If you wonder if your child sleeps enough, you have a legitimate concern. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that 25% of children under the age of 5 aren’t sleeping enough, and up to 40% of adolescents struggle, as well.
A lack of sleep for your child can result in issues like learning problems, negative emotions, a compromised immune system, frequent illness, weight management, and even growth issues. In addition, these consequences can be long-term.
At Neighborhood Pediatrics, we’re board-certified professionals who understand that you want the best for your child. Getting enough rest can make all the difference for a child.
Understanding recommended amounts of sleep
Children need different amounts of sleep relative to their age. Below are the guidelines for the following ages:
- 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (includes naps)
- 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (includes naps)
- 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (includes naps)
- 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
- 13-18 years: 8-10 hours
All children need to get the right amount of sleep to function at their peak performance.
Ways to help your child sleep well
Your child’s sleep habits change as they get older, but following a consistent routine can ensure they get enough sleep.
Here are a few tips for different ages:
Though newborns don’t typically sleep through the night, you can help them fall back asleep naturally without picking them up by talking to them with a soft voice and soothing them with your touch. If they don’t fall back asleep, check their diaper, or feed them if they’re hungry.
Toddlers typically take two naps every day, but they might fight you on them if they think they could miss out on something fun. When this happens, shift their focus toward something they can control like choosing what pajamas to wear or what book to read.
School-age children tend to have an active schedule, so it’s important to implement a period of time for winding down that might include finishing homework in another room. Then have them transition to the bedroom to create a healthy relationship with sleep.
At this age, your child’s lifestyle can dictate their sleep schedule. Talk to them openly about a plan that works, and model consistent bedtime for them, as well.
For all ages, healthy bedtime habits include turning off the technology (television, computers, video games), creating a bedtime routine of bathing, brushing your teeth, putting on your pajamas, and spending some time reading a book.
As a parent, you can help your child have a restful night of sleep by keeping the temperature of the room cool, keeping light out with dark curtains, and having them opt for healthy snacks in the evening instead of foods and drinks that have caffeine or sugar.
If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, book a visit with our team in Shenandoah, Texas, by calling or scheduling an appointment online today.