In regard to attitude, health, and general well being nothing beats a good night’s sleep. I know at my house when we are not getting enough of the old shut eye things deteriorate quickly; tempers flare quickly, work doesn’t get done, and someone usually ends up sick. Rest is important! God rested after creating the universe. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work (Genesis 2:2).
How much rest is enough for our kids? Generally speaking, babies need 14-15 hours of sleep per day, with sleep patterns beginning to be established at 4-5 months. A baby’s three naps a day will decrease to two afternoon naps around 6 months. Toddlers need 12-14 hours of sleep per night with one nap during the day. It’s helpful to work the schedule around nap time.
As children continue to grow, the proper amount of sleep is necessary. Ten to twelve hours of sleep are recommended for preschoolers.
Here are 6 bedtime tips for parents of littles.
- Develop a routine and keep it consistent. (Jammies on, teeth brushed, reading time, prayers, and kisses.) Include a time for quiet activities 30 minutes before bed to “set the stage” for bedtime.
- Tuck your child into bed snugly to help him feel secure.Use scripture to remind your child of the Lord’s constant care. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).
- Make your child’s bedroom a quiet, comfortable place.
- Use the bed only for sleeping. Do not put a TV or computer in your child’s bedroom.
- Limit food and drink before bedtime.
- Play soft music. This masks other household noise and is soothing.
If you have older children in the house, keep in mind they need adequate amounts of sleep too. Elementary school age children should be getting 10-11 hours a night and your teen still needs 8-9 hours to be fully rested. And sometimes more. If you have teens, you know exactly what I mean!
Getting enough rest is good for the body and the mind. Even Mom and Dad benefit from a good night’s sleep!
…when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
By Becky Danielson, Christian wife, mom, licensed parent and family educator, and the co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. You can find her on the new website, FaithFirstParent.com. She writes for Hooray for Family, an online and print magazine and facilitates the Parent and Family Education program at a Christian preschool in the Twin Cities. Getting a good night’s sleep makes her a happy mom!
Becky is also the co-author with Lori Wildenberg of Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. both with Study Guides. Contact Becky to schedule a workshop or retreat for your church or group.