Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sleeping Habits

I'm beginning to worry about Janna's sleeping habits. It's just that it feels that she sleeps more than eat and playing. She can sleep thru the night already, wakes up at 6:00a.m., she'll eat, play with her dad, then goes back to sleep at 7:00 a.m. Wakes up at 10:00am, she'll eat and play a little then I'll give her a bath. After that she'll watch TV a little, by the time she's in her lying in chest position, she'll fall asleep by herself. After 2 hours she'll wake again to eat. Then play and tummy time exercise. Then she'll take a nap again. After that she'll wake up again, eat, play and nap again ... she'll sleep at 10:00pm ... hay o hay ...

When I told her pedia about this, she told me that babies from birth to 6 months usually sleeps 15-16 hours a day including short and long naps. And as long as when she wakes up, she's active and smiling, and talks to you, then she's fine.

According to babycenter.com, this is what I've found out:

As a new parent, that's probably one of your biggest questions. Below are some general guidelines as to how many hours of sleep the average child requires at various ages. Of course, every child is different — some need up to two hours more or less sleep than others.

AgeNighttime SleepDaytime Sleep *Total Sleep
1 month8 1/27 (3) 15 1/2
3 months105 (3)15
6 months113 1/4 (2)14 1/4
9 months 113 (2)14
12 months11 1/42 1/2 (2)13 3/4
18 months 11 1/42 1/4 (1)13 1/2
2 years 112 (1)13
3 years 10 1/21 1/2 (1)12
* number of naps in parentheses

Keep in mind that most children need lots of sleep. Often, says BabyCenter sleep expert Jodi Mindell, author of Sleeping Through the Night, if a child has poor sleep habits or refuses to go to bed before 11 at night, his parents will think that he just doesn't need a lot of sleep. That's probably not true — in fact, it's likely that such a child is actually sleep-deprived. To see whether your child falls into that camp, ask yourself these questions:

• Does your child fall asleep almost every time he's in a car?

• Do you have to wake your child almost every morning?

• Does your child seem cranky, irritable, or overtired during the day?

• On some nights, does your child seem to crash much earlier than his usual bedtime?

If you answered "yes" to any of these, your child may be getting less sleep than he needs. To change this pattern, you'll need to help him develop good sleep habits and set an appropriate bedtime. "Then he'll get all the sleep he needs to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed," Mindell says.

As he gets older, your child will probably stop napping and start doing all of his sleeping at night. Preschoolers and young elementary school students still need up to 10 or 11 hours of sleep a night, but that amount will gradually decrease. By the time he's a teenager, your child will need only about nine or 10 hours of shut-eye per night. To find out more about children's sleep patterns, take our quiz.