A Very Young Age:
Few babies doze off through the night quickly. For the first two months, new born babies sleep on and off at random intervals for 12 to 18 hours a day. Most babies sleep through the night by the time they’re about 9 months old.
Kids Can’t Sleep Without You:
Rocking a baby every night to sleep and he becomes unable to learn to fall asleep on his own. Instead he cries for help from you. You need to put him to bed when he’s sleepy, but not completely asleep. He will become a “self-soother” who learns to fall asleep on his own.
It’s normal for your child to go through this phase. At around 6 months, you can help a baby to go back to sleep on her own. As long as she doesn’t seem sick, speak softly and rub her back. Comfort her, but don’t make it too rewarding by picking her up or feeding her. A nightlight may comfort toddlers who are afraid of the dark.
Some kids delay their sleeping time. They make up excuses to stay up or ask for more stories, a drink, or a trip to the washroom. Stick to the routine. Be gentle but firm. Make shorter visits each time. Let your child know it’s truly time for sleep.
Not Enough Nap Time:
If they don’t nap enough during the day, young kids may have trouble falling asleep at night. Most babies need two or three naps a day. Toddlers need at least one nap. Most kids still take an after-lunch nap until age 5. If your child is cranky and sleepy, let her nap, as long as it’s not too close to bedtime.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
It’s rare, but some children can’t sleep due to “obstructive sleep apnea — when the airways are blocked, often by enlarged tonsils and nasal tissues called adenoids”. Kids with such a condition usually snore loudly; have heavy breathing, and restless sleep. It is usually in about 1 in 100 kids and is most common from ages 3 to 7, when tonsils and adenoids are at their biggest. Treatment includes surgery or having the child wear a nose mask at night.
Kids occasionally have bad dreams. This is completely normal, and most bad dreams are risk-free. Calm your child down after bad dreams. Be sure that he gets enough sleep and has a comforting bedtime routine.
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