SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL
• Sleep is a very essential part of an individual’s well being
• Getting enough sleep gives the body rest and energy to function optimally
• Sleep disturbances can alter the moodiness, alertness and produce daytime drowsiness in your child

HOW MUCH SLEEP IS NEEDED
A child sleeps for longer than adults and the duration for sleep decreases as they grow older
• There is no defined amount of sleep for each age group however the desired amount is averaged out as the following:
– Newborns 0-3 months: 16-20 hours
– Infants 3-12 months: 14 -15 hours ( 3-4 naps /day )
– Toddlers 1-3 years: 12-14 hours ( 1 nap/day )
– Preschool 3-6 years: 11-12 hours ( napping usually ceases by 5 years )
– Child 6-12 years: 10 hours

SLEEP TRAINING – INFANTS
• Newborn babies are sleeping most of the time and awake briefly for feedings
• You can encourage them to be more awake and take regular feeds in the daytime by exposing them to light and sound so that they sleep for longer intervals at night
• Put them to sleep on their backs and in their own crib
• Do not get them used to being carried and rocked to sleep
• Put them in the crib when feeling drowsy but not when asleep as they will learn to self soothe and sleep on their own
• Night feedings decrease by 6 months and will not be needed from 9 months
• Attempts to stop night feeds should begin by 9 months by first decreasing the number of feeds and then if bottle/breast fed you need to decrease the number of ounces / minutes of feed
• You can allow them to cry it out in gradually increasing amounts of time before you intervene so they will learn to self soothe and eventually be able sleep through the night

SLEEP ROUTINE FOR KIDS
• Establishing a good sleep pattern is a learned behavior and requires some disciplining
• Have a set bedtime established for your child which should not vary through the weekdays and weekends
• Make the environment sleep friendly (soft quilts ,dim lights , no TV or other electronic gadgets on),
• Establish a daily bedtime routine of putting on comfortable pajamas, brushing their teeth and having them sleep in their bed only always
• Have a quiet time before bed where you may listen to soothing music or read to your child so as to instill a positive association of such activity with sleep

DO’S AND DON’TS
• Do not give your kids caffeinated and sugar filled drinks and food for a few hours before bedtime
• Do not let kids nap after 4pm
• Have your kids play games or exercise as a part of their daily regime
• Do not send them to bed hungry
• Tuck them in bed, off the lights, say goodnight and leave the room before they sleep so they self-train to sleep independently
• If they should wake up at night times reassure them that its safe and always take them back to sleep in their own bed and room
• Do not shout or threaten them to make them sleep in their own bed instead offer praise for their attempts and be patient as positive reinforcement gives you better outcomes
• You can allow them to snuggle with their favorite soft toy or blanket if it serves as a security object for them

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