Children can have a hard time pressing the ‘pause’ button on their active brains at bedtime. They wonder what the rest of the household is doing, they worry about monsters and other scary creatures invading their home, and they think about all the things they’d rather be doing than sleeping.
As with adults, children’s sleep needs vary, but experts agree kids need a lot of sleep in order to function at their best, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Babies do best when they’re getting fourteen to fifteen hours a day, spread across the day and night. From their first birthday until they’re about three, young children should be getting twelve to fourteen hours a day. From age three to six, ten to twelve hours is best; after that, until about twelve years old, kids still need a lot of sleep—ten or eleven hours a night.
Here’s a 12-point checklist for helping your sleep-resistant child find the peaceful regenerative slumber he or she needs:
Children who are unusually active, curious, imaginative, or anxious can have a hard time getting the sleep they need. All children benefit from the routines and mindfulness techniques described here, but for these kids—and for any kids going through periods of change, stress, or disruption—it can be especially important. A bedtime routine sets the stage for a healing regenerative sleep, and a happier, more productive day tomorrow.