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As pediatricians and parents we know that “SLEEP IS PRECIOUS!” Sleep requirements change as your child grows. This section will highlight some important aspects of sleep hygiene. For more information you may find help from one of the books listed in our Parent Resources section.
NEWBORN SLEEP: Newborns sleep? You may have asked this question yourself. Newborns definitely have shorter stretches of sleep and need to feed more frequently. As we know it is safest to put infants on their BACKS TO SLEEP. It is important to create a safe sleep environment for your child which is free of any obstruction. Swaddling can help your child to soothe and may be done with a swaddle blanket or “sleep sack”.
4-6 MONTHS: Sleep patterns change at approximately 4 months and your child is now better able to try to soothe his or herself. Putting your child down to sleep “groggy but awake” can promote self soothing. Your child’s sleep stretches at night should be getting longer and he or she may start to sleep through the night! Your 6 month old may start to consolidate napping to 2 naps per day and then sleep at night. Development of a SLEEP ROUTINE with scheduled time for sleep, introduction of reading before bedtime and consistency is what is recommended.
6 MONTHS to 2 YEARS: Night time feeds may start to be eliminated after 6 months for most children. Disruptions to sleep may occur from teething, illness and changes in development. Consistency is important. Naps after the age of one may change to one nap daily.
TODDLERS AND SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN: A sleep routine that may include a book, bath, brushing teeth and some parent bonding time is important at this stage. Some children may develop “nightmares” or “night terrors” at this stage. During these interruptions it is important to get children back to sleep with reassurance and minimal stimulation.
TEENAGERS: Teens tend to stay up late and want to sleep in on the weekends. It is important for your teen to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Keeping on a schedule helps to keep their NORMAL SLEEP CYCLE intact. Avoiding TV and electronic device use close to bedtime will help to solve issues with “falling to sleep.”
The information presented in this section is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice or diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information is intended for your general knowledge only