Make sure your kids get a comfortable sleep
Sometimes, a sleep solution for children can be as easy as making sure they have the right pillow. Ask your child whether their bed, blankets and pillows are comfy; the mattresses that you find comfortable as an adult might not be the same as your little one! Also, make sure that they aren’t going to bed hungry, and that their bedroom is a comfortable temperature for sleep.
Are your kids scared at night?
For children, feeling scared at bedtime is a very common reason for having trouble falling asleep. They may not be used to the dark yet, or they might have been having nightmares and don’t want to fall asleep, or they’re not used to being alone. Usually as people get older, these fears fade. In the meantime, you can help make your child’s bedroom a less ‘scary’ place by putting on a night light, giving them a comforting soft toy or displaying some family photos or other pictures that make them happy next to their bed.
Children can have trouble sleeping during big life changes
Child insomnia is common if their new school year is starting, they have moved houses or towns, or if there has been a divorce, death or illness in the family. Make sure you are communicating effectively with your children during times of big change so they go to bed feeling as relieved and in control as possible. Also, it may help to establish a solid bedtime routine so that even amongst change, some things still have a sense of comforting normality.
How much sleep do children need?
Children generally need more sleep than adults. Here are the recommended hours that kids should spend sleeping:
- Infants (4-12 months): 12-16 hours (including naps)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (including naps)
- Children (3-5 years): 10-13 hours (including naps)
- Children (6-12 years): 9-12 hours
- Teens (13-18 years): 8-12 hours
When should you see a doctor about your child’s sleep problems?
If you have tried every trick in the book and your child is consistently sleeping badly for several months, it may be due to insomnia or some other disorder. There is no need to panic, as it may still be a very easily fixable problem! Simply book an appointment with your doctor to get an expert opinion.
Every child, and every adult, is different when it comes to sleep. The best way you can help your child sleep is to communicate with them to understand their needs, and make sure they are relaxed when they go to bed. After all, the sweeter their dreams, the sweeter yours will be too!