Summary: Sleep time requirement differs by age. Newborns need more sleep hours than infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and teenagers. Too much sleep or lack of sleep does no good to kids’ health. Moreover, oversleeping or sleep deprivation for a long period of time can cause sleep disorders. In this post, we share with you the baby’s bedtime routine to get the baby to sleep through the night.
Table of Content
Part 1. Sleep Chart by Age: How Much Sleep Do Babies Need
It is widely acknowledged that infants require more sleep than adults, teenagers, and even toddlers. However, many people may not be aware of the specific hours of sleep that babies need. The following age-based sleeping chart provides valuable information about the recommended sleep durations for kids of various ages. By referring to this chart, you can easily determine the appropriate amount of sleep for your kids:
Babies aged 0-3 months generally need 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day, including naps and nighttime sleep. As for infants from 4-12 months, they still require 12 to 16 hours. Toddlers and preschoolers typically need 9 to 14 hours of sleep. As children reach their teenage years, their sleep needs decrease to around 8 to 10 hours, similar to adults.
Understanding these sleep durations is vital for supporting children’s growth and well-being. With further development and as children approach their teenage years, their sleep requirements continue to decrease.
Having sleep durations longer or shorter than the recommended times for their age group can have negative effects on children. Sleep deprivation can weaken their immune system, hinder growth and development, contribute to emotional instability, impact social interactions, and compromise physical safety. Oversleeping can cause decreased productivity, disrupted sleep patterns, social isolation, and a potential negative impact on mental health. It’s crucial to find a balance and ensure children get the appropriate amount of sleep for their age to promote their well-being and healthy development.
Part 2. Sleep Deprivation: Symptoms of Lacking Sleep in Children
Getting too little sleep will result in behavioral and cognitive issues: Kids will have more difficulties with concentration, emotional controls, problem-solving, reasoning, and more. If you find that your kids have these symptoms, it is highly possible that your kids are having a lack of sleep:
Sleep deprivation can have impacts on kids both mentally and physically.
– Yawning from time to time
– Lack of motivation
– Hard to concentrate
– Depressed, stressed, and bad-tempered
– Gain weight
– Weaken immunity
– Get a poor balance
– Slow down bone growth from growing taller
Adequate sleep is vital for a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development, yet many children struggle to obtain the recommended amount of restful sleep each night. Exploring the causes behind this widespread issue is crucial to addressing and mitigating the negative effects of sleep deprivation on children’s overall well-being:
2.1. Excessive Screen Time and Electronic Devices
Excessive screen time and electronic device usage are major contributors to sleep deprivation in children. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. This can disrupt their sleep-wake cycle and make it difficult for them to fall asleep. Setting screen time limits for children is crucial in managing their exposure to electronic devices, especially before bedtime. By reducing screen time and encouraging alternative activities, such as reading or engaging in creative play, parents can help improve their child’s sleep quality.
2.2. Academic and Extracurricular Demands
Academic and extracurricular demands also play a role in sleep deprivation among children. With increasing academic workload and participation in various activities, children may struggle to find a balance between their commitments and sufficient sleep. Homework and study time management are essential in ensuring that children have enough time to complete their assignments without sacrificing sleep. Parents can support their children by helping them prioritize tasks, create a study schedule, and advocate for reasonable academic expectations.
2.3. Sleep Environment and Bedroom Factors
The sleep environment and bedroom factors also contribute to sleep deprivation in children. Noise and light pollution in the bedroom can disrupt sleep and make it challenging for children to achieve restful slumber. Parents can minimize noise disturbances by using white noise machines or toy projectors that offer calming scenes with soft, dimmable lighting and can ensure that the bedroom is adequately darkened and quiet to create a conducive sleep environment. Creating a calm and comfortable sleep environment with comfortable bedding and an appropriate mattress can also contribute to better sleep quality for children.
Part 3. Symptoms of Sleep Disorders in Children
Even though sleep deprivation and sleep disorders share diverse similarities, they have diverse differences: Sleep deprivation is often a temporary condition caused by external factors, while sleep disorders are clinical conditions that may require medical intervention. Sleep disorders can significantly impact the health and functioning of children, impairing cognitive function, contributing to behavioral and emotional issues, causing excessive daytime sleepiness, affecting social interactions, and potentially impeding developmental progress. Therefore, it is crucial to spot sleep disorder from an early stage and stop it from getting worse. In the next paragraph, I will share with you several common symptoms you can tell your children are suffering from sleep disorders:
1. Trouble Sleeping: If a toddler sleeps issues happen to your kids, that he/she is not willing to go to sleep is a sign of insomnia. Insomnia can be caused by stress from school work, social issues, family issues, and more.
2. Snoring: Snoring which is a vibration in the upper airway is not a big deal directly for kids’ health, however, it is a precursor to a sleep disorder in children.
3. Nightmares: Having a nightmare at night will wake a child up feeling terrified, afraid, and threatened. Nightmares happen a lot when your kids are 3-10 years old and will get less as your kids grow. Frequently waking up at night can disturb children’s sleep and lead to behavioral issues.
4. Night Terrors: Night terrors are different from nightmares. There are terrifying scenes in kids’ dreams but that won’t wake your kids up. Symptoms are sometimes the child sitting up in bed, sweating, rapid breathing, and the eye wide open without waking up. The cause of night terrors is considered something to do with the immature central nervous system.
5. Sleep Walking: More than 30% of kids aged 3-7 are having sleepwalking issues while sleeping. Kids unintentionally leave their beds and walk around with their eyes open. Sleepwalking occurs for about 5 to 15 minutes and they have no memory of this when they wake up the next morning. Sleepwalking is dangerous when they are walking downstairs. Do not wake up a sleepwalker because it will cause fear and confusion.
6. Bedwetting: Bedwetting at night doesn’t raise concerns of parents because bedwetting is common among kids. However, if your over 5-year-old kids wet their beds at night for more than 2 times a week, then that’s a symptom of sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders encompass symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, abnormal sleep patterns, disrupted breathing during sleep, sleep-related movements or behaviors, and other disorder-specific symptoms.
Part 4. Causes & Effects of Kids’ Oversleeping
If your 4-year-old kid has sleeping 14 hours a day and is still tired, then he/she has a oversleep. If this happens frequently, it is not a good thing because there are some side effects of excessive sleeping which will do harm to your kids’ health if you don’t stick to the sleep charts for kids. Let’s check the causes and effects of oversleeping:
a). Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you don’t have enough sleep, such as attending a slumber party and staying up late the other night, it is not that easy to pay off the sleep debt. You need more hours to supplement the lack of sleep. And you will find it difficult to wake yourself up the next morning. It’s not really oversleeping if sleeping in is because of lack of sleep. But if this happens regularly, that is real oversleeping.
b). Having a Poor Schedule
If you don’t follow a strict sleep time schedule and stay up late at night or sometimes go to bed earlier. If your kids are having this sort of delayed sleep phase syndrome, the so-called DSPS, their internal body clocks will be chaotic and you will find it absolutely hard to wake them up even with a few alarm clocks being set.
c). A Poor Mindset
Anxiety, boredom, depression, fear, or lack of motivation will also lead to oversleeping. Think about it. Did you feel like not willing to get up, especially in winter? Did you feel sleepy the morning you have to get up early for the coming exam? Did you wish to bury yourself in bed and don’t want to think about the presentation on the weekend morning? If yes, then, that’s the same circumstance your kids are experiencing.
2.1. Physical Effects
a). Getting Fat – While sleeping, we need less energy, so the energy that we are supposed to gain from foods will be stored as fat for later use. If you have a late-night snack, more fats will be absorbed. The longer time your kids sleep, the less time they can have their fats burned off, and the more weight they will put on.
b). Back Pain – That depends on the support of your mattress. Too soft will concentrate your body weight to the lower back and cause pain no matter if you sleep on your stomach, on your side, or on your back, while to firm will provide uneven support and cause you to toss and turn during the night.
2.2. Psychological Effects
When oversleeping happens a lot, it will do some effects on psychology as well. Being lecture not to be late to school next time, missing the beginning of the long-anticipating movie, and getting fat day by day because of oversleeping will grow anxiety, depression, and regret in kids.
Oversleeping can have negative impacts on children, affecting children’s mental and physical health as well as their daily functioning. Consistent oversleeping can lead to reduced alertness, disrupted routines, difficulty falling asleep at night, mood and behavioral changes, and may indicate underlying health issues. It can also impact their productivity, time management, and potentially their social and academic performance.
Sleep deprivation, sleep disorder, and oversleeping do so much harm to children while sleeping well increases brainpower and physical relaxation. The reason why is sleep important for children is that it not only promotes growth, beats germs, and boosts learning, but also it increases kids’ attention span. So it is critical to establish healthy baby bedtime routines for our kids. Check these dos and don’ts to know how to get a toddler to sleep through the night.
#1. Play A Game or Let Her Dance
Play a simple game with your kid or ask her to dance what she learned from kindergarten can let off some energy so that your child can feel a little bit more exhausted and sleepy.
#2. Take A Bath and Put Pajamas on
Taking a soothing bath before sleep can not only effectively clean and dry your baby but also put them in a better mood for bedtime. Additionally, during the winter season, a warm water bath with bath toys can help in calming your children. To enhance this bedtime routine, dressing them in a cozy family matching pajama set further contributes to a more peaceful sleep, as the comfortable fabric and sense of togetherness provide an ideal environment for a restful night.
#3. A Happy Tummy Ensures A Happy Sleep
Before getting your kids to bed, you can consider offering snacks that contain both protein and carbohydrates or a bottle of milk. Carbohydrates make us sleepy and protein helps keep blood sugar level even until breakfast while milk contains melatonin that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
#4. Brush Teeth Before Sleeping
Brushing the teeth of your kids before bedtime is critical because food debris will remain in the oral cavity which will breed germs and bacteria. Having kids’ teeth brushed can not only get rid of food debris but also build up a barrier to acid with the help of Fluoride in toothpaste.
#5. Firm or Soft Mattress for Toddler
If your baby constantly moving while sleeping, you should check his/her mattress to see whether their mattress is too firm. As we’ve mentioned above, too firm will lead to back pain after a long night, and to firm will lead to constantly tossing and turning during the night. So a child mattress buying guide to teach you the perfect mattress firmness for your child and the best support type will be highly demanded.
#6. Have a Chat or Read a Bedtime Story
After having a comfortable bath, you can put your baby into bed and share your kids’ day in school with a chat or you can prepare the favorite bedtime story your kids love. Reading bedtime stories can not only calm your kids down but also expose more vocabulary to your kids, so they might recognize these new words little by little, maybe.
#7. Baby Lullaby: Songs to Put Baby to Sleep
There are many baby sleeping songs available on the Internet providing relaxing music for kids to sleep such as YouTube, Spotify, LastFM, etc. This suitable music or audio that is suitable for kids’ bedtime includes white noise sounds, classical music, and other soft music. My favorite songs to sing to my child during bedtime are Que Sera Sera, Soft Kitty, Vincent, Three Little Birds, You Are My Sunshine and more.
However, even though we put our kids to bed early at night, it doesn’t mean that your child sleeps well through the night. They might have nightmares, night terror, and go to the bathroom after you put them into bed. To have an approximate understanding of how’s the sleep quality of your kid, you can adopt some sort of sleep tracker, or baby monitors to check whether your child wakes up and play around during nighttime sleep.
Sticking to the kid’s sleep chart no matter whether your infant, baby, toddler, or teenager is quite important. If your child having sleep problems or if you have experience in solving these toddler sleep problems, please share your experience with other moms in the comment areas below.