11 February 2011

Bedtime made easy

Baby doesn't have to keep you up all night.

At your wits’ end? Is your baby keeping you awake night after night? Here’s some help from the experts. BY ELISE-MARIE TANCRED for YOU Pulse magazine.

An uninterrupted night’s sleep is critical to a sleep-deprived mom and dad. And the experts agree: if a good routine isn’t established early on a lack of sleep could ruin the quality of life for both parent and child.

  • eat, bath, have a short chat about the day’s events
  • read a story or sing a lullaby
  • then – most importantly – say good night, walk out of the room and close the door even if the child kicks up a fuss
  • older children must be sent back to bed at once if they get up

  • Medicines, such as painkillers and some cough syrups, containing codeine. codeine can be addictive. Under no circumstances should medicines containing codeine be given to babies younger than one year.
  • Sleeping pills. They are not suitable for children because they can delay physical and mental development.
  • Syrups containing antihistamine. this drug is used to treat allergies and can make some children drowsy but giving antihistamine is not a way of getting a child to sleep.
  • Medicines containing caffeine or pseudoephedrine. they could keep your child awake. Some cold syrups contain these substances.

Age Night-time sleep (hours) Daytime naps (hours) Total sleep (hours)
1 month 8,5 (very short naps) 7,5 (very short naps) 16
3 months 6-10 5-9 15
6 months 10-12 3-4,5 14,5
9 months 11 3 (2 naps) 14
12-18 months 11 2,5 (1-2 naps) 13,5
2 years 11 2 (1 nap) 13
3 years 10,5 1,5 (1 nap) 12
4 years 11,5 0 11,5
5-7 years 11 0 11
8-9 years 10-11 0 10-11
10-11 years 10 0 10
12-13 years 9,5-10 0 9,5-10


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