Healthy Sleep Habits For Your Child

All parents desire to find ways to help their children sleep more soundly. Since, after all, when the little one sleeps through the night, then you’re likely to sleep. However, most parents believe they must wait until their child reaches a specific age or stage of development before introducing appropriate sleep habits.

We shall look at workable sleep habits for children from a new born to your 5 year old child.

Healthy sleep habits by age

1. Newborns (up to 4 months old)

Babies often sleep for long stretches—3 or 4 hours at a time—for the first few weeks of their lives. A baby’s need to eat in the middle of the night is natural and healthy. Your kid will gradually start to sleep less at night and spend more time awake during the day as they develop normally.

Babies, like grownups, require reliable signs to know when to wind down for the night. A baby will learn that the crib is where they sleep if you always put them there to sleep. It’s possible that your kid won’t comprehend right away, but give it some time, and they will get it.

When your child is three months old, you should expect a more regular sleep pattern and predictable sleep habits. Trust your baby’s cues; they will let you know when they are getting sleepy.

Keeping a sleep journal could be useful in determining their typical sleep schedule.

Sleep times should follow a set pattern. A brief story time cuddle in the dark before naptime is one possibility.

Good practices for your baby’s sleep:

  • Make sure your child is not stimulated while being fed at night or changing diapers. Maintain a low level of light.
  • You should put your baby to their crib while they are still awake but showing signs of drowsiness. Always place your baby to sleep on their back in a crib or on a level, hard surface. Do not place the baby’s crib with soft materials such as pillows or cuddly animals.
  • It is quite normal to rock your baby to sleep. Holding a newborn infant too much can make them spoiled.
  • Expect some nighttime wakings from your child. Wait a few minutes to see if they can calm down, and then check in with them.
  • Your baby may find solace and calmness with a pacifier. But it would help not to introduce a pacifier until nursing is successful.
  • A baby who is overtired has a harder time falling asleep. Babies benefit from naps throughout the day; thus, avoiding naps during the day won’t help them sleep through the night.

2. Young children aged 4–12 months

Typically, babies at this age sleep for 14 hours a day, but this is not set in stone. Many newborns require three naps per day by the time they are 4 months old, with one in the morning, afternoon, and early evening.

Your baby may transition from three shorter naps per day to two longer naps in the morning and afternoon between the ages of 6 and 12. Babies have varying sleep needs. While some need 20 minutes, others need three or more hours.

Establishing healthy sleep habits for your baby:

  • A consistent nighttime routine is vital. The “3 Bs” (bath, book, bed) is a popular routine most parents use.
  • If your baby is around 6 months old and starts crying in the middle of the night, check to see if they are too warm or cold. However, try not to remove them from the crib. You can reassure them that you care by speaking softly to them or gently touching their forehead. This teaches your child an essential skill for returning to sleep without assistance.
  • Don’t give your infant a bottle before bed. Potential risks include tooth decay and choking.
  • Try to stick as closely as possible to a regular schedule for waking up and going to bed.

3. Toddler (1–2 years)

In 24 hours, the average toddler sleeps between 11 and 14 hours.

Healthy sleep habits for your toddler:

  • At this age, security items (like a stuffed animal or blanket) can be very important.
  • Avoid taking naps too late in the day, as they can disrupt evening sleep at this age.
  • Make sure the bedroom is calm, inviting, and all set up for sleeping. Maintain a low level of light. Check the room temperatures for the comfort of the child.
  • Music that is gentle, calming, and white noise might be comforting but unnecessary.
  • Prepare your child for sleep by reading to them or engaging in other peaceful activities around half an hour before bedtime.
  • Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine your child is accustomed to is still very important. Your toddler will benefit tremendously from the daily routine that you developed throughout the first year.
  • If your child resists, you should be firm but kind.

4. Youngsters (aged 3-5)

Children in the preschool age normally sleep between 10 and 13 hours daily. Nearing the age of three, most children will only need one nap daily. However, most may still take a second nap. They might need a nap today, but not tomorrow.

During this time, some children completely forego their afternoon nap. After lunch, your child may appreciate some peace to catch up on reading or unwind.

Children this age often struggle to sleep at night and fight against going to bed. Bad dreams or fears may cause them to wake up in the middle of the night.

How to teach your preschooler healthy sleep habits:

  • Don’t brush off your nighttime worries. Your youngster may need reassurance and comfort if they experience nightmares.
  • Some kids will fight going to bed as long as they can. Make sure your child understands the boundaries you’ve established, such as the number of books you’ll read together, and then keep them to themselves.
  • Put away the electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. Discourage using electronic devices like video games, TVs, tablets, or computers, especially in the bedroom.
  • Under no circumstances should children be given caffeine.

Some sleep issues that your child may encounter

  • Separation problems:

If your child is unhappy because you are not there, they may have trouble calming down and falling asleep. You can open their bedroom door, hug them before bed, give them a security object like a stuffed animal or blanket, or turn on a little night light.

  • Sleep deprivation:

Your child is fussy, irritable, or has trouble falling or keeping asleep at night because they don’t get enough sleep during the day or go to bed at an appropriate time.

  • Bad dreams:

The vast majority of kids will have nightmares at some point. Fever, traumatic experiences, or other forms of stress can all contribute to the onset of nightmares. There may be times when your child needs to talk to you. In a soothing voice, gently cradle and soothe your youngster.


You and your little one can learn to practice excellent sleep hygiene by adjusting to your routine and bedroom setting. This will allow you both to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep. If your child is still having trouble sleeping after implementing consistent sleep hygiene tactics, you should talk to a pediatrician about how to help your child sleep and stay asleep.

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