With back to school just around the corner here, I thought it would be great timing to use the next few posts to talk about healthy sleep habits. Today’s post is about sleep habits for young kids.
Kids and sleep – oh the struggle! Sleep is super important for all of us, but especially so for the developing brain of a child. Everyone with kids has been there – a child with no nap, hungry (because lack of sleep made them extra picky at dinner) and approaching 8pm. One minute too late and everyone crumbles. Melt downs, hysteria, and lots and lots of tears. It takes everything in you to stay calm (and sometimes we can’t – it’s ok, we’ve all been there too).
So the key to managing the power struggle that follows is PREVENTION. That’s really the key to almost everything here 😉.
How much sleep do kids need? The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend the following sleep hours:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
Read the entire news release here – http://bit.ly/2YQfopa
One KEY thing to remember is good sleep hygiene goes for kids too. This is a great resource for encouraging healthy sleep routines and behaviors: http://bit.ly/2YNGRYt. Establishing healthy habits now makes life down the road soooo much easier. In general some basic tips include:
- no TV at least 30-60 min before bed
- bedrooms are for sleep only
- make a consistent routine so kids anticipate what is coming and are less likely to throw a tantrum
- provide a 20min and 10min warning before bedtime routines begin
Looking for ideas for a bedtime routine? One includes Brush, Book Bed – http://bit.ly/bedroutine. Reading books before bed are great for developing health literacy.
Many books claim to help kids fall asleep.
- Our favorite is Good night, good night construction site (https://amzn.to/2ZKZlGy)
- There’s the famous – Go the F* to Sleep (http://bit.ly/2ZDuGuy) that has great audio on youtube or for purchase on amazon.
- Here are 5 new ones to try – https://www.sleep.org/articles/five-great-bedtime-books-for-kids/
- The rabbit who wants to fall asleep (https://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Who-Wants-Fall-Asleep/dp/0451484630) author claims it will put every kid to sleep (http://bit.ly/2ZCK22t)
Another option I’ve added in a few nights a week is a podcast called Peace Out (http://bit.ly/2YQfE7C) to teach kids mindfulness and meditation and help them calm down before bed. This one includes yoga poses and visualization with some great life lessons. If it’s been a rough night, I like to use my Meditation Studio app to play a 5min meditation before bed to help settle their little minds – http://bit.ly/2YUPZdO.
What’s your favorite bedtime book? What is your bedtime routine? What sleep questions do you have? Leave them below or message me!