Tips for good sleep during 1st 6 months period.
- There is no formula for newborns because their internal clocks aren’t fully developed. They generally sleep or drowse for 16 to 20 hours a day, divided equally between night and day.
- Newborns should be awakened every three to four hours until their weight gain is established, which typically happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s Ok if they sleep for longer periods of time.
- After the first couple of weeks, infants may sleep for as long as four to five hours. Just when parents feel that sleeping through the night seems like a far-off dream, their baby’s sleep time usually begins to shift towards night. At three months, a baby averages about 13 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period (four to five hours of sleep during the day broken into several naps and eight to nine hours at night, meaning five to six hours in a row).
- If a baby less than six months in age continues to cry, it’s time to respond. Your baby may be genuinely uncomfortable: hungry, wet, cold, or even sick. But routine nighttime awakening for changing and feeding should be as quick and quiet as possible. Don’t provide any unnecessary stimulation such as talking, playing, or turning on lights. Encourage the idea that nighttime is for sleeping. You have to teach this because your baby doesn’t care what time it is as long as her needs are met.
- And it’s not too early to establish a simple bedtime routine. Your baby will associate it with sleeping, and it will help her sleep.
- Babies should fall asleep on their own and learn to soothe themselves and go back to sleep should they wake up in the middle of the night.
Tips for good sleep during 6 months to 1 year period.
- Help your baby learn to distinguish between daytime and nighttime hours. This can be achieved by keeping your child’s room dark and quiet at night, and refraining from involving the child in activity at inappropriate hours.
- Create a ritual or permanent pattern of behavior before bedtime. This can include bathing, feeding, reading a story or playing music.
- End all pampering and feeding before the baby is put into the crib. Encourage your child to fall asleep from a wakeful state even when it involves a brief “protest”.
- Learn to identify your baby’s symptoms of tiredness and respond appropriately to her sleepiness signs and rhythms. Changes in the timing of sleep can be made gradually at a very slow pace, and not suddenly and drastically.
- Refrain from exaggerated and quick reactions to light crying or other forms of protest before the baby falls asleep. In many cases, waiting for a while will end in the baby falling asleep without help.
- Refrain from giving sweet food and drink in the night. There is no need for parents to wake up their babies for feeding if they are healthy and growing well. Their sense of hunger will regulate their schedule.
- The baby’s daytime naps do not usually influence her nighttime sleep unless they take place late in the evening. Therefore, do not try to prevent their occurrence. In most cases, inappropriate prevention of naps would lead to more severe problems at night
Tips for good sleep for age more than 1 year.
- Warn your child that bedtime starts in five minutes, or ask her, “Do you want to go to bed now or five minutes later?”
- Establish a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine that lasts 20 - 30 minutes and ends in your child’s bedroom. Avoid scary stories or TV shows. It is better to read a favorite book every night than a new one because she is familiar with it.
- Avoid singing or rocking your child to sleep, because if she wakes up in the middle of the night you may have to repeat the process. It is a condition known as sleep onset association disorder. (If you have already been doing this, try to phase it out gradually). Instead, have the child get used to falling asleep with an object like a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
- Make sure your child is comfortable. Clothes and blankets should not restrict movement, and the bedroom temperature shouldn’t be too warm or too cold.
- If your child calls for you after you’ve left her room, wait for a few moments before responding. This will serve as a reminder that she should be asleep, and even help her fall into sleep while waiting for you.
- If your child comes out of her room after you’ve put her to bed, walk her back and gently but firmly remind her that it’s bedtime.
- Set up a reward system. Each night your child goes to bed on time and stays there all night, she gets a star. After a few stars, she gets a prize.
- Have a set bedtime and bedtime routine for your child.
- Bedtime and wake-up time should be at the same time on school nights and non-school nights. There should not be more than an hour’s difference from one day to another.
- Ensure that the child avoids high-energy activities like rough play and stimulating pastime like watching television or playing computer games just before sleep.
- Don’t send your child to bed hungry. A light snack (such as milk and cookies) before bed is a good idea. Heavy meals within hour or two of bedtime, however, may interfere with sleep.
- Make sure your child spends time outside every day whenever possible and is involved in regular exercise.
- Keep your child’s bedroom quiet and dark. Mild light is acceptable to children who find totally dark rooms frightening.
- Keep your child’s bedroom at a comfortable temperature during the night.
- Don’t use your child’s bedroom for time-out.
- Keep the television set out of your child’s bedroom. Children can easily develop the habit of “needing” the television to fall asleep. It’s also much more difficult to control your child’s viewing if the set is in the bedroom
Tips for good sleep for adoloscent.
- Make her go to bed about the same time every night. Bedtime and wake-up time should not differ from school to non-school nights by more than an hour.
- Ask her to avoid over- sleeping during weekends to “catch up” on sleep. This may result in her having problems in falling asleep.
- If she takes naps, they should be short and last no more than one hour. She should schedule the nap in the early to mid-afternoon. However, if she has a problem with falling asleep at night, she should avoid napping during the day.
- She should spend some time outside every day. Exposure to sunlight helps keep her body’s internal clock working.
- Make her exercise regularly. Exercise may help her fall asleep more deeply.
- Make her use the bed only for sleeping. Don’t allow her to study or listen to music or watch television etc on the bed.
- Make the 30-60 minutes before going to bed a quiet time. Relaxing, calm and enjoyable activities such as reading a book or listening to music will help her body and mind slow down enough to let her go to sleep. She should not watch exciting/scary movies, exercise, or get involved in “energizing” activities just before going to bed.
- Let her eat regular meals and not go to bed hungry. A light snack before bed is a good idea; eating a full meal in the hour before bedtime is not.
- Avoid giving her products containing caffeine from dinnertime onwards. These include caffeinated sodas, coffee, tea and chocolates.
- Do not encourage alcohol consumption. Alcohol disrupts sleep and may make her remain awake throughout the night.
- Smoking disturbs sleep. So no smoking at all.
- Let not the child use sleeping pills, unless specifically recommended by a doctor. These can be dangerous, and the sleep problems often recur when she stops taking them.