Factors That May Affect Your Child’s Quality of Sleep
Making sure your child gets good, sound sleep ensures he or she will have a strong foundation for proper mind and body development. Sleep is just as important as food, water, and safety in the lives of children. However, with parents working long hours, and children’s schedules being packed with school and extra-curricular activities, naps are missed and bedtimes are pushed back. This leads to late mornings and the nights being anything but peaceful. Missing naps or going to bed a little late may not seem like a big deal, but they all add up, with consequences that may last a lifetime.
When your child has sleep problems, he may become less mentally alert, unable to concentrate, and easily distracted. In addition, he may also be more physically impulsive, irritable, hyperactive, or lazy. If that is something that you do not want for your child, read on to find out the most common factors that affect your child’s quality of sleep and what you can do to ensure that your child gets a good night’s rest every day.
Did you know that what our children wear to bed can make a big difference in their sleep quality? Getting dressed is not just reserved for the day, it’s also important to dress our children right for bed. This includes wearing well-fitted clothing, which helps with circulation. Constricting clothes such as shorts with elastic waistbands that pull very tight or tight tops and trousers will negatively impact their circulation and hamper their ability to breathe properly. They can also lead to skin irritation. We recommend high-quality baby onsies for optimal comfort as they sleep. If your children are fussy about bedtime even after wearing a comfortable onesie, you can consider swaddling them! Swaddling has been shown to calm down babies and make them feel more secure – resulting in a higher quality of sleep.
Many studies have shown that room temperature does play a big role in determining our quality of sleep. For little ones who are unable to vocalize how they are feeling – whether they are chilly or hot, parents need to be aware of how to regulate the temperature in their rooms. Even when you’ve got them the perfect night-time clothes, it is best to start with a reliable thermometer to check the temperature.
Many parents will tell you that the food their kids eat affects their mood. Too much sugar can lead to the all-familiar sugar crash while insufficient fruit and fiber may lead to a shorter attention span. This is why nutrition-dense foods are important for proper development. In addition, choose foods that are easy-to-digest for dinner to prevent digestive problems when putting them down for the night!
Not only do parents want their children to sleep soundly, but they also want them to sleep safely – due to the likelihood of child suffocation happening during their sleep. Parents can avoid risks by doing the following 2 things. Firstly, the bed should be clear of excessive soft toys and pillows as that can possibly cause suffocation. Secondly, ensure that their toddler’s clothes do not have any strings or is hooded, as these present big risks for strangulation.
Nowadays, it is very common to see children as young as two years of age playing with mobile devices. However, studies have shown that too much screen time is harmful to a child’s growth. While it is fun and normal for parents to involve children in the usage of mobile devices, for example, when showing them videos and photos of family members and friends and getting their opinions when you buy baby dresses online, do remember to do so in moderation. This is because children who spend a lot of their time online often do so to the detriment of developing their relationships with friends and family. They are also less likely to have enriching experiences in the real world as they are less interested in that. Moreover, blue light that is emitted from the screen reduces the production of melatonin, the hormone that signals to our brains that its time to sleep. This can lead to poor sleep habits which will impede your child’s cognitive development. As such, it is important to stop all screen time at least two hours before bedtime so that you can prepare your child for sleep.
Humans are creatures of habit, and that’s more true than ever when you’re a little human. Creating and following a set routine with your baby boys and girls can give them the security that comes with familiarity. Good bedtime routines are beneficial, as they help us wind down and tell our bodies it’s time to sleep. For many kids, these routines include a bath or shower, bedtime reading, and/or listening to relaxing music. Anything to associate bedtime with positivity would be wonderful and will also change the child’s perspective on going to bed.
Start while they are young
As parents, it is our responsibility to be sensitive to our children’s needs. We know what exactly what our child likes to eat, how they would react in an unfamiliar situation, and the type of fabric their skin is sensitive to (again, we emphasize the importance of quality baby clothes!). In the same way, we are to be sensitive to their need for sleep, watching out for signs that suggest poor sleep habits, and then putting in the work to correct them.
It is much easier to instill good habits than correct bad ones, so start them young, and start them right! You will likely have a happier, self-assured, less demanding, and more sociable child. Who knows? You just might get some more sleep yourself!