Children and Sleep

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When a child is born, its nervous system is exposed to numerous and different stimuli, to which it gradually gets used to. Initially, these stimuli are tiring for the child’s brain, so it must take longer to rest, accept and contemplate the new impressions from the environment.

The newborn sleeps 20 hours a day in periods of about 3 hours. Sleep is the deepest after they fall asleep, usually after breastfeeding.

StageAgesSleep Hours
Newborns0 – 3 Months14 to 17
Infants4 – 11 Months12 to 15
Toddlers1 – 2 Years11 to 14
Preschoolers3 – 5 Years10 to 13
School-aged6 – 13 Years9 to 11
Teenagers14 – 17 Years8 to 11
Young Adults18 – 25 Years7 to 9
Child Sleep Hours by Stages and Ages

Crying in Infants: Causes

In infants, sometimes the dream is interrupted by crying, and the most common cause is hunger. Sometimes the child wakes up because it is cold, warm, or has a physiological need. Noise or light in the sleeping ambiance can also wake it up or prevent it from falling asleep. If the causes of all distractions are removed, the baby’s sleep ought to be calm and the crying minimized.

The Crying Child: Is It Worth the Practice of Carrying or Swinging a Child?

It is wrong for the child to be held or rocked, in order to stop crying. These actions do not bother the baby, on the contrary, they are pleasant to it. In human nature lies the need to repeat activities that are pleasant and satisfying. The same goes for children. If the practice of carrying or swinging the baby in order for it to fall asleep is not fulfilled, the child will have a new reason to cry.

If parents put their baby to sleep with stimulating activities such as cradling, carrying, singing songs, telling stories, walks; such habits later will be difficult to break and the child will become whiny. Then, the parents have no other choice, but to please it and so, little by little, the baby becomes egocentric.

The Use of Cradling as an Introduction to Sleep?

It is recommended that physical contact such as holding and cradling is advisable to be moderately practiced when the child is awake. But we must be careful this gesture is not to be recognized as an introduction to sleep. This is a natural process, which is an expression of the parent’s feelings for the child.

The child that is spoiled by the parents with all kinds of privileges, doesn’t only cry for justified reasons, but for the need to increase and expand them in order to adjust the whole environment to itself and be served by the same.

The unaccountable crying of a child is already a form of negative behavior. The suppression of this practice is achieved by not allowing the child to get to its goal with this kind of behavior. When the child senses that the crying cannot waver the parents, at one point that practice will disappear.

Sometimes the child is persistent, but the parents must remain consistent by not abandoning the firm stance of being unyielding. Such consistency can only help the child to adapt better to the environment and get rid of its capriciousness.

Sleep-Dependent Rhythm of a Child with a Changing Sleeping Pattern

When sleep is reduced only to night, the child needs some time to adjust to that kind of schedule. The child must know that it cannot sleep whenever or be awake while other family members sleep. At this rhythm, a child can get used only if the family adheres to this practice.

Many parents are getting their children used to certain ceremonies before falling asleep. Once a child gets accustomed to them, then it is difficult to break such a habit. Parents typically react authoritatively, shout at him, quarrel, and even intimidate it. Such actions cause a mental damage that can seriously impair its emotional development.

Sleep disorders in children can be avoided if the child is handled in a reasonable way. It is necessary to introduce a sleep order, sometime between 7PM – 8PM. The practice of going out or receiving guests at this period should be avoided. Also, the child should not be allowed to delay the sleeping time.

The Need for the Child to Relax before Bedtime

Just before bed, the child needs to calm down so that it can fall asleep more easily. If it is excited before bedtime because of an over-intensive child game, it will find it harder to fall asleep. Calm activities are advisable, which will cause a feeling of drowsiness.

It is desirable with a pleasant, good night tone, the parent to announce his departure from the room. In smaller children, the door can be left a little open, so that the light from the adjacent rooms can reach inside. It is known that children feel abandoned when they are in complete darkness and this scares them.

Premature Sexual Instability and the Innate Self-Satisfaction of the Child

The proper sexual upbringing of the child requires that the parents let it sleep only on its own bed. When a child sleeps with an adult or older sibling, it can cause a premature awakening of sexual urges. In older children, sexual fantasies about this person may arise, hence the difficulty in encountering their future sexual partner.

When a child shares a bed with others, it can cause unintended sexual irritation. This newly emerging situation suggests and leads it to begin a conscious intimate self-satisfaction. But it is unnatural and harmful for its psycho-sexual development, the sexual instinct to be awakened sooner than it spontaneously happens.

If parents allow their child to set conditions for sleeping, it is necessary to lose the habit as soon as possible. In the dis-habituation process, the child will initially protest for a new regime of upbringing. At such moments, addressing the child should be with pleasure and serenity.