- 1. Avoid Big Meals
- 2. Say no to Caffeine
- 3. Turn off electronics in their bedroom
- 4. Establish a bedtime routine for your kids
- 5. Avoid rocking or singing to sleep
- 6. Dress your baby in clothing which is warm, but not hot
- 7. Keep the bedroom quiet
- 8. Put your children to sleep on their backs
- 9. Use a well-fitting and firm mattress
- 10. Buy your baby a special pillow
- 11. Ease Separation Anxiety
A good sleep is very important to all of us. Without it, our health, mood and even functioning are affected significantly. In addition, sleep deficiency can also be associated with an increased risk of injuries in adults, teens and especially children.
Basically, for children and babies, adequate sleep is much more necessary. In details, this is the most important development stages of our life. According to some researches, by age 2, many children have spent more time on sleeping rather than staying awake. Therefore, you’d better get your child sleep enough every single day.
How many hours they need to sleep depends on their ages. For examples, if your baby is between 1 and 3 years old, he needs to sleep 12 to 14 hours a day. But sleep will reduce to about 11 or 13 hours if the child is between 3 and 5 years old. However, older children ( from 5 to 10) just require 10 or 11 hours.
After all, the problem is that you can’t make them stay asleep the entire time because of many reasons, particularly when there are a lot of distraction as well as stimuli. Thus, their frequent restlessness or sleep deficiency can result from nighttime fears, nightmares, increased motor and overactive imaginations.
Here are some basic steps to create sleep habits for your own kids:
1. Avoid Big Meals
Maybe you will think that it’s not important what your kids eat but you are definitely wrong. In fact, this can have a big influence on how your kid sleeps at night.
The thing is nutritious and hearty meals are really good and essential for them. However, remember that you should avoid feeding your kids big meals, especially close to bedtime. This is because eating too late will probably raise metabolic rate as well as increase energy in kids. They can be so energetic and annoying, that’s why it’s never easy for you to get them sleep early.
In details, to make sure that they sleep on time, just don’t let your kids eat dinner at least 3 or 4 hours before their bedtime. In addition, consider a variety of foods from all food groups, particularly foods with enough calcium like milk, cheese and yogurt. This can help protect your kids from nervousness and irritability related to low levels of calcium.
2. Say no to Caffeine
This seems to be ridiculous to you when your kids never drink coffee. However, just because they never drink coffee doesn’t mean they never take in caffeine. Actually, this substance is not only from coffee, but also from other drinks or foods such as ice cream, soda or even caffeinated gum.
Of course, anything containing caffeine can make your kids sleepless for a long time, depending on what and when they eat the food. I don’t say that your kids can’t eat ice cream or drink soda, I just want you to make sure that they don’t take any caffeine too close to the bedtime.
Specifically, it is highly recommended for you to keep the caffeine consumption of your kids to a minimum and avoid giving them any caffeinated product less than 6 hours before the bedtime.
3. Turn off electronics in their bedroom
Remember to create a sleep- only zone for your kids by keeping them from participating in any activities which are stimulating. Because these activities can completely make them mischievous and disturbing maybe for the whole night. After dinner, keep kids from participating in any stimulating activities.
I mean no electronics such as video games, no computer, no music, and no TV. Some experts said that electronic devices can make your children more obese and they will have to suffer poor sleep for a long long time. Thus, keep the technology out of their bedrooms if you want them to sleep better, and this is even necessary for you too.
4. Establish a bedtime routine for your kids
This is also very necessary for you to stick to a consistent and relaxing routine in order to help your kids fall asleep easily. This is just like you want to steer clear of all the over- stimulating activities.
More specifically, you should take into consideration things like a warm bath, bedtime reading or cuddling. All of those can obviously make your sleep better. However, avoid scary TV shows or stories that can frighten and overexcite their mind, instead, you’d better choose stories which can soothe your child’s mind as well as send them off to dreamland.
5. Avoid rocking or singing to sleep
This sounds like a nurturing gesture, but I think you should avoid rocking or singing your kid to sleep. The reason is rocking and holding can make your child always dependent on you. Therefore, if you are not at home, how can he sleep?
Of course, you should sing your kids to sleep, but only when they are less than 2 or 3 years old. However, you can totally buy your kids an object like a stuffed animal or favorite blanket to help them fall asleep.
6. Dress your baby in clothing which is warm, but not hot
One of the main causes of sleep deficiency in children is overheating including SIDS and many fatal sleeping accidents. That’s why you should know how to dress your kid or baby properly.
Keep your kid’s head uncovered indoors so that he can cool and doesn’t overheat. Keep in mind that you can’t just rely on the air conditioner because even the indoor air is cool, your kid still can overheat with a lot of layers.
7. Keep the bedroom quiet
You also need to care about the noises in the bedroom. Even when you already turned off all of electrics, there are still some noises which can make your kid wide awake in the middle of the night.
In this case, the top priority is a white noise machine. This device can help you create a soothing and non- stimulating environment for your kids. All the disturbing background noises will be blocked by the white noises so that it can be very comfortable for your child during the night.
There are so many types of white noise machines with the same functions available for you in the market. However, you should choose a medium or small sized device, especially with a shape of favorite animals.
8. Put your children to sleep on their backs
Unlike adults, this is the only safe and healthy sleep position for your kid. In details, babies and kids ( under 3 or 5 years) are more likely to die of SUDI including SIDs as well as fatal sleeping accidents. This can completely happen when they sleep on tummies or sides for a long time.
Therefore, once your baby can roll over ( about 4 and 6 months), just keep putting him to sleep on back as much as possible. Additionally, if you are worried about your kid choking on vomit, remember that healthy kids sleeping on backs are less likely than kids sleeping on tummies or sides.
9. Use a well-fitting and firm mattress
If you have an infant, it is necessary for you to use a well’ fitting and firm mattress for the crib. Just make certain that there are no gaps between the crib frame and the mattress, where your baby’s head and legs can get jammed. Besides, there are so many things for you to consider when buying a mattress for baby such, here are some for you:
– Are there retardant chemicals in the mattress?
– Is this waterproof?
– Can it fit the crib?
Remember not to tilt the mattress. Anyway, if you already have a portable crib, just use only the firm, well- fitting mattress which comes with the crib. Don’t add any second mattress or padding over the first one.
10. Buy your baby a special pillow
Another thing to care about is the pillow your baby’s sleeping with. Of course, you can’t use a regular pillow for your baby. Instead, a good pillow should be hypoallergenic and extremely soft for them to sleep better. In addition, you’d better choose a pillow which doesn’t make any loud and crinkling noise when your toddle moves his head.
That’s why you shouldn’t choose a pillow made from buckwheat and synthetic fills, instead, down, feathers and memory foam can be the best choices for you.
11. Ease Separation Anxiety
This problem goes out to babies and new born. Around six months, there will be a fear of being separated from parents. This fear can surface in your infants as well as trigger some sleep problems.
Therefore, if you want to help ease the separation anxiety, just spend 10 to 15 minutes with your kid right before bedtime. If so, you can establish your presence in their bed room or nursery.
Remember that once you place your kid in his crib, don’t dash off immediately. Instead, continue to spend a little bit more time with him. Technically, this will establish your presence and remaining so that your baby can feel more comfortable with his surroundings and sleep better.