We all know that sleep is a very important and vital role in the growth and overall development of an individual, the entire growth depends upon the development of muscles. Muscle development can only happen because of two reasons. These reasons can be described as the right amount of nutritional variety and adequate sleep.
Sleep is like water to the plant who is nourishing and needs to grow like a healthy and strong tree. Hence, to be healthy and strong your loved ones need to have a good amount of sleep.
They are full of energy as they are going through their growth period. But are they getting enough sleep?
Well, if you are facing the same problem that your toddler is not having an insufficient or improper amount of sleep, then you are not the only one.
The American Academy of Paediatrics states that sleep problems affect 25% to 50% of children; not only this but it also affects 40% of adults.
Why is it mandatory for children to have good sleep?
As we know that sleep is very important, in growth and development. Because with a healthy personality one can have a healthy mind. Moreover, it directly affects our happiness and mood.
Research shows that sleep is responsible for responsive behavior such as:
- Alertness- it is a quality of being alert in situations that is harmful.
- Attention is a quality of mental faculty in which, considering and noticing something or someone.
- Cognitive performance- using optimal and effective functioning of the brain
- Mood- the quality of having different emotions.
- Resiliency- is a quality to recover from difficulties or problems.
- Vocabulary- learning new words.
- Acquisition- acquisition of the language
- Learning- learning of the task and understanding them.
- Memory enhancement- remembering things.
In toddlers, proper napping is very important for mental development and motor skill development.
Problems arise because of insufficient or disturbed sleep
Not getting proper sleep will cause grumpiness, hyperactiveness, and effects that can cause and result in ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADHD is a mental disorder and it is categorized by impulsive behavior, difficulty focusing, or excessive activity. This also impacts the child’s ability to pay proper and required amounts of attention in day-to-day life. If a child is not getting sufficient sleep the chances of increment of mental problems will be there. Because of poor sleep, children can also face allergic rhinitis. This will also impact their immune system, with improper immune systems their bodies are unable to fight the deadly virus and pathogens. The impacts will also cause anxiety and depression in them. It is proven that improper sleep or inadequate sleep will result in cardiovascular problems like obesity and diabetes with high blood pressure.
Is your child getting enough sleep?
Your child needs plenty of sleep to stay happy and fit mentally and physically. But if there is a chance of having trouble getting a good amount of sleep. Why does it sometimes seem so difficult to make your child go to sleep? Naturally, many toddlers do not want to sleep, and they resist it. This happens because of the stimulation (the growth phenomenon) which is going on in their bodies. Because of this stimulation, they simply get contrastive with the fact to get sleep. This is not a problem so it cannot be fixed either. But there are ways in which you can make your baby go to sleep very easily. You can calm him or her down with your presence and let them lie on their sleeping bed. One also needs to make a consistent bedtime routine and try to follow it. Once they create the habit of sleeping at that bedtime, they will start to feel sleepy around that time and go to sleep without having or causing many problems.
On average, a child (toddler) must have at least 11 to 14 hours of sleep a day for the proper development of their body. The sleep pattern of a toddler can be described as;
- Short naps of 1-2 hours during the day.
- One long nap in the afternoon as they reach the age of 2.
- 10-hour sleep straight in the night.
If they are sleep resisters, one should maintain a record of having consistent sleeping time.
It is advisable to make them sleep around 7 – 8 PM. This is the best time to get them to sleep because children who sleep before 9 PM, tend to sleep faster as compared to others as well as they have a more relaxing and comfortable sleep.
This will ensure that your toddler wakes up early and they start their day in the best possible way. They will mostly wake up at 6 – 7 AM and even earlier, and you can set things that will make them sleep again. Things like you can put shades in the room to avoid the light so they can go back to sleep or a sweet lullaby tone.
On average your toddler needs at least two naps a day. As soon as they grow the two change into one. When this transition takes place you need to take care of events like making the lunchtime for him a little earlier so he can eat lunch earlier and then go to sleep. Apart from that if he had lunch earlier he will be getting hungry earlier in the night this is how it will help them to acquire a healthy lifestyle.
How can you make them sleep?
Given below are some of the tips which you can use to make your toddler sleep and this will help to maintain a good bedtime.
- A day full of activity will directly result in good restful nights, so make them indulge in activities that require a lot of muscle involvement or physical activity.
- You need to establish a nightly bedtime routine. This bedtime routine can include a warm soothing bath and after the good warm bath, read them a book. You need to keep in mind that the book needs to be boring otherwise they won’t feel sleepy.
- Keep the room environment soothing, dim the lights or turn on some music like a lullaby
- Do not give them sweets or sugary products before going to bed. If you give them sugary snacks or drinks near bedtime this will result in developing bad health habits. Apart from this you can give them a glass of milk or some snack and make them brush their teeth after having it.
- One important thing which you need to avoid, limiting the screen time before bed. TVs, computers, tablets, or mobile devices all need to shut off at least 30 – 45 minutes before bedtime.
- You also don’t need to battle them for bedtime if they do not want to sleep, listen to them read them a story or something like that.
- Sometimes your loved one is feeling a sense of sleep regression. Sleep regression is the type of problem that he or she will face. Sleep regression may occur at any stage of their growth. On average the most commonly reported times are at 8 months, 12 months, and 18 months. Mostly during when specific developmental or growth changes are going on. Common sleep regression can make it difficult for you and your loved one. So if they go through this stage, get involved with them more physically. This will help them and they can transit between these stages pretty easily.
Can you sleep or share your bed with your toddler?
It is very advisable that during the first year do not sleep in the same bed or do not share the same bed with your loved one. The major reason behind this is getting SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome) in babies. Apart from this many believe that if you sleep with your child you unconsciously might or not suppress your baby as well as the sleep quality will get deteriorated and your toddler will get into the habit of sleeping with you which is not a healthy routine for him or her.
Is it fine if a toddler sleeps on their bellies?
The one dangerous risk is SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Mostly during the first 4 months, you need to take care and after that, once he or she crosses those and gets comfortable he can sleep in whatever way he likes to.
Common problems faced by a toddler before getting sleep
The given below are the common problems that toddlers can face and have irregular sleep:
- Improper bedtime routine: if you do not have a proper bedtime routine it will create a problem for you and your toddler.
- Fears and bad dreams: can be another thing that might create problems in his sleep routine.
- Vacations or illness: when you went on a trip or if you or your toddler is sick then again he might face sleeping problems.
- Sometimes they miss you and they want you to be there with them, you need to make sure that you are there for them and wait till they go to sleep.
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