Help your Children Get the Sleep They Need

Do you get grumpy when you haven’t had enough sleep? Well, so do your kids – times ten. Learn how to create healthy sleep habits for your little ones so you can enjoy your time together!

How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, children less one year old need 12-16 hours of sleep per day. This decreases to 11-14 hours until the age of two. Toddlers need 10-13 hours’ sleep. Children and pre-teens need 9-12 hours and teens need 8-10.

That means there will be a time when you are awake while your children are sleeping – if they’re getting enough sleep!

How Can I Help My Child Get More Sleep?

The first thing to do is determine how much sleep you need to add to your child’s schedule. Then make a plan. Do you need to incorporate a nap? Can your child wake up a little later or does she need to go to bed earlier? Your family’s schedule and the amount of sleep your child should be getting, will dictate those answers.

Begin modifying your family’s sleep schedule by small bits over time. Do not expect your child to magically adjust – it takes time! If your child needs to lay quietly, or have an extra song or story at first, that’s ok! However, you should set bedtime expectations and stick to them. Discuss what’s changing with your child in an age-appropriate way. Children who resist an earlier bedtime may adjust better to extra story time. Older children can participate in modifying their routine if they prefer to sleep later – by setting out clothes the night before, for example.

How do I Know if My Child Needs More Sleep?

Children who are groggy or grumpy in the morning probably need more sleep. Another sign is irritability in the afternoon or evening. Young children who are inconsolable at or before bedtime probably need an earlier bedtime. Low mood or school performance may also indicate a need for change. Talk to your pediatrician as well, to see if your family is on the right sleep schedule. You may be surprised!

How can We Stay On Track?

The key is consistency!

Treat sleep as a non-negotiable. You may be surprised to find that you are enforcing bedtime not against your kids, but against their aunties and grandparents! Plan your family’s activities with bedtimes in mind. After all, letting your little one play through nap time usually means a rough evening is in store for everyone.

It helps to go to bed at the right time, and wake up at the right time. Staying up later and sleeping in are both fun – we get it! But you may find your children are happier if they break bedtime only on special occasions. When that’s the case, staying up later can be a reward for your children and an opportunity to build nostalgic memories.

It’s tempting to keep the kids awake in a co-parenting family. We want to enjoy time with our children. We miss them when they’re not with us. It may help to focus on quality of time, instead of quantity. Happy memories are best made after a healthy night’s sleep.

So tuck your little ones in tonight, and plan tomorrow’s activities with Our Days Calendar. Our app provides a fully automatic custody calendar – no counting required! In just a few easy steps, you can see where your children are going to be on any given day. This gives you the freedom of planning activities with your well-rested family! Download now and enjoy!

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