Sleep is very important for all age groups; especially growing up babies as they need more sleep than the grown-ups for proper mental and physical growth. As the babies grow, their sleeping routine also goes for a fix. It becomes a major challenge for mothers to set a sleeping schedule for their baby.
A toddler requires 12-14 hours of sleep in a day but with the gradual overall changes in their growing years, babies loose on the little naps of day and night. Sleep disorder, a commonly heard term these days refers to the lack of proper sleep in the babies/toddlers. Due to this, the babies not only get cranky and tired but also develop few behavior problems.
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Signs of Sleep disorder, which every mom should know about
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness(EDS): In this situation the baby is sleepy whole day, feels lethargic and faces problem in sleeping at night. Unexpected decrease in the baby’s daytime performance can also come to notice.
- Nightmares and night terrors: If the baby gets up often at night crying due to some nightmare or bad dream and it becomes quite a task to put the child back to sleep then there could a chance of the baby suffering from sleep disorder. Getting up one odd day is no issue but repeating the same on regular basis can be a matter of concern.
- Troublesome night sleep: This situation relates to the baby facing several problems during the night sleep. They can be heavy snoring, sleepwalking, difficulty in breathing or getting up at short regular intervals.
Causes of sleep disorders in toddlers
Generally, children between one to three years of age face so many developmental changes in themselves that their regular routine, including sleep schedule gets disturbed. Sleep timings and amount of quality sleep taken are the key answers to such problems. However, these problems resolve with time and they are usually temporary.
Treatment of sleep disorders
Fixing a sleeping schedule for the baby is quite a tiresome job for mothers. So, here are few home remedies for the moms to tackle the situation in the best possible way.
- Tummy should be full: The dinner served to the baby should be comforting and easy to digest, so that they can sleep without being bed hungry. Babies should always be given such type of food before bedtime, which they can take without any hassle and tantrums. Any food or drink with even slightest amount of caffeine should not be given to the babies before bedtime (need to keep at least four to six hours of gap).
- Outdoor activity: Toddlers are a packet of high energy, which needs to be channelized towards fruitful activities. They need to vent out this energy by doing some indoor activity in daytime and going to park or playground in the evenings. If the kids are active throughout the day, they might get tired and exhausted by evening to catch some good sleep at night.
- Less daytime sleep: Babies, who find it hard to sleep at night, should be made to sleep less in the afternoon. Afternoon naps can be considered an option but no long sessions of daytime sleep. However, if the kid is tired and asks for sleep then it there is no option but to cater to it. Mothers should avoid getting into bed with them for hours just to put them to sleep.
- No gadgets/ televisions: Kids should be kept away from television, mobile phone, computer/laptop and video games before bedtime. These things should be removed or switched off at least an hour before the child’s sleeping time. They can be rather engaged in a relaxing post dinner playtime.
- Bath – Massage-Sponge: Giving a massage followed by a hot water bath will relax the kid and will help the child in getting a quick and longer sleep. The water should be comfortably warm not hot. It is equally important to ensure that the temperature of bedroom should be comfortable. If the weather is not comfortable, then the baby can sponged properly instead of giving a bath.
- Relaxing bedtime routine: Reading out a nice bedtime story can be of great help for putting the baby to sleep. This will not only relax the child but also help in increasing little bit of word power and knowledge. The bedtime stories should be short and positive. Singing or humming a lullaby can also solve the purpose, if your baby enjoys listening to it. The idea behind these things is to calm the baby mentally so they can sleep easily and comfortably.
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These things will help the kids in getting a comfortable and relaxing sleep. However, if the problem persists and your baby is still unable to catch proper sleep then there is no harm in checking up with your pediatrician. A second opinion and a consultation will help in understanding the situation better. It is always better to get the consultation in the initial phase rather than ignoring it to the extreme.
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