Best Ways To Ensure Your Baby, Toddler or Child Gets a Good Night's Sleep

Getting enough sleep is very important for everybody, but especially so for babies, toddlers, and children. Studies show that kids who get enough sleep at night have better physical and mental health, including improved immune systems, better memory, improved attention spans, and better listening and learning skills. Like adults, though, many children deal with insomnia to some degree. Luckily, there are things you can do to try to help your child sleep better at night.

Deep Sleep For Babies

Infants need 12-16 hours of sleep per day. This can be difficult for many babies, though, especially when you consider the relationship between teething and sleep. To ensure your baby gets enough rest, especially during teething, it's important to create a routine and stick to it as closely as possible every night.

Building a comfortable sleep environment is key. The room your baby sleeps in should be cool enough that they won't overheat but not so cool that they feel cold. Blackout shades are helpful for those long summer evenings and a white-noise machine can eliminate the sounds that come from the rest of the house while your baby is resting.

Consider comfort items as well, such as a pacifier to help them self-soothe. You can even try sleep oil for babies, which helps your little one feel and stay drowsy.

How To Get Your Toddler To Sleep

Toddlers up to two years old need 11-14 hours of sleep while those aged 3-5 need 10-13 hours. Again, creating a routine is important for your toddler's rest. Start each evening with a winding-down process that includes turning off screens (the blue light can make it difficult for the body to create the melatonin it needs to rest) and favoring a healthy snack, books, or quiet time for about an hour before bed.

This is also a great time for a warm, soothing bath. When the time comes to lie down, consider reading your child a story or having a few minutes of conversation and cuddling. This can help your toddler wind down while also building a stronger bond between you.

How To Help a Child Fall Asleep Faster

By the time kids are school-age, they have their own rhythms and preferences. A kid that loves early mornings will wake up early even if you put them to bed late but one that is a night owl won't fall asleep just because they go to bed. Consider your child's natural rhythm when setting a bedtime. Regardless of when your child's bedtime is, they should wake up at the same time every day as well, even on the weekends. This helps to keep their body's natural rhythm.

As with babies and toddlers, a nighttime routine is essential for helping your child's body get ready for sleep. Two hours before bedtime, stop screen time for the night. Focus on quiet puzzles, reading books, or even just having a conversation about the day's events. When it's time for bed, ensure your little one has clean, soft sheets and pillows, a dark room (with a nightlight if necessary), and any comfort items, such as a blanket or stuffed animal. Remember to keep the room cool and comfortable as well.

If you notice that your baby, toddler, or school-age child seems to have trouble sleeping, you may need to try some natural remedies, such as immune support for children or lavender oil. Always talk to your pediatrician before starting a new treatment to be on the safe side.