Where should your baby sleep?
Most probably, your one to two year old might still sleep comfortably in a safe, secure crib. Never put any extra–large soft toys or stuffed animals in the crib with him, and look out for items with ties or strings that could wind up around his neck and cause suffocation. Also, be on the constant lookout for nearby objects your child might be able to reach for from a standing position in the crib: curtains, pictures, or wall hangings are all possibilities.
If you observe that your kid is an active climber who gets out of his crib and suddenly appears in the living room, you could think of a bed at this stage. It will be difficult at first to keep him in it, but at least you’ll know that he is less likely to fall down on his way out of bed, whereas he much more likely to hurt himself climbing out of a crib.
Don’t even think that waking up at night is something your baby would have left far behind by now! Toddlers wake up for several reasons. Sometimes, it’s during their dentition period, caused by teething troubles or any other kind of illness. Sometimes, it’s a mild attack of “separation anxiety”: “Where’s Mummy? Where’s Daddy?” Dreams and nightmares could also disturb the toddler. If this is true of your child, be especially aware of any videos or books he is exposed to just before bed–time. Keep him away especially during sleep time.
Look around for an environmental cause for your baby’s night–time awakenings
Is he cold? Toddlers are famous for not staying covered at night. So in the colder months you might want to dress your child in some warmer clothes to keep him warm.
Is there too much noise? Toddlers will learn to sleep with some noise, but if it is too loud, it could be disturbing.
What Should You Do?
childLow–key activities like warm bed–time baths, bed–time stories, and prayers prepare a child for bed.
Most kids love taking a favorite soft toy, like a teddy bear or a favorite doll.
Violent videos and jarring music, especially videos should be avoided both during the day, and especially at night before bed–time.
If your toddler wakes up in the middle of the night, just as when he was younger, you’ll want to quietly and quickly reassure him that everything is OK, and you are close by.
If your child is an early riser, make sure the sunlight doesn’t wake him/her up by keeping the curtains or blinds closed. Try putting a few “safe” toys in his crib while he’s asleep. That would keep him busy in the morning.
A six–year–old child may need about 11 to 12 hours of sleep. The amount of sleep needed decreases with age. Give your baby some private time before his bed–time. This time could be used have chats, which will also prepare him for sleep.
Poor sleep quality
The body’s immune defenses sag after lost sleep. The good news is that a sound night’s sleep restores those cells to their former levels of effectiveness. Kids with poor sleep quality have generally had higher levels of depression, hopelessness, and low confidence. These symptoms translate into a whole list of day–time woes like hyperactivity, behavioral problems and learning difficulties. Also, the kid becomes a bit cranky. Most children have the ability to sleep well. Inculcate from very early on healthy sleep habits in your child and that may last for a lifetime.
There are various aspects that affect a child’s ability to sleep. And these often go unnoticed by most parents. These could be the birth of a new sibling, stress at school, witnessing parents’ fights or even separation, divorce and death in the family. Co–sleeping is another sleep destroyer. That’s when young children make it a habit of crawling into their parents bed. If this continues, and becomes a habit–it is a very hard one to break. This leads to restlessness, exhaustion and crankiness during the course of the day.
Establish a bed–time routine
Stick to your sleep time, alerting your child both half an hour initially, and about 10 minutes beforehand.
Allow your child to choose what to wear and which to take to bed, etc.
Snuggle with your child into bed giving him/her a feeling of security.
Consider playing soft, soothing music or singing a lullaby.