/09/salud/1078786803_850215.html
- El sueño infantil. Instituto del Sueño. [En línea] Disponible en: https://www.iis.es/problemas-trastornos-del-sueno-infantil-en-ninos-insomnio-especialista/
- Healthy sleep habits for infants and toddlers. Nationwide Children’s. [Online] Avaiable at: https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/helping-hands/healthy-sleep-habits-for-infants-and-toddlers
- Children and sleep. National Sleep Foundation. [Online] Avaiable at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/children-and-sleep