Does your baby often behaves cranky but remains drowsy all the time? It’s probably because your baby’s not getting enough sleep. But how to know that your baby’s not sleeping enough?
Well, for that first you must know how much sleep your baby needs. The sleep requirement of a baby changes with its growth. And as the growth at this stage is faster, you may have to adjust the sleep schedule quite often.
Sticking with the older routine will cause trouble to both you and your baby. So what is the sleep requirement at different ages? Let’s discuss it.
Proper Environment for Baby’s Sound Sleep
Room Temperature Around 21-23 Degree C
The room temperature should be such that your baby doesn’t feel too cold or overheated. Our body temperature goes up and down during the 24 hours. It reaches the peak in the afternoon and becomes lowest around 5 in the morning.
While sleeping, the body temperature falls. The quicker it falls the deeper will be the sleep. But if the body is too cold, then it has to waste energy to regulate. It’ll result in difficulty in staying asleep.
Again, to prevent overheating during colder months, you should avoid placing extra blankets. If the chest area is sweaty, you should immediately remove a layer of clothing.
Control The Noise Level In The Room
Apart from light, another source of over stimulation is sound. Ensure a calm and peaceful environment if you want your baby to have a sound sleep. As you can’t control noises coming from outside, you can use white noise to block it out to some extent.
The Room Shouldn’t Be Totally Dark
Darkness is essential for sleeping at night. Melatonin, the sleep hormone sends a signal to the brain that the body needs rest. The presence of light can delay the rise of this hormone. The body gets used to the light while napping.
But at night, the presence of light can alter the internal sleep clock. Then it can affect the quality and quantity of sleep. But you should neither make the room totally dark. Rather Use night light but not blue as blue light interferes with the sleep.
A Firm Bed And Clean Bedding
The bed should be firm so that there’s no risk of your baby’s face gets smothered in it. There’s no need for any pillows for a toddler. Ensure the proper hygiene.
Age-wise Sleep Cycle for Babies
Every child is different and so does their sleep requirement. So the sleeping schedule may vary by a few hours from toddler to toddler.
Newborns don’t have any biological clock for sleeping and waking up. Nor their sleeping pattern is nighttime or daylight based. In fact, they didn’t have a certain type of pattern yet.
Typically a 0 to 4 weeks old baby sleeps for 15 to 18 hours a day, but not obviously in a stretch. Each of the periods consists of 2 to 4 hours. Less than 11-hour sleeping will be insufficient. Also, you shouldn’t allow him to sleep for more than 19 hours. But a baby that’s born prematurely can sleep longer.
When your baby becomes one month old, it starts sleeping in a more regular pattern. Also, they sleep for a longer period of time, maybe 4 to 6 hours in a stretch. They also start to understand the difference between day and night and tend to sleep more in the evening.
A baby at this stage is more mature to follow a regular sleeping pattern. The sleeping periods are also longer. They require 12-14-hour sleeping on an average. But if he sleeps less than 10 hours a day that would be insufficient. Usually, babies take three naps each day.
As babies of this age are more social so their sleep patterns are also more like an adult. Their biological rhythm is more mature and so you can think of a healthy sleep routine for your baby. 11-12-hour sleep per day is recommended for a toddler of this age while up to 15 hours is also okay.
At 11 month, the total sleeping hour may reduce to 12 hours. But less than 11 hours may be inappropriate. Again, you shouldn’t allow your baby to sleep more than 18 hours a day on a regular basis.
Taking two naps each day is normal, maybe one at 10 in the morning and another is later at 2 in the noon. Each lasts for one or a couple of hours.
Babies over 12 Months
When your toddler is already 1 year old, his morning and evening nap may disappear. He’s more likely to take only one nap, maybe at midday. The total sleeping hour may reduce to 10 but less than 9 hours will be insufficient.
At 24 to 36 months, a midday nap of one to 3 hours followed by a night-long sleep is normal. He usually goes to bed between 7 to 9 pm and wakes up between 6 to 8 am in the morning.
School going kids of 6 to 11 years old gradually becomes busy with various school activities. A 9-11 hour sleep at night will be sufficient. You can now easily bind them with a strict sleeping schedule
What To Do If Baby’s Not Sleeping Enough?
If your baby’s not sleeping enough even after everything else is right, take him to a pediatrician. But check the following things before doing that.
- Don’t let him take naps longer than required.
- If he’s been recently shifted from crib to a bed, it’s normal to have some sleeping problems initially.
- Try to make him comfortable in his new bed. Prepare it according to his choice confirming all his comfort.
- You can try changing the routine. Re-scheduling the napping time will help your baby to sleep more effectively.
- Babies are ready to play anytime no matter how much tired they may be. Therefore, you can also make bedtime a fun too.
- Introduce him to bedtime stories or sing him a lullaby. You can also play with him in his bed before sleeping.
There’s a solution to every problem, but the challenging part is to detect the problem first. As babies can’t express their problems, so you must observe any behavioral change in them. If it’s beyond your understanding, then don’t delay to consult a doctor.