Counting Sheep: Ensuring Your Little One Gets the Right Amount of Sleep

by - January 10, 2018

When you first have a baby, it may seem like they don’t sleep at all. It seems like as soon as you begin to close your eyes, there’s a cry for food, a change, or general attention. So you might be surprised to know that little ones actually get a whole lot of sleep. Much more than adults, in fact. While the average adult only requires eight hours’ kip a night, newborns will sleep for 14-17 hours a day, infants require 12-15 hours, toddlers need 11-14 hours, preschoolers should have 10-13 hours, and school children will need 9-11 hours. This increased need for extended sleep makes sense. After all, their body needs to support their rapid physical and mental development without burning out. So, how can you go about ensuring your little ones have the best quality sleep possible? Here are just a few ways to go about it.

Beds and Bedding

Let’s start with the space your child sleeps in. Your child’s bed and bedding will need to change as they grow. While there is consistent and ongoing debate regarding the best place for newborns to sleep, there’s a general consensus that they should not sleep in your bed and should have a setup of their own. Most parents will opt for Moses baskets or cradles without extra bedding, quilts, or blankets. These could cause problems should your baby become tangled or tightly wrapped in them, and the tighter confines of a basket or crib allow your baby to remain snug. As your child grows, they’ll need more room, but the added safety of high sides. A crib should do the job perfectly. Eventually, they will upgrade to a bed of their own. As your child is becoming potty trained, consider plastic undersheets that will help to protect the mattress. Children’s size frames and mattresses are available before they switch to a standard single bed. To know the exact type of bed or bedding to suit your child as an individual, take a look at this extensive kids bed guide.

Night Lights

Bedtime fears are common amongst children. Whether they fret about being left in the dark, monsters lurking under the bed or experiencing scary nightmares, there are measures that you can take to put their worries to rest and get their heads down to sleep. Their imaginations run riot as they grow, so it’s not surprising that when left in the dark, they may quickly begin to spiral out of control. So consider investing in a night light. These specialist lights emit a soft and comforting glow. This will calm and comfort your child, helping them drift into the land of nod more easily. If you want to go all out, you could even invest in a projector night lamp, which will display light shapes across the room and ceiling.

Making your child’s bedding as comfortable as possible and putting their worries to ease will give them the best chances of regular sleep. Don’t forget to consider options that will create a calmer atmosphere too! Warm baths, warm drinks, bedtime stories and lullabies will lull them into the land of nod in no time.

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