Your child's sleep rhythm explained
Children and sleep: it’s a never-ending story. If you’re lucky, your child sleeps well from birth, but for most of us a little one means many sleepless nights. How can you make sure your child sleeps enough? From what age can you tell whether your child is an evening or morning person? And how is their bio rhythm set? Find out below.
Amount of sleep
Babies basically sleep all day: they only wake up when they are hungry or when they need their diapers changed. When your baby is 6 months, he’ll start having a day- and night rhythm, which means he’ll sleep 12 hours at night and around one or two hours during the day. These one or two hours of sleep at day time disappear when your child goes to school: he then needs 10-12 hours of sleep.
Since the growth hormone is developed while being asleep, it is important that your child gets enough sleep and is not being disturbed while he’s sleeping. Try to get him to bed at set times, keep the noises around him on the low and keep his room quiet and dark. You know your child is fully rested if he wakes up on his own. During the day you can check if he functions without being bothered by sleepiness or drowsiness, or being whining.
There are several factors that can influence your child’s bio rhythm. It is party genetically determined, but the parents’ behavior and rituals are a big influence too. Another factor is light: light makes less sleepy. So be careful with lights, tablets and smartphones at night and make it easier for your child to go to sleep.
When your child is one, you can start noticing his bio rhythm. Does your child want to play after dinner and is it always a struggle to get him to sleep at night? There is a decent change your child will be an evening person. Is it the other way around? Then he might turn into a morning person.
Source: Ouders van Nu