Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.

All About Sleep

All About Sleep

Different people need different amounts of sleep. But when you have a baby or a toddler, sleep becomes a rather big focus in your life. Are you getting enough? Is the baby/ child getting enough? Is it a good quality of sleep?

Sleep issues

Sleep issues are only present if it perceived to be a problem by you. It is important to have realistic expectations. Your newborn baby will wake frequently. You may be happy with, for example multiple feeding, rocking, co sleeping to sleep etc. There are no right or wrong ways to sleep, however there are safe ways to baby sleep. You can find up to date information on safe sleeping at The Lullaby trust website. http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk

 

It is understood that sleep patterns established in childhood often continue into adulthood. Sleep is extremely important for you child’s physical and mental growth. We have greater knowledge of how sleep can help with cognitive, emotional and behavioral development in children. Basically it all suggests, if you get your baby/ child to sleep, you will have a happy bright little spark that will be able to have the ability to adjust and adapt to changeable situations. It all sounds so easy. In reality disturbed sleep is hard work and often as parents we don’t know where to begin.

 

Sleep Associations

Sleep associations are one of the most common sleep problems. This is when your child learns to fall asleep with certain conditions present at bedtime. So for example, this could be feeding them to sleep or lying with them or rocking them to sleep. Your little one may wake if their association are not present during the night, this would be when they enter the light phase of their sleep cycle. So if you have fed your baby to sleep and they wake and stay awake, they are most probably looking for this again, without it they have difficulty falling back to sleep. These sleep association can cause frequent night waking.

Bedtime Routines

Children are checking in to see if things remain the same as when they fell asleep, such as feeding or parent being there or a light on in the hallway or their door open, which may affect the older child.

Bedtime routines are so important to helping your child with a healthy sleeping pattern and it is this that can often be the area that our professional team at Shuteye can start to work with you. Bedtime should be a calming time and is the process that will allow your child to feel relaxed. This will be the foundation on which healthy sleep habits of a lifetime will be formed.

Newborn – 3 months

In the early weeks, babies sleep for and average of 16 hours in a 24 hour period. Newborns sleep in 2- to 4-hour intervals, waking to feed. Babies this age tend to stir and look restless during sleep. Because of reflexes they can’t control, it’s common to see them twitch their arms and legs, smile and make sucking noises. Young babies do not know the difference between night and day. Their tummies govern them.  From around 10 weeks of age most babies may be able to distinguish between night and day.  They need love, attention, cuddles, touch and smell from you, for them to feel secure and attached, which will all help result in a sleeping baby.

Some babies take time to settle, this period of time  can be tough, but it really does get easier.

A rough guide to your babies sleep.

Don’t panic if your baby is not quite doing this, they are all individual. It really is a guide, nothing is set in stone.

  • Birth – 4 weeks – Total sleep: 17.5 hours Night-time: 9.5 hours Daytime: 7-9 hours (naps every 2 hours).
  • 4 weeks to 3 months – Total sleep: 16 -18 hours Night-time: 8-9 hours Daytime: 7-9 hours (naps every 2 hours).

3-6 months

Many babies this age may sleep for six-hour stretches at night, and settle into more of a set nap schedule now. Babies heading towards 6 months can often sleep through the night. They are increasingly responsive towards small routines set by parents. This could be starting a pre-bedtime sleep routine which would include a bath, feeding, story time cuddle and lullaby, they will still need love attention and cuddles to feel you and smell you.

A rough guide to your babies sleep.

Don’t panic if your baby is not quite doing this, they are all individual. It really is a guide, nothing is set in stone.

  • 3-4 months – Total sleep: 14 – 16 hours Night-time: 9 – 10 hours Daytime: 4 – 5 hours (3 naps).
  •  5-6 months – Total sleep: 14 – 15 hours Night-time: 10 hours Daytime: 4 – 5 hours (2 – 3 naps).

6-12 months

Over this time, the balance between daytime and night-time sleeps moves. Now babies may be sleeping once in the morning and once in the afternoon. This becomes more predictable for parents to manage.

Introduction of solids can mean hunger is no longer a reason to wake in the night. However depending on when you feed and when bedtime is, it may need a little adjustment, if night times are a little unsettled. Some babies may have stopped their night feeds at around 6- 7 months. However, some may still be feeding, if this feels right go with your ‘ gut’ instinct. Enjoy the moments.

Some babies can stop sleeping through the night now because of separation anxiety. As their social awareness develops, they are aware of a person leaving the room, but they are unsure of their return. Try to stay with them and hold their hand until they fall asleep. Try soothing them with your hand on their tummy stroking them until they go back to sleep.

A rough guide to your babies sleep.

Don’t panic if your baby is not quite doing this, they are all individual. It really is a guide, nothing is set in stone.

  • 6-9 months – Total sleep: 14 hours Night-time: 10 – 11 hours Daytime: 3 – 4 hours ( 2 naps).
  • 9-12 months – Total sleep: 14 hours Night-time: 10 – 12 hours Daytime: 2 – 3 hours ( 2 naps).

1-2 years

Active toddlers can have trouble relaxing and winding down at night, this can often result in what feels like a bit of a battle. Try to keep things as calm as possible in the evenings, sticking to bedtime routines with soothing activities like bath and story time, cuddles and they still need to feel the sense of touch and smell.

A rough guide to your babies sleep.

Don’t panic if your toddler is not quite doing this, they are all individual. It really is a guide, nothing is set in stone.

  • 12-18 months – Total sleep: 13 – 14 hours Night-time: 11 – 12 hours Daytime: 2 – 3 hours ( 1 – 2 naps).
  • 18 months – 2 years – Total sleep: 13 – 14 hours Night-time: 11 hours Daytime: 2 hours ( 1 nap).

2-5 years

Toddler and preschooler sleep problems can include resisting bedtime, getting out of beds when they wake at night, Sleep disturbances can start to be noticeable at 2 years, such as nightmares and sleep talking. These peak at around 4 years. Stick to a bedtime routine and sleep times, be consistent. Using a nightlight can comfort children who tend to get scared of the dark or have nightmares.

A rough guide to your babies sleep.

Don’t panic if your baby is not quite doing this, they are all individual. It really is guide, nothing is set in stone.

  • 2-3 years – Total sleep: 12 – 14 hours Night-time: 10 – 11 hours Daytime: 1 – 2 hours ( 1 nap).
  • 3-5 years – Total sleep: 11 – 13 hours Night-time: 10 – 11 towards 10 – 13 hours Daytime: 0 -1 hours ( naps usually stop by age 5).

5-12 years

A jam-packed social schedule, homework, computer and TV time tend to delay bedtime. Reducing sugary food and drinks, as well as reducing TV-watching right before bed can help. Children with sleep-friendly bedrooms that are dark, cool and quiet, with no TV or computer, tend to sleep better than those with lots of distractions.

This is less of a guide.

Evidence supports children who sleep for around 10 -11 hours. It can impact on their cognitive and behavioural development.

  • 5-12 years – Total sleep: 10 – 11 hours Night-time: 10 – 11 hours.

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