To help your child develop good sleep habits:
- Do nap time. Babies spend most of their time sleeping, and most babies are awake for less than 2 hours at a time. As babies become toddlers, naps are still a crucial part of their day. When young children skip naps – or are awake for longer periods than they are used to – they can become sleep deprived.
- Teach your baby the difference between night and day. In the daytime, interact and play with your baby when he is awake. Keep your home bright, and do not worry about being quiet while he is asleep. Also be sure to wake him for feedings throughout the day. At nighttime, do not play with him when he wakes for feedings. Keep the lights and noise low and set him down (on his back!) to sleep as soon as he is finished eating.
- Know your child’s signs of tiredness. Watch for signs that your baby or toddler is tired. She may rub her eyes, pull on her ears, or be fussy. As soon as you notice these signs, try putting her down. Don’t worry if you can’t figure out the signs right away. It takes a little practice.
- Put your child to bed when he’s sleepy, but still awake. This can help your baby develop good sleep habits and fall asleep on his own. Babies often like to be rocked at bedtime. You can rock your baby and then put him to bed before he falls fully asleep. Find what works best for you and your child.
Teaching your children to have good sleep habits can help you get more sleep, which can help you have more energy for raising kids.
Daytime sleepiness and behavior troubles may be signs of:
- Poor sleep
- A sleep problem
- Sleep deprivation