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BEST NAPTIME TIPS

As a new parent, you might feel that naptime can be a battle. Bedtime battles are definitely a common sleep issue many parents face with their children daily, which leads to a struggle with bedtime protesting that could potentially last for a few hours before your child finally falls asleep. Fortunately, there are many things we parents can do to end those bedtime battles and hence, we have compiled a list of 10 baby and toddler sleep tips to help end this war over sleep once and for all.

 

Average Sleep Hours Need According to Age

Age

Hours Needed

May be appropriate

Newborn to 3 months old

14 - 17 hrs

11 - 19 hrs

4 to 11 months old

12 - 15 hrs

10 - 18 hrs

1 to 2 years old

11 - 14 hrs

9 - 16 hrs

3 to 5 years old

10 - 13 hrs

8 - 14 hrs

6 to 13 years old

9 - 11 hrs

7 - 12 hrs

Source: National Sleep Foundation

 

1.Bedtime snack.
Kids love having snacks before bed, and you can incorporate this into your routine. Prepare a healthy snack for your little ones; it can be something healthy and yummy, like apple slices or you can even occasionally indulge their sweet tooth by preparing a small bowl of ice cream eaten together as a family, just make sure they brush their teeth afterwards! Doing so helps them stay asleep longer without being woken up by hunger pangs. For babies, schedule a feeding close to, but not right before, nap-time. This will allow them to be burped and upright for a while after eating.

2. Have a clock in your child’s bedroom to signal to your child it is time for bed.
It is beneficial for children to have a concrete visualization to know that it is their bedtime, rather than taking their parent’s word for it. This will also help give children a sense of control over their bedtime experience.

3.Avoid screen time before naps.
Toddlers love screen time. Although it may be effective in keeping them busy during the day, it can also cause over stimulation right before sleep. Try cutting off screen time at least 30 minutes before putting them down to fall and stay asleep.

4. Make sure too that the hour before bedtime, if not longer, is wind down time.
After dinner will be a good time to start winding down any stimulating behaviors such as rough and tumble play. You can also put on soothing music, and incorporate bath time during this wind down time, if it is relaxing for your child.

5. Dim the lights.
Dimming the lights during or after supper will help your family wind down from their hectic, busy day. In fact, the artificial lighting tin many of our homes is filled with can be stimulating and disruptive to our natural rhythms. Furthermore, lowering light helps to stimulate the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

6.Put 'em down drowsy.
If you are trying to ensure that your baby becomes a more independent sleeper; this is a great way to get them to soothe themselves. Instead of nursing them to sleep, try setting them downright before they fall asleep, eventually letting them get used to drifting off on their own.

7. Set an age-appropriate bedtime and be consistent with this set bedtime.
Children should go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time every day. Children 4 months to 6 years of age need around 11-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night whereas children ages 7-12 years of age need 10-11 hours of sleep. Work out what time your child tends to wake up in the morning and thus determine what is the most ideal time your child needs to fall asleep.

8.Create a routine.
Help signal to your child that it’s time for sleep with a common routine that you do every time you put them to sleep. This can include reading a favorite story, dimming the bedroom lights or even playing a favorite song. Remember to be consistent and stick to this ideal routine!

9. Start the bedtime routine early.
Children’s bedtime routines should last no longer than 15 minutes. Once you have determined the time your child needs to fall asleep, work out what time you need to start the bedtime routine so that your child has enough time to fall asleep before becoming overtired.. You want to allow enough time for the routine and for your child to slowly and peacefully drift off to sleep.

10.On-the-go shouldn't be the way to go.
Napping in the stroller or car seat may be a convenient way for your baby or toddler to catch some sleep while on-the-go, but this should not be their main nap setting environment. This will not be as restorative as sleeping at home plus it might even throw off your hard earned nap routine. Thus, try not to schedule outings around the time when they are supposed to take their nap to ensure consistency.