11 suggestions for a healthy sleep pattern in children aged 0-3
Sleep disorders such as falling asleep late, short naps during the day, and waking up frequently in the middle of the night can be observed in babies and children. Pointing out that parents can overcome sleep problems in babies aged 0-3 with a careful and patient process, Anadolu Health Center Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Esra Kutlu said, “When teaching babies to sleep on their own, we should not forget that crying is a very natural reaction. “However, if we stand by them and support them while they cry, the bond of trust and love we will establish will not be damaged,” he said. Dr. Esra Kutlu gave important information on the subject…
The causes of sleep disorders may be environmental or baby factors. The temperature of the room (should be 16-22 degrees), humidity (should be between 40-60 percent), light (it should be dark or dimly lit), folding the sheets, overfeeding the child before sleep, some medications (such as antihistamines, cold medicines), the baby’s Causes such as inconsistency in the sleep practices of caregivers, maternal stress level and pregnancy depression are environmental factors. Factors related to the baby are; dry skin (tightening and itching), reflux, allergic rhinitis, colic, teething, adenoid enlargement, sleep apnea, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, asthma, autism, obesity and iron deficiency anemia.
Daily sleep patterns in babies vary depending on month and age.
A baby’s daily sleep time varies depending on the month and age range. During the newborn period, if the baby has no physical problems, it is expected that his sleep will be regular. Between 5-8 months, babies usually take 3 daytime naps and sleep 3-3.5 hours in total. Night sleep is 10-11 hours. Most babies between 9-14 months sleep twice during the day, for a total of 2.5-3.5 hours. They can sleep 10-11 hours uninterrupted at night. The period between 15-18 months is the transition period for babies to only daytime sleep. They can sleep for an average of 2.5-3 hours. If the night’s sleep is 10-11 hours, it means that an ideal sleep pattern has been formed. After 24 months, daytime sleep becomes an average of 2 hours. Sleep duration at 2.5 years old is 1.5-2 hours during the day and 10-11 hours uninterrupted at night.
Sleep training should start in the evening
It is very important to have plenty of contact with the baby during the first 4 months. However, it is not right to put the baby to sleep with support after the 4th month. This makes it difficult for the baby to fall asleep on his own and sleep uninterrupted. Babies can wake up every 60-90 minutes. A baby who is used to being put to sleep with support, that is, by rocking, breastfeeding, co-laying, patting and similar methods, will need the same support in each sleep cycle. Of course, the stress that occurs in babies who are left to cry alone in a room or forced to sleep on their own makes it difficult to fall asleep. It is very important that; The baby should not feel for a moment that his mother has abandoned him. Sleep training should be started at 4-6 days at the earliest. After 1 month, the mother should give it. After the first 3-5 days are passed, the father or other people who will help care for the baby can continue. Training should definitely start in the evening and a suitable bedtime and wake-up time should be determined.
Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Esra Kutlu made suggestions to establish a healthy sleep pattern:
- After 18.00, instead of exciting, active games and bright lights; Try to create a sleep ritual such as bathing, massage, creaming, putting on pajamas and reading a book. However, to make it easier for him to go to bed early at night, open the curtains and wake him up at 08:00 in the morning at the latest. There should be nothing in the baby’s bed, including a pillow. You can use the pillow after 2-3 years of age and choose a sleeping bag instead of covering yourself with a quilt or blanket. It is important to ventilate the room for 1 hour during the day. If you cannot find a hard spring mattress for your newborn, you can use a latex mattress. Cover your bed by stretching it or use fitted sheets to prevent it from bunching up with movement.
- Make sure that the environment where you put your baby to sleep is close to pitch black at night and dim during the day.
- Take your baby to his room 15-20 minutes before daytime sleep and 30-40 minutes before night sleep. Your baby should always sleep in the same environment during the day and at night. You can reserve his room after the 5th month. Don’t forget to get a sleeping partner during this period. A sleeping companion is a soft toy that we try to give to babies as they go to sleep and that we want them to associate with sleep. It does not have small parts such as noses, eyes or buttons, is washable, is hairless and is not too large.
- After 1 year of age, you should finish feeding solid food 1 hour before putting your baby to bed.
- Prepare your child for sleep by talking. They understand us.
- Wait approximately 40-50 minutes. A consistent attitude for 3-7 days with determination will yield results.
- Do not run to your baby at the slightest sound, because you will take away the chance of your baby learning the ability to fall asleep on his own.
- Tiny sounds, little cries, and rapid turning from side to side are common in babies as they go through their sleep cycles. If your baby wakes up crying during the day, it means he is still sleepy, do not take him out of bed immediately. After the daytime sleep has settled, you should wait 3 hours after the last daytime sleep for night sleep.
- It may be beneficial for babies who constantly turn around in the bed before falling asleep and who need to touch someone, to be massaged before sleep, to put pillows in the bed that they can touch, to encourage them to have a sleeping partner, and to use heavy blankets. However, babies with tactile sensitivity are uncomfortable with quilts and blankets. You can also use a sleeping bag for them so they can move their legs comfortably.
- The only point that should be taken into consideration when giving sleep training to premature babies is to plan according to their corrected age.
- Do not forget to consult your doctor when you do not get effective results from sleep training.
- Skin touching that does not allow babies to fall asleep on their own
- rocking to sleep
- Breastfeeding or bottle feeding while falling asleep
- Putting him to sleep in his lap or in his stroller
- put to sleep in a warm environment
- Overdressing the baby and putting him to sleep
- Thinking that tiring the baby before sleep will make it easier for him to fall asleep
- Tiring the baby too much during the day
- Putting them to sleep in front of the TV (Children who sleep in front of the TV get used to the sound and fall asleep without realizing it).