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Five healthy sleep habits for babies and little kids

As adults, we know what we need to do to feel rested and great during the day; years of practice and now you know how many hours you need to sleep at night and how to do it. For me, I know I need at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night to feel great the next day (yes, it does not apply that much when you have a baby).

With babies and little kids, we can teach them young about healthy sleep habits and help them have a better daytime and nighttime rest so they can be their best selves the next day.

This new year, you can start considering these five healthy sleep habits that I have found work for babies, little kids, and sometimes adults too!

  1. Know your little one sleep needs

  2. Establish a schedule

  3. Create a routine

  4. Set the mood

  5. Avoid the use of electronic devices

Know your little one sleep needs

I consider this point the most important, it is the base of everything! For babies and little kids, sleep needs vary a lot during the first years, not only nighttime but also daytime sleep. Click here to know more about your child's sleep needs (wakeful windows, naptimes, and nighttime).

Establish a schedule

Now that you know how many hours your baby should sleep, establish a schedule, and work around it. Having a schedule will help your baby understand what is next and this predictability helps them be in a better mood during the day; knowing what is next makes them feel safe and secure.

You do not need to have a very rigid schedule, I recommend being flexible when needed and have it as a base to organize your day.

Create a routine

Routines also help babies and small kids with predictability, they like to know what is next. You can create a relaxing bedtime routine and include things like a bath, a massage, reading a book, singing a song, saying prayers, and kiss good night. It doesn´t have to be very long, just enough to signal his body that sleeping is the next step.

Also, have a morning routine, this helps you and your kid to start the day with more disposition. It can be as simple as opening the curtains, making his bed or arranging the crib, and maybe listening to a cheerful good morning song.

When you have a routine that works, repeat it every day.

Set the mood

By this, I mean creating a nice relaxing atmosphere for naptime and bedtime. Using blackouts helps our bodies to produce melatonin (sleep hormone), use them especially for naps and bedtime if your little one goes to sleep too early or wakes too early in the morning.

White noise is very useful for newborns to replicate the womb's noises, and for grown-ups and little kids helps blocks noises like cars or just regular noise in your house from other family members.

Avoid the use of electronic devices

The bright light from devices like iPads and iPhones impact sleep by suppressing melatonin (sleep hormone), try not to give any of these devices to your kids at least one hour before going to bed. This advice can apply to adults too.

Also, with toddlers, watching a video before bedtime might cause ideas that can interfere with their sleep, even cause nightmares.

If your little one is having sleep problems such as waking up at night or taking too long for her to fall asleep, try to apply some (or all) of this advice and you might experience amazing results.


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