When talking about childhood sleep, it refers to the period of time in which the child sleeps, either in the afternoon or at night. Children’s sleep has a very important role in the lives of our children, since thanks to it, their body regulates and regenerates, it also favors the control of energy during the day and the regulation of body temperature.
For all these reasons, it is considered one of the most important moments in the lives of children and it must be done correctly, taking into account the needs of each one, carrying it out with respect and adapting it to the rhythm of these, at the same time. than prioritizing your convenience and comfort.
To achieve all this, specialists advise implementing in children a series of routines that favor the acquisition of this process. It is also known that children need to follow routines to feel safe and calm in their environment, since repetitive habits help to build emotional balance and provide them with a fundamental mechanism for their education and for the construction of their personality and your self esteem.
HOW DO I CARRY OUT THE SLEEP ROUTINE IN MY CHILDREN?
To delve into how a good sleep routine for children can be carried out, it is necessary first to talk about it, about children’s sleep. Since depending on the age of our son, he will need more or less hours of rest . It is also necessary to point out that it is advisable that sleep hours are always at the same time , thus providing children with a mental scheme and a better understanding of the proposed routines.
- If your child is a newborn (0-21 days), it is recommended that they sleep approximately 16 hours a day. Their sleep periods are short, but very continuous.
- If your child is between 1 and 3 months old, it is recommended that they sleep 15 hours, focusing a little more on rest at night than during the day.
- If your child is between 3 and 6 months old, it is recommended that they sleep for about 15 hours, but focusing even more sleep on the night environment.
- If your child is between 6 and 12 months old, it is recommended that they sleep approximately 14 hours a day, already sleeping about 7- 10 hours at night and the rest in a short nap before and another after eating.
- If your child is between 2 and 6 years old, it is recommended that they sleep approximately 10 or 11 hours, being able to keep the afternoon nap.
- If your child is over 6 years old and gets enough rest at night, you can do without the nap after eating, sleeping the recommended 9 hours in a row.
Now that we know the hours recommended by child health experts for our children’s rest, we are going to delve into how to organize or carry out the sleep routine. For this, it is necessary that the place where our children sleep is a quiet place, away from noise that allows them a sleep without interruptions, cozy, where they feel safe, with a suitable temperature in which they are comfortable , etc. It should be noted that naps, like nighttime sleep, should be done in bed, not in the stroller or in a car seat, since on these occasions the quality of sleep is worse.
However, a good sleep routine is not only based on the place , but also on what we do before and after. It is important that our child see those hours as something necessary, something that makes him feel better, and not as something boring or a punishment. For this, it is necessary that we spend some time explaining to him, according to his understanding, the importance of sleeping and resting, as well as proposing activities or rituals that make him come into contact with said routine.
Some of the activities for before sleeping can be:
- Telling a story before going to sleep , this ritual is usually the most common among families, children enjoy it a lot, and if the story is telling while in bed, they will associate that it is time to sleep and they will live it in a more positive way.
- Carry out a farewell to family members , another very common activity can be to say goodbye with a kiss and a hug from each of the family members, in this way the child feels more comfortable and safe before going to sleep. .
- Sing a song , an alternative to the story can be a song. While the child is in bed wrapped up, we can sing him some slow songs or some lullabies , in this way the child relaxes until he falls asleep
- Performing massages , another good option may be to perform a small massage while in bed, which relaxes you, either on the back or on the head.
As we have already mentioned before, it is also very important when you wake up, not startle you, that it clears up little by little, etc. Some of the after-sleep activities can be:
- Sing soft songs so that he wakes up, once awake and revealed, turn on the light progressively, without being startled or scared.
- Turn on a very dim light and caress and kisses him so that he wakes up in a relaxed way. The light is important so that he perceives and knows who you are and does not panic.
- Once awake, you can go to say good morning to the rest of the family , even go to wake up the other relative in bed, in a relaxed way, full of caresses, etc.
These are just a series of ideas for the child to associate the dream as something positive, each family can create their own based on the child’s tastes and family possibilities.
IS THE SLEEP ROUTINE THE SAME AS THE REST ROUTINE?
No, as we have said before, the sleep routine is those moments of the day in which children take advantage to sleep. The difference between sleep and rest is that, at rest it is not necessary that they are sleeping, with being at rest and recovering from the previous activity it is necessary.
Even so, rest is no less important , it is necessary that both at home and in the nursery school where the minors attend, certain routines must be planned that favor children’s rest. It is essential to bear in mind that periods of physical or mental activity must be interspersed , such as: games , activities, dynamics, workshops, etc; with a rest period to avoid infant fatigue. Rest can be done in many ways, through inactivity, play,
change of activity, etc. Some options that we propose are:
- Listen to relaxed music while lying down, sitting down, or talking quietly.
- Tell a story slowly, smoothly, making them listen while sitting, talking slowly, etc.
- Lie down in a quiet way, without the need for music or sounds, dedicating only time to them.
- Sing slow songs that you like, hum them, etc.