"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."~Maya Angelou

Friday, September 2, 2011

Is your child getting enough sleep?

  Counting sheep. Listening to the chirp of crickets. The whirl of a fan or music from a radio sometimes do the trick too. All of these things may or may not help us get to sleep. As an adult we may rely on outside white noise to settle us down at night, or reading a good book and having some tea. As we settle ourselves down from busy days, it is important to remember to do the same for our children, as their ability to unwind is our responsibility.
                 I can not stress enough my belief that a bedtime routine is not only helpful, but necessary. Having a routine not only comforts your child from as early as 6 months old, but gives them a sense of consistency that is so important in their changing lives. I know everyone would love to be at home every day with their children, but that is not always possible. So as a child's day may change from a sitter to home, or school to home, having a consistent routine will give them a tremendous sense of security. Both of my children have always had the same routine; dinner, baths, quiet play and bed, and I have some great sleepers! Now of course there are some tantrums and such thrown in there, but they know what's coming next. They can count on going upstairs after dinner to take a nice bath, and know that they will return downstairs to play for a short while before stories and bed.
               I have found an excellent website I am excited to share with you that has several great features including the amounts of sleep recommended for various ages. The bottom line is all children over the age of 1 should be getting at least 10 hours of sleep, while some children will want up to 13 with daytime naps on top of that! Another point I want to stress is to remember that it does not work to your advantage to keep a child up to help them sleep better, in fact it will have the opposite effect by making them overtired and harder to settle down.
                Sleep is so important for their development, both cognitively and socially, and I hope everyone will take a moment to reflect on their child's sleep pattern and adjust it if necessary. Sweet dreams everyone!


  1. It doesn't often help to make them sleep later in the morning either! I think my dd sleeps about 10, but my ds doesn't often get it.

    Thanks Laura!

  2. I was so sad when my DS stopped napping twice a day, but I guess he's getting enough sleep after all! He regularly does 11-1/2 to 12 hours overnight (generally 7pm to 7am) with an afternoon nap that ranges from 1-1/2 hrs to 3 some days! I'm glad to know that is enough and we're on track still! Thanks for sharing this post :-)

  3. I'm so glad that you both enjoyed this post, thank you for your feedback! With our busy world we need to make sure that our children are getting the rest they need!

  4. Great article, My daughter's pediatrician told me that the baby's growth is trigger my sleep the better they sleep the better they can reach their potential growth.