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SLEEPING PATTERNS

 

SLEEPING PATTERNS (12-18 Months)

Typical Sleep patterns At This Age :
Even though your child is officially a toddler, he still requires a lot of sleep as he did when he was younger.

The baby requires 13 - 14 hours of sleep divided into a major night sleep of 10 - 11 hours and 2 naps during the day of one to one and half hours each.

By the time the baby is 18 months old, a single nap of 1 to 2 hours is sufficient in the afternoon. This pattern may follow till the age of 4 - 5 years.

How to establish healthy sleeping habits :

a. Follow a nightly bedtime ritual : Toddlers love consistency and a regular pattern like giving the baby a bath, reading a bedtime story, hugging and kissing the baby as this prepares the baby for going to bed. Follow the same pattern every night even if you are away from home.
b. Stick to a consistent schedule of bedtime sleep and daytime naps : If your child naps, eats, plays and goes to bed at consistent timings, then the baby is likely to fall asleep without a struggle.
c. Allow the child to fall asleep on his own : The child should be allowed to sleep by himself every night. Putting the baby to sleep by rocking, nursing or singing will create problems for the mother. If the baby wakes up at night allow the baby to settle down on his own without the mothers help.


Potential Pitfalls :

a. Difficulty in falling asleep.
b. Waking up frequently at night.

The probable reason being that the toddler is so excited by his new skills and developmental milestones like walking and standing, that he wants to keep practicing them even if you say it is bedtime.


SLEEPING PATTERNS (18-24 Months)

Typical Sleep Patterns At This Age :

The toddler should now be sleeping 10 - 12 hours at night, and taking a two hour afternoon nap every day. Some children will continue to try and shorten their daytime naps.

How to establish healthy sleeping habits :

a. Break the bad sleep habits and allow the child to fall asleep on his own. Avoid rocking, nursing and lullabying the baby to sleep. If he learns to depend on this, then he will not be able to fall asleep again during the night if he wakes up and finds you are not there. Try to put the baby to sleep, when he is sleepy but still awake, so he can fall asleep on his own.
b. Offer your child acceptable choices at bedtime. In order to curtail bedtime struggle of putting your baby to sleep, allow him to make 2 - 3 choices of his night time routine e.g. the choice of bedtime story or the pyjama he would like to wear and sleep. The trick here is to show that you are happy with every choice of his.

Potential Pitfalls :

a.

  Difficulty in falling asleep

b.

  Frequent night wakings


If he has difficulty in falling asleep

a. Find out if there is any pain troubling the child. If there is nothing physical troubling the baby, probably the child needs a lot of security or has formed a bad habit.
b. Try to give the baby reassurance by leaving a night light on, if the child seems nervous of the dark, but assure him that darkness is not something to be threatened by.
c. Leave familiar objects like a teddy, a favourite blanket or any item of your clothing which gives the baby reassurance of your presence.


If the baby wakes up frequently

a. Try to provide as little stimulation as possible. Just sit with him and try not to chat, until he questions.
b. Avoid giving him juice or milk to drink once his teeth appear. If he is thirsty, offer the baby water.
c. Just allow the baby to settle and leave him to sleep on his own.

 

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