Good sleep is essential for kids to learn and grow well.
And as parents, it’s our job to make sure our children establish healthy sleeping habits and that they stick to these habits even later in life.
Like most other habits, children follow their parents when it comes to sleeping. This is why it’s crucial to establish the right habits that can help them maintain a healthy sleeping routine not just during their childhood years but also later in their adult life!
So, how do you teach your children good sleeping habits?
Many parents, especially first-timers, may feel a little lost or even overwhelmed when it comes to establishing good sleeping habits. They find it challenging to get their newborn and toddler to sleep.
Similarly, they are sometimes clueless when it comes to helping older kids get enough sleep between other endless activities.
This is where we can help.
This guide mentions everything that caregivers and parents need to know to ensure that children sleep healthy.
We discuss common sleep challenges for different age groups, including school-age children and teenagers, and mention helpful tips that parents can follow to make sure their child gets enough restful sleep at each stage.
You also learn signs of sleep deprivation in children and how to create a healthy sleep environment for them.
Quality Sleep for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and Infants
Sleep is perhaps one of the greatest challenges for parents of newborns and young children.
Toddlers and babies, in particular, are at an age where they’re developing sleeping habits, but they still need sufficient sleep for their development and health.
Without sufficient consolidated REM sleep, children and babies tend to have shorter attention spans. Plus, young children who don’t get enough sleep release more cortisol – a stress hormone that causes shorter naps and poor-quality sleep throughout the night.
Newborns are particularly challenging because of their irregular sleeping patterns. At this stage, their circadian rhythms are not developed (circadian rhythms start to develop at roughly 6 weeks). But by 3-6 months, most infants have a regular sleep and wake cycle.
Parents must establish healthy sleep cycles early in their child’s life.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 6-month-olds who have difficulty sleeping are more likely to struggle with sleeping in later years and even tend to continue with their poor sleeping habits beyond the age of 3.
Young children sleep most of the day. In fact, by the time they are 2 years old, they have spent more time sleeping than they have been awake. Children spend roughly 40% of their childhood asleep.
But they only sleep for a few hours at a time, which is quite troublesome for parents, especially at night.
The good news is, consistent healthy sleeping habits can help even young children learn how to sleep well.
Common Sleep Issues for Toddlers and Infants
Babies don’t know how to self-soothe
Babies often fall asleep pretty easily and quickly when you hold them, but they wake up as soon as you set them down. And because of their inability to self-soothe, they don’t go back to sleep instantly.
They confuse the night and day
Since young babies don’t have developed circadian rhythms, they tend to mix up the night and day. This is because of their movement while in the womb. The mother’s daytime activities rock the baby to sleep throughout the day, leaving them wide awake at night.
But making clear distinctions between the night and day and limiting daytime naps can help with this problem.
Periods of development hinder sleep
Babies might be specially sleep-challenged during some periods of development and have more trouble sleeping, such as when they grow teeth or develop motor skills.
But this is only temporary.
Make sure you still stick to the routine you set for your child and maintain consistency until your child returns to his regular sleeping pattern.
Most babies don’t sleep throughout the night until they are at least 6 months old. Infants need multiple night feedings, and while 1-2 night feedings are normal, 3 or more feedings may be excessive.
If your baby wakes up a few times throughout the night to feed, make sure you talk to your pediatrician.
Some babies fall asleep while feeding and don’t have a full belly to sustain them for a few hours.
While you should normally avoid stimulation at night, it might be necessary to keep the baby up during feedings so that he can get a full belly. This way, you can extend the time in between nighttime feedings.
You might stimulate your baby at night while changing or feeding, which may make them fully awake. So, make sure you avoid fully rousing your baby at night.
Babies often have separation anxiety, where the child expresses the need for one or both of his parents at night.
While this is sad and frustrating for the parent, this is a normal stage in development.
Children might need reassurance throughout the night. It is best to inform them when you have to leave, create a diversion, or use a familiar babysitter when going out for the night to overcome separation anxiety.
Unwillingness to sleep
While babies willingly lie down to sleep when you encourage them, preschoolers and toddlers are a different story.
Since they are busy learning, playing, and exploring new things, they don’t want the fun to end because of bedtime.
They may make their way through their routine very slowly, many several requests to stretch out bedtime, or simply refuse to go to sleep.
In such cases, it’s important that you are firm but gentle and convince them to go to sleep.
Helpful Tips for Toddlers and Infants
Set a routine
Babies thrive on routine, which is why it’s important to maintain a regular, reliable schedule for nap times and bedtimes. Doing so also ensures healthy sleep during the early childhood years.
With regular, fixed times for sleep, your child knows what to expect, and his body will naturally start to get ready for sleep around regular sleep times.
Create the right environment
While some babies can sleep anywhere, it’s important that you develop a sleep-friendly environment to establish healthy sleeping habits.
Ideally, the sleeping environment should be comfortable, cool, and dark.
Also, make sure there’s some comfort item like a stuffed toy for toddlers or a pacifier for young babies.
Establish a reliable and consistent bedtime routine early to help your kid settle into bedtime. This is very easy – just follow the same time each night so that the child knows it’s bedtime.
It’s a good idea to make a routine out of brushing teeth, bathing and reading books.
For preschoolers and toddlers, you can even make straightening up toys or sharing a snuggle a part of the bedtime routine.
Don’t take naps near bedtime
Daytime naps are quite important for children. They provide the downtime that aids their mental and physical development that takes place in the early years.
Daytime naps also keep kids from becoming overtired; however, you should be careful not to let your kid nap too close to bedtime.
Let him sleep close to bedtime, and he will be too awake to sleep for the night.
Put babies to bed as soon as they’re sleepy
We recommend you tuck in your child as soon as he shows signs of sleepiness.
Some signs of tiredness that you should look out for include crying, rubbing the eyes, and being fussy.
Children put to bed while they are sleepy learn how to sleep better than those who are tucked in once they are already asleep.
Avoid too much stimulation at night
It’s important that you keep the babies calm and quiet when changing or feeding at night. Keep your voices low and dim the lights.
Also, avoid engaging your baby by talking to him or trying to get his attention.
Place the baby on his back
Babies between the age of one and four months are at a high risk of SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
To reduce the risk of SIDS, place your child on the back on a firm sleeping surface. Make sure there is no loose bedding or soft objects on the sleeping surface.
Log your baby’s sleep
If you think that your infant or toddler isn’t getting enough sleep or isn’t sleeping as well as other babies of his age, make a log of his sleep.
It’s difficult to remember or recall exactly what happened in the early morning hours, but a log can help spot patterns and determine how much your baby sleeps.
A log can also help you identify the ideal time to put down your baby so that he sleeps for longer.
Make sure to play during the day
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you play and talk to your baby during the day. This will prolong the time they are up throughout the day and encourage better, longer sleep at night.
Just make sure you avoid playing with your baby right before bedtime.
Let your child learn how to self-soothe
Don’t respond to your child crying immediately. Instead, give him a few minutes before you respond to his fussing. This way, they will learn how to self-soothe.
In fact, it is better to wait a little to see if your kid falls asleep on his own.
Make sure all caregivers follow the sleeping routine
Whether the child is with a babysitter, a family member, or some other caregiver for the night, make sure they stick to the established sleeping routines.
This will prevent your child from getting off the track.
Address sleeping problems
Talk to your pediatrician if you think that your child really struggles with sleeping or doesn’t get enough sleep at night.
If necessary, consult a sleep specialist.
Your child won’t develop good sleeping habits in only a few days. You need to be very patient and understanding and be as supportive as possible.
If you come across challenges that you can’t handle, make sure you get help.
Quality Sleep for School-Going Children
School-going children need sufficient sleep to be able to learn and perform well at school.
Unfortunately, the children in this age group often experience many sleep challenges because of school obligations and evening activities.
Plus, as their bedtime is pushed back, maintaining a good sleeping schedule becomes trickier.
REM sleep for school-going children is drastically different from that of a preschooler. In fact, school-age children spend significantly less time in the REM stage, which means they need to make the most of the deep sleep they get each night.
The school year makes sleeping difficult for children.
They usually have later bedtimes and wake times, a less strict sleeping schedule, and more time to sleep during the break, but they revert to a strict sleeping schedule once the school is in session.
This transition from a laid-back to a strict sleeping schedule is difficult, particularly at the start of the school year, which is rather unfortunate.
Insufficient sleep is quite dangerous for children. In school-age children, it can cause issues with memory, learning, and alertness.
Meanwhile, with enough sleep, they retain the new information they learn better. According to education experts, adequate sleep is the secret to school success!
Sufficient healthy sleep for school-going children has other benefits as well. Helping them establish a good sleeping routine in their formative years can help them get healthy sleep through later years too.
Common Sleep Issues for School-Going Children
Children usually have nighttime anxiety that doesn’t let them sleep at night. They might be scared about monsters in the closet, fires, or burglars. Similarly, they might struggle with overcoming daytime troubles like challenging schoolwork or bullies.
They may refuse to sleep alone, complain of a stomachache, cry when you leave, or demand extra hugs.
In such cases, make sure to address their fears.
For younger children, add items like a body pillow or their favorite stuffed animal so that they feel secure and fall asleep.
For older children, ask them to note down their anxieties in a journal so that they feel better once they lie down to sleep.
Lack of exercise
School-going children usually spend most of their time sitting at school, and once they come home, they typically lounge around in front of the computer or TV. This lack of activity throughout the day makes it difficult for kids to fall asleep.
Exercise produces chemicals that promote relaxation and sleep. So, limiting screen time and playing sports or other games outside can add activity to your kid’s day and encourage better and timely nighttime sleep.
Sleepwalking is very common in school-going children. In fact, 20-40%of school-going children sleepwalk.
The condition occurs because of incomplete sleep stage transition, and while the body can move around, the brain stays asleep. Sleepwalking usually takes place in the first couple of hours after bedtime.
Most children overcome sleepwalking without treatment, but it’s best that you take precautions.
Make sure there are no sharp corners that could harm the child, lock the windows, install locks on all doors, keep knick-knacks and potential injury-causing items (like toys) off the floor, and gently guide the kid back to bed.
Sleep apnea and snoring
25% of elementary school children have mild apnea and struggle with sleeping.
They stop breathing many times throughout the night and wake up to catch their breath, which prevents them from getting deep sleep.
Conditions like obesity, oversized tonsils, and chronic sinus infections can trigger sleep apnea in children.
If you suspect that your child has sleep apnea, take him to a sleep lab.
Usually, sleep apnea is treated by removing adenoids and tonsils. Similarly, sinus infections and obesity are also treated to alleviate apnea.
School-going children are highly susceptible to nightmares. And as they learn more about real-life anxieties and dangers, their nightmares may become more gory and frequent.
Children with nightmares wake up scared or crying, which interferes with a good night’s sleep. The nightmares may even continue to haunt them throughout the day.
If your child wakes up because of a nightmare, make sure to comfort him, talk about it with him if he wants to, and make him understand that it is just a dream.
A relaxing bedtime routine can also help keep nightmares away.
Excessive screen time
School-going children spend a lot of time in front of the screen throughout their day – while playing video games or watching TV at home, texting or streaming videos on their phones, or in the computer lab at their school.
While a little screen time is necessary for learning, excessive screen time can interfere with sleep, especially if it is just before bedtime, and negatively impact your child’s sleeping habits and patterns.
Screens emit artificial bright light, which may confuse your kid’s circadian rhythm and signal to the brain that it is still daytime when it’s almost bedtime.
So, make sure you encourage physical activity away from all screens, limit the hours they spend in front of the screen at home and switch off all screens at least one hour before bedtime.
Helpful Tips for School-going Children
Follow a consistent sleep schedule
Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is as important for school-going children as it is for young children.
A regular sleeping schedule can help kids sleep on time and enjoy more restful sleep as their bodies get used to sleeping at the same time.
A regular schedule can also reduce or eliminate bedtime resistance as the kids know what to expect every night.
Continue bedtime routines
As mentioned earlier, children thrive on routine, so make sure you keep up with a bedtime routine.
Reading before bedtime, bathing, using the bathroom, and brushing teeth can help children get ready to sleep.
Also, make sure you get your kids to put away their phones and other devices before their bedtime as part of their bedtime routine.
Create a healthy sleep environment
The children’s bedroom should be cool, dark, and quiet, with comfortable bedding and minimum distractions. This means no TV or computer in their room.
Caffeine is present in many snacks that children often have throughout the day.
While some school-going children might consume caffeine in the form of coffee, others may consume it in things like sodas and chocolates.
For healthy sleep, limit the kids’ caffeine consumption and ensure they don’t consume caffeine by late afternoon.
Avoid horror movies or TV shows
While older children can handle horror movies and scary shows even at night, younger children might get nightmares after watching a horror show and may even have trouble sleeping.
So, make sure your kids don’t watch something so close to bedtime and keep an eye out for what they watch. Watching shows or movies on age-inappropriate subjects may hinder their sleep.
Limit screen time
As mentioned earlier, the artificial light from screens, including the mobile and TV, can make it difficult to fall asleep.
To prevent that from happening, make sure your child turns off all screens at least an hour before bedtime.
Make sure kids are not too full or too hungry
A heavy meal just a while before bedtime can make kids uncomfortable, making it difficult for them to fall asleep.
However, going to bed on an empty stomach can cause sleeping problems, too. For instance, your kid might experience hunger pains throughout the night, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
So, before you send your kids to bed, give them a healthy snack so they can fall asleep easily.
Revert to a healthy sleep schedule before the school year starts
Roughly a week or two before school starts again, ease your kids into a sleep schedule appropriate for their school year.
Slowly move up wake times and sleep times but make sure they still get the recommended hours of sleep for their age group.
Analyze your family’s schedule
Make sure you factor in how your family’s schedule may reduce restful sleeping time.
If your family tends to stay out at events well after dinner time or if you work a late shift and your children wait up to greet you when you get home, this could be a problem.
If your child is having difficulty sleeping, consider your family’s routine and identify trouble spots that could be the issue.
Practice what you preach
Children learn best by example, particularly at this age, where they notice and imitate your actions. So, make sure you get a good night’s sleep so that your children follow the lead.
Consult a doctor
If your child finds it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep and snores regularly, or experiences sleep problems that hinder daytime function, make sure to consult your kid’s doctor.
Quality Sleep for Teens
According to epidemiologic studies, young adults function best with a minimum of 9 hours of sleep, but only a few get that much sleep.
Almost 90% of high school students don’t get sufficient sleep on school nights, which is very unfortunate, particularly because teens have high mental and physical demands that require adequate sleep time.
Teens that don’t get enough sleep go through serious consequences, including obesity, poor grades, drowsy driving, moodiness, and increased risk of depression, suicide, and anxiety.
William Dement, the founder of Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, claims that high school is a significant danger spot for sleep deprivation. Without sufficient sleep, teens cannot perform at optimal levels not just in schools but also in driving, health, and sports.
Teens often don’t get enough sleep due to factors that are mostly beyond their control. In between family time, work responsibilities, homework, and active social life, teens often go to bed late.
Some teens also suffer from DSPS (Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome), making it difficult for them to sleep early. And since 85% of high schools start at or before 8.30 in the morning, teens are forced to get up early, interrupting their natural circadian rhythm.
The CDC also states that both high schools and middle schools start too early in the morning, and too little sleep can be quite harmful to teens.
Common Sleep Issues for Teens
Perhaps the biggest problem for teens is that there isn’t enough time to sleep for over 9 hours each night.
Teens have to balance home responsibilities, jobs, heavy homework loads, and extracurricular activities on top of early school hours.
So, if you’re a parent of a teen who’s not getting sufficient sleep, sit down and examine his schedule with him and determine if he can make any changes, such as dropping unnecessary activities or cutting down on his extracurriculars.
Changes in the circadian rhythm
As teens hit puberty, their circadian rhythm changes to a later bedtime. In other words, before puberty, teens might be sleepy around 8-9 p.m., but once they hit puberty, they aren’t sleepy until around 10-11 p.m.
This sleep phase delay can make teenagers feel as if they’re suffering from insomnia. It can also make it difficult for them to get sufficient sleep before it’s time to get up for school.
Lack of daytime activity
While teens are quite busy during the day, they don’t get enough exercise. Exercise is essential for health and good sleep, and teens who don’t get enough sleep throughout the day might find it hard to fall asleep when it is bedtime.
This is why teens should make a habit of playing a sport of their choice or commit to exercising daily to make sure they get sufficient physical activity.
Excessive screen time
Whether day or night, teens spend most of their time on screens. They might even take their mobile to bed!
All of this screen time interferes with the shifting circadian rhythm, which makes it difficult for teenagers to fall asleep at the right time.
So, as a parent to a teen, make sure you monitor their screen usage during the day and ask them to stop using their devices at least an hour before bed. Also, convince them not to take their devices to bed.
Helpful Tips for Teens
Let teens wind down
It can be pretty tricky to wind down after a hectic busy, but it’s important that teenagers get a chance to do so.
Create a calming environment before bed to help teens get into a sleepy mindset. This will help them fall asleep easily.
Convince them to have a regular sleep time
It’s better for teens to follow a regular sleep time, even during holidays or on the weekends. By falling asleep around the same time every day, they train themselves to become sleepy as bedtime approaches.
Limit evening activities
Weeknight activities can quickly overwhelm teenagers and even keep them all strung, wired, and unable to sleep well past their bedtime.
In fact, some weeknight activities might even cut into their homework time, forcing them to stay up late to complete their homework.
So, make sure you carefully consider your family’s evening activities and your teen’s schedule, including home responsibilities, work, extracurricular activities, and sports, and monitor how they affect everyday sleep habits.
Create the right sleeping environment
Just like adults and younger children, teenagers also need a comfortable, dark, cool, and calm bedroom.
So, make sure your teen has a distraction-free and healthy sleeping environment with a good mattress and soft bedding.
Adopt a regular exercise schedule
Teens should ensure that they get sufficient physical activity daily. Experts recommend at least half an hour of activity daily for overall good health and good sleep.
Dim the lights
Ask your teens to keep the lights low before bedtime. This will signal the brain that it’s almost time to go to sleep.
And once the sun comes up, open up the curtains and let bright light enter to signal the brain that it’s time to start the day.
Excessive caffeine can leave teenagers wired, especially in the late evening hours. Encourage them to avoid excessive caffeine during the day and ask them not to take any caffeine (including chocolate and sodas) after 4 p.m.
Check your teen’s prescription
Medicines like Adderall and Ritalin can cause insomnia. So, if your child is prescribed either of these medicines, talk to their doctor about using them and the best time to take them.
Encourage short naps
Naps supplement nighttime sleep and help sleep-deprived teenagers feel rejuvenated. But make sure they don’t take long naps. Short naps of less than an hour are enough to avoid sleeplessness during bedtime.
Discourage drugs, alcohol, and smoking
Of course, teens should avoid drugs, alcohol, and smoking for general health. But they should also stay away from these things for their sleep health.
Drugs, alcohol, and smoking can interfere with the teen’s ability to stay asleep or get enough restful sleep.
Encourage stress-relieving exercises
Teenagers usually suffer from severe anxiety and stress, especially as they make their way to college and get caught up in complicated personal relationships.
This anxiety and stress can interfere with a good night’s sleep. If that is the case with your child too, encourage him to do some stress-relieving exercises for a few minutes, including prayer, meditation, and yoga to reduce stress.
Let them catch up on sleep
While teenagers should maintain a regular sleeping schedule throughout the whole week, they can catch a few hours of missed sleep over the weekend.
However, make sure they don’t overdo it. Sleeping in very late throughout the weekend can make it almost impossible to wake up early on Mondays.
Creating a Healthy Sleep Environment for Children
Children, despite their age, need a comfortable and relaxing place to sleep.
And as parents, you can help your child establish the perfect sleeping environment with the right mattress, pillows, bedding, and lighting.
The Right Mattresses for Kids
One of the most important things that children need for healthy sleep is a good mattress.
However, the mattress needs of children change at different stages and ages of life.
Mattress for Toddlers and Infants
The ideal mattress for toddlers and infants is a crib mattress.
Crib mattresses are particularly designed to fit in toddler beds and infant cribs. They are also firmer than other mattresses and provide babies with a safe and comfortable sleeping surface.
Note that there’s very little variety when it comes to the types and materials of crib mattresses.
Crib Mattresses: Types & Materials
Innerspring crib mattress
These are your traditional mattresses supported by coils and wrapped in some padding material, foam, or fabric.
Foam crib mattress
Despite being less famous than innerspring mattresses, foam crib mattresses are a good choice. They are usually inexpensive and lightweight and are most commonly used in bassinets instead of cribs.
Before you buy a foam crib mattress, make sure you check its resiliency and firmness.
Make sure you don’t buy a very soft foam mattress since that increases the risk of SIDS and suffocation.
Organic crib mattress
As evident by the name, organic crib mattresses are made of organic materials. They can be foam or innerspring and are free of pesticides and gases.
Crib Mattress: Best Type for Your Baby
To put it simply, there is no right or wrong choice since all crib mattresses are made for toddler and infant use.
However, you might have a specific preference, or you might prefer some unique features or sizing that require a particular type of mattress.
Both foam and innerspring mattresses are safe and comfortable for babies. In contrast, foam and organic mattresses are ideal for parents concerned about materials that might be harmful to infants and toddlers.
Some other features you should look out for include the right firmness levels, good venting to allow moisture and odor to escape, and a waterproof or water-resistant covering.
You should also make sure that you get the correct size.
Crib mattresses and cribs have standard sizes, but you should double-check that the mattress you buy fits snugly and that there’s no space between the mattress and the frame where the infant could suffocate.
Also, make sure you don’t buy used crib mattresses. These can be hazardous to your baby’s health.
Lastly, the mattress you choose should have certification seals from both the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials.
Crib Mattress: Care and Maintenance
Every child uses a crib mattress for a very short while, which is why most families reuse the mattress for each child.
Make sure you clean the crib mattress frequently. If your crib mattress doesn’t come with waterproof housing, make sure you use a waterproof cover.
You can spot-clean your crib mattress using a damp cloth and mild soap as well. Remember to stay away from cleaners as they can damage the crib mattress and interfere with sleep.
A crib mattress is just like a regular mattress and even lasts as long as one. Ideally, you should replace the crib mattress every 8 years, but if you see signs of abuse or wear, make sure to replace it sooner.
Sagging, mold, and punctures in waterproof coverings are clear signs that it’s time to get a new mattress.
Mattress for children
As your toddler grows and is out of the crib stage, you’ll need a larger mattress.
When it comes to child mattresses, you have significantly more options, sizes, and materials than crib mattresses.
Many parents prefer a twin XL or twin mattress for children, especially for small bedrooms. However, some prefer a larger or a full-size mattress that older children can grow into and use for several years.
Mattresses for Children: Types & Materials
You can find mattresses for children in many different options, including latex, memory foam, hybrid, and innerspring. But the two most popular kinds of mattresses for children are memory foam and innerspring.
Memory foam mattresses
These mattresses are made of foam that molds according to your child’s body and are best known for their conformability and support.
You can use foam mattresses on adjustable and platform beds. They are recommended for side and back sleepers and can cost anywhere from $100 to $700.
Innerspring mattresses are the most popular option for children and are supported by coils. You can find these mattresses in a variety of comfort and firmness options, and they are a good choice for stomach, side, and back sleepers. They usually cost $100-$500.
Just make sure you place a traditional box spring mattress beneath an innerspring mattress.
Pillows for Kids
When it comes to pillows for children, you have the following options:
- Cotton and wool pillows: These are hypoallergenic, firm, and resistant to dust mites and mold.
- Feather pillows: These are the most comfortable and softest option. In fact, feather and down pillows are quite popular and are recommended for back and stomach sleepers. Some children are allergic to feathers, so make sure you choose wisely.
- Latex pillows: These pillows are a great option for children with allergies and are suitable for side sleepers. Latex pillows, too, are firm and resistant to mold and dust mites.
- Foam pillows: These pillows, especially memory foam ones, adjust and mold to the shape of your kid’s head and provide an excellent neck support.
Bedding for kids
To make sleep time more exciting, ask your kids to help you pick the bedding. Ask them about their comfort and style preferences so that you pick bedding that they are excited to sleep on.
Make sure you buy quality sheets. Most children’s bedsheets are of low quality, especially those that have a character on them. A sheet with a high thread count is more durable and comfortable over the long run.
Also, don’t forget to buy a waterproof mattress protector so that the mattress stays clean. Younger children can have accidents at night, and they might soil the mattress if it is not properly secured and protected.
Lastly, you need the right comforter. Don’t forget to consider the climate and your kid’s comfort when picking one.
If it’s cold where you live, a warm feather and down blanket is the best option. And if you live in a warm climate, synthetic or cotton covers are the best option.
Plus, since cotton is breathable, it is a good option for kids who have night sweats.
Lights for Kids
This might sound surprising, but we recommend using nightlights very sparingly.
Nightlights can help kids feel safer and more comfortable in the dark, but exposure to light during sleeping hours can result in no or poor sleep.
If your child doesn’t want to sleep in the dark, then you can keep a flashlight near his bed. This way, he can use it to leave the bed, for instance, to go to the washroom or switch it on if he is scared. Nightlights that feature a timer are also a great option.
Finally, try keeping your kid’s bedroom as dark as possible. Darkness sends a signal to the brain that it is time to sleep.
We recommend using heavy curtains to block out lights coming in from the outside, especially if there’s a streetlight near your kid’s bedroom window.
Teach Kids the Importance of Sleep
While you as a parent know how important it is for children to get good-quality sleep, your children might not understand why their parents always insist on going to bed as soon as it starts to get dark.
In particular, young kids might not understand why getting enough sleep is important to feel energetic.
But you can sit them down and explain how and why it is important to sleep every night. And try to make bedtime more fun and interesting so that they look forward to it every day!
Affiliate Disclosure: I may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a mattress after clicking a referral link or using a coupon code on this site. That said, all content and opinions on this site are my own and are NOT affected by these payments.
This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
*Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.