SLEEP DEPRIVATION IN #TODDLERS and #PRESCHOOLERS
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@Pop-Ins Schoolhouse and it's caring teachers has long been aware of our #babies, #toddlers and #preschoolers sleep patterns and how much they vary, child to child. This is such an individual habit and can change from month to month. One thing we do know is that sleep and rest is vital for a child to grow and thrive. Sleep deprivation means that your child is not getting enough sleep to revitalize and restore their bodies natural functions.
Parents know all too well the effects of not getting enough sleep, especially when they have a toddler in the house. The difference is that adults can slow down, take a power nap, or get to bed earlier if they are feeling exhausted. Children can't verbalize what they are feeling and don't express these feelings well. The signs in young children are not always as visible and can be overlooked or misdiagnosed by parents. Toddlers may even show signs of overactivity or be fidgety, cry for no reason or be lethargic, rather than drowsy which could lead parents to think they have too much energy and need to rough and tumble, or play a bit more. It certainly is not always easy to tell if your toddler is sleep-deprived.
All toddlers have their grumpy moments, but if your toddler seems to be in a bad mood, or listless all the time, insufficient sleep could be the reason. To make matters even worse, children who are usually so overtired can struggle to actually slow down and fall asleep. If they are falling asleep in odd places and at odd times, this may also be an indication of sleep deprivation.
Another signal to watch for is what time they wake up. Toddlers and young children usually wake up fairly early and are for the most part, in good spirits and energized in the morning. If your little one is struggling to wake up and likes to lie in, this may also be a sign that they are not getting to bed early enough, and getting sufficient sleep.
You may find that your child has had a good sleep pattern for a while and then it gets disrupted by a new sibling, moving house, going on a family holiday or moving to a big bed. These changes may all affect his ability to settle himself to sleep. He may need time to get used to his new routine or get used to any changes in his world or within the family. You will have to reset the sleep pattern once you settle down again.
Children do best when there is a fixed routine for their rest and sleep. They do far better and feel more stable and secure with routines. Make sure that your child had regular nap times and don't negotiate with bedtime routines. Making sure they have not eaten a heavy meal too close to their bedtime will also help. If they are hungry before bed, perhaps a glass of milk of choice, such as almond or fresh milk and a cookie will do the trick. No sugary drinks before bedtime is always a good idea.
Try to begin the bedtime ritual with a 15 minute winding down period before their actual bedtime routine begins. This can include turning off devices and TV, playing relaxing music, dimming the lights in the house, talking softer and even moving slower. These are all signs that your intuitive child will pick up on. Actual bedtime routines can comprise of many relaxing and sleep promoting activities. Here is a typical bedtime routine:
- A relaxing bath
- Putting on pajamas
- Brushing their teeth
- Choose their favorite cozy toy
- Story time in bed
- Goodnight kisses
- You could even leave the door ajar with a light on in the hallway. A night light for younger children may also help. Remove all devices from the child's bedroom. Make sure the room has enough fresh air and ventilation. A humidifier in winter may also help.
- How Much Sleep:
- This can vary enormously but we have offered a very general guideline.
- 1 - 4 weeks old
- This is usually the toughest period for parents to adjust to. Newborns sleep approximately 16-17 hours a day with periods of wakefulness lasting 1-3 hours. However, most newborns have not developed a night/day sleep cycle, so their periods of sleep and wakefulness can vary to all hours of the day. Most parents will have to adjust their own sleep schedules to accommodate newborns.
- 1 - 4 months old
- Babies of this age still tend to sleep about the same amount of hours, but are starting to regulate their night/day sleep cycles to more sleep at night.
- 4 months - 1 year
- Babies of this age still require between 14-15 hours of sleep everyday. Some babies are starting to sleep through most of the night with perhaps 3 naps during the day. During this period it is important to really begin to establish healthy sleep habits for your child.
- 1 - 3 years
- Most toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep, but often get less due to the schedules of parents and older children in the house. They will more than likely lose their early morning nap and early evening nap and tend to only take one nap a day.
- 3 -6 years
- Approximately 11-12 hours of sleep. Younger children may still require a short nap during the day, but the need to nap usually diminishes by the time they enter the first grade. You may find they fall asleep on the drive home from school.
- 7 - 12 years
- Children of these age groups tend to need about 10-12 hours of nightly sleep but often only get about 9-10 hours.
- 13 - 18 years
- Teens of this age require about 8-10 hours of sleep, but rarely get the full amount they need. The demands of schoolwork, after school programs and activities often cut into their nightly sleep. Realistically, most teens say they get about 6-8 hours of sleep.
- These are very general guidelines and many sleep clinics and Doctors have various opinions on these times.
- @Pop-Ins our staff is always available to give feedback to parents on their child's sleep patterns while they are in daycare and #preschool. Feel free to come and consult with us if you have any concerns about your child's rest and sleep routine while in daycare. If you feel you have made all the necessary adjustments to your child's routine and are still having problems with them forming a routine for sufficient sleep, you will be well advised to see a Pediatrician and perhaps be recommended to a sleep clinic.
- Our doors are always open at Pop-Ins to chat to parents so call us:
Our doors are always open at Pop-Ins to chat to parents so call us:
9083 W Peakview Drive
Littleton, CO 80123
Call us: 303-979-0094