Category Archives: Bedtime

Does my little one have nightmares?

Nightmares are frightening! They can frighten us and even make us sweat! However, as adults we know that these dreams are not real, but do children also have nightmares? Experts don’t know exactly when nightmares begin, but they know that babies can have them. When your little one is about two years old, his imagination has evolved and if he has a nightmare he can definitely get frightened and wake up. If your child sleeps well and seems to wake up agitated and frightened, he may have had a nightmare. Nightmares usually occur during the second stage of sleep, so he may wake up scared in the morning. If he talks, ask him what’s wrong, he may be able to tell you what he experienced.

What should I do if my baby had a nightmare?

• Respect and acknowledge his fear.

• If he talks, let him narrate his dream and be sympathetic.

• Show him lots of love and security; caress his back until he calms down.

• Offer him a stuffed animal, and place it in his crib.

• Leave a nightlight on.

• Don’t overreact or make this a big deal. Your baby can identify your reactions and feel even more fear if you are anxious.

• Remind your child that monsters don’t exist and nothing will harm him at night.

• Remember: most habits are difficult to break; avoid bringing your child into your bed. If this happens once in a while it’s not a problem, but if it happens often it may soon form a habit.

How can I prevent nightmares?

• Strengthen quiet routines; read him stories with a happy thematic. If you find one about how wonderful night and bedtime is, awesome!

• Keep the room at a pleasant temperature.

• Have your little one choose a nightlight and leave it on all night.

• Provide your little one with a stuffed animal of blanket that works as a transitional object (one that can be associated with calm and security).

• Prevent your child from watching TV with content that may scare or worry him.

• Usually children have more nightmares when they are anxious or stressed. If he’s having recurring nightmares, try to find out what worries him in order to decrease his anxiety.

We hope these tips will help to consolidate your little one’s sleep and eliminate or diminish the fear of a nightmare.

Help! My baby will not sleep

When babies are around a year old, or maybe even younger, they may begin to experience separation anxiety and resistance to go to bed. They want to continue being with you or playing with you; they don’t like that the day is over and don’t want to be separated from you. If this is your case, don’t worry! Separation anxiety is a perfectly normal reaction and it means he’s forming a healthy attachment with you. However, this reaction can affect his sleep and yours too! If you are tired, even worried and frustrated, try the following tips:

• Continue strengthening the night routine to help your baby relax and let him know that it’s bedtime. This routine will give your baby security because it provides consistency and predictability.

• Check that his bedroom temperature is comfortable, neither too hot or too cold.

• Try not to let him stay up late, as it will be harder to put him to sleep. Similarly, don’t put him to him sleep very early; try to identify his biological rhythm and take him to bed at the right moment.

• Stay relaxed and confident. Despite feeling anxious yourself, or even somewhat frustrated, show him that there is no reason to be upset or afraid. If you act confident around your baby, he will be calm.

• Continue placing him in his crib while he’s drowsy but still awake and say good night. You can give him a kiss, rub his back and tell him you love him very much to give him even more security.

• During the day, play hide and seek and invite him to search for his stuffed animals to teach your little one that although he can’t see you, you will appear again.

• Comfort your baby if he wakes up upset and can’t get back to sleep, but try to not to overstimulate him by making it a short visit.

Reinforcing your baby’s bedtime routine

All parents want their children to learn to sleep at night, for this reason there are many techniques and guidelines that help out. The truth is that there is no perfect technique as all babies and families are different, but it has been found that babies thrive on predictability. For this reason, experts recommend establishing a daily nighttime routine so babies can predict bedtime and feel secure.

To ensure security and create predictability, begin your baby’s routine 15 or 20 minutes before bedtime. Usually this is 12 hours after your child usually awakens in the morning. It’s important to keep the routine short and sweet; if your little one is sleepy there’s no reason to entertain him longer.

The night routine gently lets your child know that it is bedtime. It also provides an opportunity to relax and settle down before sleeping, while bonding and fostering language development.

Example of a bedtime routine:

  1. Finish dinner.
  2. Go for a short walk to help with digestion (it’s not recommended to bathe your baby when he’s hungry or just after dinner).
  3. Have a peaceful and relaxing bath with background music.
  4. After the bath, pat him dry, gently massaging his skin. Then put his pajamas on.
  5. Bottle or breastfeed your little one while peacefully talking or singing to him.
  6. Brush his teeth if necessary.
  7. Read a bedtime story or sing a lullaby so that your little one gets sleepy.
  8. Lay him down in his crib once he’s drowsy.

Remember that there is no perfect routine, the best routine is the one that makes you, your family and your baby happy! So feel free to choose a routine that suits you. The only requisite is to be consistent with the routine, and learn to identify your baby’s cues, so that you don’t start the routine when he is overtired, or not tired at all.

Establishing a bedtime routine

When babies are born, they are yet to understand the concept of time. They do not know the difference between day and night. They are governed by hunger and their biological clock. Knowing this, it is important to respect their meal times and circadian rhythm; however, this does not mean we can’t help them establish a bedtime routine. Not only that, routines will help them feel safe as they learn to predict the day’s events.

How to establish a bedtime routine?

• Play with your baby during the day so they begin to associate light with play time.

• At night give your little one a relaxing bath and massage. Just try not to bathe your baby right after dinner, as this can cause reflux, or when he’s very hungry because he may get irritable.

• After bathtime, read him a story or sing a lullaby under dimmed lights.

• Continue feeding your baby in a calm environment, and then lay him in his before placing him in his crib while drowsy.

• You can turn on lullaby music or white noise.

• Keep him in a pleasant environment. He can start sleeping in a bassinet instead of a crib.

• Make sure the temperature is nice, not too cold and not too hot. Many pediatricians recommend 20 degrees Celsius as the ideal temperature; however, ask your pediatrician as recommendations may vary. Likewise, avoid placing your baby near the vent to avoid the concentrated air flow from hitting him directly.

• At this stage of 0-3 months babies are not mature enough to learn to sleep alone, and they need some support. Therefore, it is likely that your baby will require comfort or he might be hungry. Try not to let him cry during this period or development. Instead, respond to his tears and pick him up if necessary, there is no way of spoiling an infant.

• Finally, be consistent with the routine and soon your baby will learn the difference between day and night.

Developing healthy sleep habits

If you are like most parents, you’ve probably experienced sleep deprivation first hand. We know this can be very tiring. To help you manage we would like to offer you a few tips that can help your baby sleep through the night.

Around 4-6 months of age pediatricians recommend establishing or reinforcing a bedtime routine. If you would like to help your baby learn to fall asleep on her own, the following recommendations stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics can help:

• Establish a bedtime routine repeat it in the same order every day.

• Lay your little one down while drowsy but still awake. This way she will learn to sleep without much stimuli and not require help to get back to sleep if she awakes.

• Try not to put her to bed too late to avoid her being overtired. Also avoid putting her to bed too early as she will not be sleepy.

• If she cries, wait a minute and see if she can put herself back to sleep. If not, try to identify why she might be crying. It might be because she needs a diaper change, is hungry, or feels sick. If none of the above, refrain from turning on the light, playing or lifting her up. Instead offer loving and peaceful reassurance.

• If you change the diaper or feed her, turn only a nightlight on and keep very quiet so your baby knows that it’s not time to play.

• Remember: each baby is different and has different needs, continue to reinforce the bedtime routine every day and slowly and gently help her learn to fall asleep on her own.

Recommended hours of sleep: 21 – 24 months old

A nice and well rested sleep is very important to restore our body and brain. Sleeping well is associated with a better mood, temperament, physical performance, and a positive attitude. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes everything that happened in the day. In our children’s case, sleeping allows them to continue growing and to wake up full of energy, eager to keep learning and exploring their surroundings. Sleeping is very important for both adults and children.

Sleep is essential for children. It helps them restore their energy for the upcoming day and it fosters physical and cognitive growth. When they sleep children save energy, allowing them to gain weight and grow. Their vital organs also mature. Likewise, sleeping helps them wake up with enough energy to move, walk, learn, talk, and explore the world around them.

Around this age, children normally need only one nap during the day, sleeping for about an hour. This gives them more time to explore their surroundings and play during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for children that are 21-24 months old is between 11-14 hours a day. Some kids sleep more or less, however, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below a 9-16 hour range at this age. If you think your child is sleeping more than needed, you can try shortening his naps and doing a lot of activities to ensure that he receives enough stimulation in the day. On the other hand, if your little one sleeps less, try to strengthen his sleep routines and remember to have a nap before 4 pm. Sleeping well allows your little one to keep learning and stay active. Your baby will receive so much stimulation and affection during the day, and while sleeping, his brain will consolidate the moments and new findings.

Remember not to worry too much about the precision of sleeping hours. It’s important to keep in mind the recommendations regarding hours of sleep, but remember that every child is different. The best way to know if your little one is sleeping well is by noticing if he is happy and well rested, or if he is tired and irritable during the day.

Fostering my little one’s autonomy at bedtime

You’ve probably noticed that your little one seeks more independence now. He is entering a stage in which he begins to define what he likes and doesn’t like, and wants to exercise his autonomy. If your little one is at this stage, and you notice that he resists bedtime, a good piece of advice is to allow him to participate in the routine. Here are different ideas that you can try at home to encourage your child’s independence and help him enjoy bedtime.

• Continue implementing your regular bedtime routine but give him the opportunity to express his opinion and to make his own choices.

• Give him pajamas options, let him choose the story you’ll read together, which stuffed animal to sleep with or even how many of them! Letting him participate will make your little one feel that he is in control of his own decisions.

• Decorate his room with his favorite stuffed animals, so he feels comfortable and enjoys it.

• Let your child choose his favorite night light.

• When providing options, the trick is to only give two or three options among which to choose from. Make sure that options are something that you would approve.

• Don’t ask your little one if he wants to go to sleep or not, because he can answer “NO!” Instead, ask “Do you want to go to bed before or after listening to the goodnight story?”

Remember that in spite of being open to giving your child options to choose from, you are in charge of his sleep. You have the final say, not your little one, so feel confident to establish the necessary rules for your child to sleep well. Sympathize with and listen to your child, you can say: “I know you want to stay up, but it’s bedtime. Let’s choose your pajamas and the goodnight book.” You can also ask: “Do you want to brush your teeth before or after putting on your pajamas?” Providing options allows you to reach your goal and fulfill your purpose as a parent: peacefully helping your child do what’s best for his well-being.

Recommended hours of sleep: 17 – 20 months old

A nice and well rested sleep is very important to restore our body and brain. Sleeping well is associated with a better mood, temperament, physical performance, and a positive attitude. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. In our children’s case, sleeping allows them to continue growing and to wake up full of energy, eager to keep learning and exploring their surroundings. Sleeping is very important for both adults and children.

Sleep is essential for children. It helps them restore their energy for the upcoming day and it fosters physical and cognitive growth. When they sleep children save energy, allowing them to gain weight and grow. Their vital organs also mature. Likewise, sleeping helps them wake up with enough energy to move, walk, learn, talk, and explore the world around them.

Around this age, children normally need only one nap during the day, sleeping for about an hour. This gives them more time to explore their surroundings and play during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for children that are 17-20 months old is between 11-14 hours a day. Some kids sleep more or less, however, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below a 9-16 hour range at this age. If you think your child is sleeping more than needed, you can try shortening his naps to ensure that he receives enough stimulation in the day. On the other hand, if your little one sleeps less, try to strengthen his sleep routines. Sleeping is essential, as it helps strengthen your child’s immune system. Plus, he will be in a better mood during the day and more receptive to learning language, movement, and cognitive skills. You’ll probably be chasing your little one all over your house throughout the day; this is good because it means he has a lot of energy and will hopefully be tired for bedtime. Then, while sleeping, your little one will be reinforcing what he learned during the day, because the brain uses sleep to organize the day’s events.

Recommended hours of sleep: 13 – 16 months old

A nice and well rested sleep is very important to restore our body and brain. Sleeping well is associated with a better mood, temperament, physical performance, and a positive attitude. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. Similarly, getting enough sleep allows us to wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies that are still growing!

Sleeping is essential for children. It is a key aspect in the development of their central nervous system; their brains require it to develop properly and their bodies to grow. When a baby sleeps, he saves energy, allowing him to gain weight and grow. Sleeping allows little ones to wake up ready to explore their surroundings with enough energy to start moving around, walking, and learning about the world around them.

At this age, children should continue taking a nap during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for children that are 13-16 months old is between 11-14 hours a day. Some kids sleep more or less, however, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below a 9-16 hour range at this age. If you think your child is sleeping more than needed, you can try shortening his naps to ensure that he receives enough stimulation in the day. On the other hand, if your little one sleeps less, try to strengthen his sleep routines. Sleeping is essential, as it helps strengthen your child’s immune system. Plus, he will be in a better mood during the day and more receptive to learning language, movement, and cognitive skills. Then, while sleeping, your little one will be reinforcing what he learned during the day, because the brain uses sleep to organize the day’s events.

Recommended hours of sleep: 10 – 12 months old

Sleep is essential for leading a healthy life. It allows our body to rest, and maintain good mental and physical health. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. Similarly, adequate sleep hours allow us to go through different stages of sleep, achieving a restorative sleep. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies that are still growing!

Sleep is vital for babies. Their brains require it to develop properly and their bodies to grow. When babies sleep, they restore their energy, their bodies release growth hormones, and they consolidate the day’s findings. Sleeping helps them wake up ready to explore their surroundings with enough energy to move and crawl around. It also helps them be happy and in good spirits!

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping range for babies that are 10-12 months old is between 12-15 hours. Some babies sleep less, between 11-13 hours and others more, up to 19 hours a day. However, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below this 11-19 hour range. If your child is sleeping more, you can try shortening his naps so that he receives enough stimulation during the day; if he sleeps less, try to emphasize his sleep routine. Keep in mind that after the first year, the recommended hours of sleep are 11 to 14 hours a day