How to: Help a Baby Fall Asleep
Did you know?
According to the NHS, babies between four and 12 months need an average of 12 to 16 hours’ sleep, including naps, toddlers between one and two years need an average of 11 to 14 hours’ sleep, including naps and children between three and five years need an average of 10 to 13 hours’ sleep, including naps.
- Designate a specific sleep room where the lighting can be dimmed and soothing music/white noise can be played to drown out the regular hustle and bustle of a thriving Early Years setting.
- Encourage napping at the same time every day, so children can get used to a regular routine.
- Ask families to provide familiar sleep aids, such as a similar sleeping bag to one used at home, or a familiar toy, comforter or dummy.
- Talk to families about how their child likes to be comforted when going to sleep (singing, being rocked or held, or using a dummy) and try to recreate this at nap time.
- Keep the light in the sleep room dim, but not completely dark, in order to soothe children but be able to keep an eye on them at all times.
- If a child simply won’t nap, give them a quiet activity to occupy themselves with so they can still enjoy a low-stimulus portion of their day, even if they’re wide awake!
If children are consistently not napping but then becoming over-tired and irritable in the afternoon, try arranging more active activities for the mornings; it will encourage them to fall asleep and have a much more enjoyable afternoon.
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