Sleep is a very essential part of an individual’s wellbeing. Getting enough sleep gives the body rest and energy to function optimally. Now, sleep disturbances can alter the moodiness, alertness and produce day time drowsiness in your child. Now, how much sleep is needed, a child sleeps for longer than adults and the duration of 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 follows, a new born whose 0 to 3 months would require about 16 to 20 hours whereas a preschool child whose between 3 to 6 years would require about 11 to 12 hours, napping usually ceases by about 5 years and children who are 6 to 12 year old, they require just about 10 hours of sleep. Let’s talk a little bit about sleep training in infants. Now, new born 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 day time by exposing them to light and sound so 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 they’re feeling drowsy but not when asleep as they will learn to self sooth and sleep on their own. Night feedings decreases by 6 months and will not be needed from 9 months onwards. Attempts to stop night feeds should begin by 9 months by first decreasing the number of feeds and then if bottle or breast fed, you need to decrease the number of ounces or 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 sooth and eventually be able to sleep through the night. We will talk a bit about sleep routine for kids. Now, establishing a good sleep pattern is a learnt behaviour and require some disciplining. Having a set bed time established for your child which should not vary throughout the weekdays and the weekends. Make the environment sleep friendly, soft quills, dim lights, no TV or other electronic gadgets on. Establish a daily bed time routine of putting on comfortable pyjamas, 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 instil a positive association of such activity with sleep. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when trying to instil good sleep habits in your child. Do not give your child caffeinated and sugar full drinks at food for few hours before bed time. Do not let kids nap after 4 pm. 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 it is safe and always take them back to sleep in their own beds 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 results. Thank you