Sleep plays an instrumental role in the proper development of a child. This is the main reason that parents are quite cautious about the sleep health of their young ones. A lot of concerned parents ask us what time should toddlers go to bed or when should they let their babies in the crib for sleeping. Well, there is no one sleep routine that shall fit all age groups when it comes to children. That said, we have compiled an extensive guide for you to learn the right time of putting kids to bed so that they can achieve a restorative night of sleep on a consistent basis.
Guide for Putting Your Kids to Bed
Small babies or infants aged between birth to one year require a fair deal of sleep when compared to older kids. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), newborn babies (aged 0-3 months) may need to sleep for about 14 to 17 hours per day. Whereas, infants (aged 3-12 months) shall require 12-16 hours. Most infants do not have a well-developed internal clock that can be regulated through a proper bedtime until they are 6 months old. While they can have several long naps throughout the day, it is important to put them to sleep at around 7 or 8 in the night so that they complete their share of sleep by the time they wake up in the morning.
It is important to monitor the baby every day to understand the natural sleepy window of it so that bedtime coincides with the time when they naturally fall asleep. A particularly sickly or colicky child is one of the top reasons that make a mom lose sleep at night to address the issue. It is therefore recommended that you squeeze in as many naps throughout the day as possible to make up for your own lost sleep.
Toddlers also need to sleep for about 11 to 14 hours per day. Several studies in the past have observed that the cognitive and neurological development of a child depends a lot on a consistent sleeping time, preferably an early one. A 2016 research published in the National Library of Medicine suggests that toddlers who slept later than 10 o’clock at night, had poorer neurodevelopmental scores than those who slept earlier. While most toddlers will wake up at around 7 o’clock in the morning, some can also develop a habit of waking around an hour earlier. This means that children in this age group should be put to bed by 7 o’clock in the evening. Parents struggling with putting kids to bed should definitely go through this guide on using the Sleep Site to help their babies sleep easily.
To help your child fall asleep more naturally, it is important that you avoid activities that stimulate them before bedtime such as playing and screentime. Instead, adopt more soothing activities that prepare them for bed such as brushing, singing a lullaby, storytelling, etc.
Thorough research on the different age groups of kids and sleep requirements has allowed us to believe with certainty, that preschool children require comparatively less amount of sleep than toddlers and have fewer and shorter naps throughout the day. Kids aged between 3-5 years experience greater activity in the daytime and require similar winding-down time before bed every night so that they can naturally doze off. Just like toddlers, the ideal time for them to go to bed is anywhere between 7 to 8 o’clock in the night to be able to finish their 10-13 hours of sleep quantity.
Children this age are better able to make a sense of their surroundings which is why it is important to maintain a sleep-inducing bedroom environment for your kid. Ideally, the room in which they sleep should be free from any sort of noise and disturbing bright light so that it doesn’t disrupt their sleep. Their cot can be adorned with a comfortable blanket or a toy to familiarise them with the sleeping environment. However, make sure that none of the sleep accessories around your kid have a choking hazard on them.
By the time your child starts to attend their grade school or elementary school, they can have a slightly later bedtime. Children aged between 5 to 10 years of age will still require a solid 10 to 11 hours of sleep each day. This means that such kids can very well be put to bed around 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at night. It is important that you stick to the proper time frames for each group of children even if you have multiple kids, especially when there is a considerable gap between the age of two kids.
Talk with your children, and a doctor if required, if they are facing any kind of trouble falling asleep or if he or she goes through frequent nighttime sleep disruptions. The sooner you get rid of sleep disruptions, the better it is for your child’s overall growth.
Kids learn by observing their parents. It is therefore an ideal habit for the parents to give stress on their own sleep schedule too so that the children can pick on and learn to give due importance to their sleep health. We hope that the facts mentioned above help you achieve the proper bedtime routine for your young one.