Children learn how to sleep in the first year of life. How you structure their sleep routine, and the consistency of your cues and rhythms over time helps them learn this skill.
Do you ever feel that your child is an exception to the rule? Your child must be the one that just doesn’t need as much sleep as others?
I meet parents with stories about how little sleep their young children seem to need. But are their children as friendly as they could be if given better rest? True, some of us cope better than others without sleep, but that doesn’t mean we don’t benefit from getting the proper amount.
As a parent, you should realize that sleep affects learning. Some children seem to be happy regardless of whether they get the needed sleep recommended. But, in my experience they can be far happier and more able to cope and learn if given opportunity for MORE sleep. Most young children under five years old need 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day.
It doesn’t seem to matter if the sleep is gotten in 1 or 2 pieces, or more. But the TOTAL hours do matter. As our lives get busier, adults have also become sleep deprived. Now parents are risking their children’s learning, health, and well being by not paying attention to meeting sleep needs.
Proper sleep is good nutrition for the brain.
If you are off balance with sleep, take a week to slow down and put back the pieces. Make your life a little less hectic, and stay at home more. Go to bed on time or early. Give your children EARLIER naps, before 1pm (when it is easier to fall asleep, because we have more elevated sleep hormones in our system).
Be attentive to your family's sleep needs.
Get yourself back on track. You will be friendlier, so will your children and that makes for a happy family!