Sleep as an adult is a funny thing. When we’re overwhelmed and in the face of schedules, deadlines, or dates, one of the first things we’re willing to forgo is sleeping. But when it comes to our children, we’re concerned to the max about how they’re sleeping.
Now, just like the mini-adults they are, children do not all require the same amount of sleep. However, there are some recommended guidelines, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Here’s what recommended for cultivating a healthy and beneficial sleep schedule for your child.
1. Follow the General Pediatric Time Estimates
According to AASM, these are the suggested time frames according to age.
- Infants (4-12 months): 12-16 hours *naps included
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours *naps included
- Preschoolers (3-5 Years): 10-13 hours *naps included
- Grade-schoolers (6-12 years): 9-12 hours
- Teens (13-18 years): 8-10 hours
2. Stick to a Regular Routine
Children who are exposed to recurrent wake, meal, nap, and play times tend to have a consistent sleep schedule as well. Creating a routine for younger children will help them to understand, accept, and expect when bedtime is near.
3. Daily Activity
Ensuring that your child has an adequate activity level during the day will promote greater ease with enforcing bedtime. Have your child exercise for a portion of the day, and mix it up often so that they do not just adjust.
4. Monitor Their Screen Time
Make sure that your child understands that sleep time and technology time are distinct. Do not allow the storage of laptops, tablets, or phones in their bedroom at night as they sleep. Have them unplug at least an hour before bedtime.
5. Recognize Complications When They Occur
Take notice if your child is experiencing difficulty falling asleep, waking at night, snoring, or any other sleeping irregularities. If they resist or dread going to bed, signified by a tantrum or disruption of calm behavior, there may be cause for concern as a healthy sleeping schedule will have your child ready to go to sleep by the time its bedtime.
Making sure your baby isn’t tired can be tiring itself. Lessen your concern by following these general rules of thumb to keep your child’s sleeping schedule in check.
If you feel there may be an issue, consider consulting with a pediatrician about their sleeping habits.