Baby sleep: The facts you need to know
No, you're not dreaming. It seems a good night's sleep is within your grasp. Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright share the secrets in their helpful new book The Happy Sleeper
Here are some crucial sleep tips we have pulled out from the book to help your baby, and you, sleep easy.
Did you know?
• Napping helps babies learn and remember language.
• Missing sleep compromises the brain's prefrontal cortex, which our kids need for decision-making, attention and emotional control.
• Little kids who sleep fewer than ten hours a night are twice as likely to have low scores on cognitive tests when they enter school.
• Too little sleep in childhood increases the risk of obsesity.
How much sleep do you really need?
• Newborns (0-2 months): 12-18 hours.
• Infants (3-11 months): 14 to 15 hours.
• Toddlers (1-3 years): 12 to 14 hours.
• Preschoolers (3-5 years): 11 to 13 hours.
• School-age children (5-10 years): 10 to 11 hours.
• Teens (10-17): 8.5-9.25 hours.
• Adults: 7-9 hours.
Signs of a sleep-deprived child
• Needs to be woken up in the morning.
• Hyperactive, inattentive, moody, impulsive, or aggressive.
• Falls asleep before scheduled naps if taken on a walk or car ride.
• Sleeps in on the weekends.
• Falls asleep in school.
• Becomes clumsy, irritable, easily frustrated.
Signs of a well-rested child
• Wakes up naturally.
• Alert most of the day or until naptime.
• Doesn't fall asleep in the stroller or car during the day (in between nap times).
• Has more or less the same sleep schedule all week.
• Has the same nap habits at home and daycare or preschool.
Unhelpful sleep associations
• Rocking, bouncing to sleep
• Breast - or bottlefeeding to sleep.
• Swings, vibrating chairs, and other devices.
• Pacifiers that baby can't reinsert.
• Music that turns off during the night.
• Stroller rides or car trips.
Helpful sleep associations
• Comforters (stuffed animals for toddlers).
• Baby rocking back and forth.
• Nature sounds or white noise all night.
• Sucking fingers or thumb.
• Moving into favourite sleep position
• Singing or talking to self in the crib.