A good sleeping routine enables the development of young minds and has a direct effect on happiness, alertness and attention. Lack of sleep in children has been linked to issues with immune system, anxiety and low mood.
The recommended amount of sleep including naps for children up to age five is:
- Age 4 to 12 months: 12–16 hours of sleep
- Age 1 to 2 years: 11–14 hours
- Age 3 to 5 years: 10–13 hours
Children often voice their worries before bed, and it is important that parents and guardians know the best ways to help when their child is struggling at bedtime. We’ve put together these tips to help.
A night-time routine is a must. Between 1-2 hours before bed, make sure that you create a winding down system such as bath time, milky drink and snuggle time. Follow this with a calming 30 minutes in their bedroom to settle them. Having this routine at the same time each night establishes comfort and the awareness that it is time to settle each day.
In the 30 minutes before bed, your child may have lots of questions, especially around Reception to Year 1 age. Use this time to reassure them it is normal to have worries and remind them that they are safe at home in their room, far away from harm.
Children that are left for too long to cry can develop attachment issues, and during periods of change they may need a little more soothing than they did previously. It is ok to hold, cuddle and snuggle with them if they are asking for it – make the most of it, before you know it, they’ll be older and won’t want too anymore!
- Keep a regular bedtime
- Use blackout blinds if seasonal changes affect sleep
- Keep the bedroom quiet or use white noise to mask sounds
We hope these tips were useful and remember, a well slept child is a happier, more settled one.