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Healthy Bedtime Tips for Children

Many parents benefit from healthy sleep tips for their children at any age level and in any circumstance, whether at home, in the hospital, on vacation, or away at grandma’s house. Parents can help their children develop a healthy bedtime routine for the child’s sake and for their own sanity. Sleep for a child may not come easy. If a newborn infant is dry and has full tummy, they may doze off more quickly and sleep soundly between feedings. Newborns sleep most of the day and night and awaken to be fed or have a diaper change.

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

The following are approximate necessary and required sleep times for each child age group.

  • A newborn’s sleep hours consist of up to 20 hours per day.
  • Infants require up to 15 hours of sleep per day and night. This includes morning and afternoon naps.
  • Toddlers require at least 12 hours of sleep, including their afternoon nap.

As the child grows, their sleeping times may start to decrease until they are old enough for eight hours of sleep at night to suffice. Being away from home in a strange bed is frightening for younger children and can be stressful, but established routines can help a child adjust and sleep more soundly in an unfamiliar setting.
If your child is in the hospital, know that North Texas Medical Center in Gainesville, Texas, a level four trauma hospital, has everything a child needs to get a restful night’s sleep while in the hospital such as,

  • In-room sleep chairs for mom and dad, so they can stay close to their child.
  • A colorful playroom with an array of toys and books
  • Flat-screen televisions to view kids’ programming
  • Healthy child-orientated food snacks and beverages
  • Sleep comes better for any child if they have something familiar close by, such as a toy, a parent, or someone who the child is accustomed to being around.

Sound Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Babies need to have full tummies at bedtime. They will not sleep if they are put to bed hungry.
  • Putting a child to bed when they are sleepy but not quite asleep teaches them to fall asleep independently. Always remember to place the baby on their back up to a year of age.
  • Never stagger nap or bedtime hours. Try to keep to the same time every day.
  • Children expect a routine. Routines tend to help the child feel secure such as eating before bed, a bath before bed, and a short playtime with a parent or a story.
  • Napping too long late in the afternoon or evening may make it difficult for the child to fall asleep at night.
  • Never send a child to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup. Liquids other than water can promote tooth decay. Some children settle right down if the parent offers them a pacifier.

Children Resisting Bedtime

When children reach the ages of three to six, they test their parents when it comes to bedtime. It is usual for children to fuss, whine, or cry at bedtime, but parents need to remain consistent with bedtime routines. Fussy bedtimes can be aggravating and frustrating, but children soon realize that crying and fussing do not work if parents remain devoted. If the child’s crying and fussing continue over six weeks, you can speak with your child’s pediatrician for advice on other approaches.

Be vigilant about fussy children at bedtime and during the night. Monitor for any signs of a health problem. If you hear your child snore or have lapses in breathing, this needs to be brought to the attention of your doctor.

Break the Bad Habits

Parents may recognize when bad sleep habits become patterns for their children. The following issues may warrant a discussion with your child’s pediatrician.

  • You notice the routine you are trying to abide by is not working.
  • If you are becoming frustrated because you do not know what to do about your child resisting bedtimes or if the child is waking up during the night.
  • The child’s behaviors are causing bickering with your significant other.
  • The child is displaying signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation such as crankiness, frequent crying episodes, overtired, irritability, and more.

Your Call to Action for Bedtime Tips and Tricks for Children

We are a top-level four trauma hospital located in Gainesville, Texas. We have many various departments to serve our residents in Gainesville, Cooke, Eastern Montague, Western Grayson, Northern Denton counties, southern Love County, and Oklahoma. We believe in education and passing on educational tips to our communities on a wide range of topics. We hope that our bedtime tips for children and how to develop a healthy sleep pattern help you and your children. Access the rest of our website or give us a call today at 904-665-1751 if we can help you further on bedtime routines for children. Stop by for a visit. Discover why we are leading the way in quality healthcare in the state of Texas.