Sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being, and this is especially true for toddlers. In fact, sleep is even more important for toddlers as they require more sleep than adults due to their rapid growth and development. In this blog post, we will explore how much sleep a toddler needs and provide tips for New Zealand parents on how to help their little ones get the sleep they need.
How Much Sleep Does a Toddler Need?
The amount of sleep a toddler needs depends on their age. Plunket NZ recommends the following guidelines:
12 to 16 hours of sleep per day for infants aged 4 to 12 months
11 to 14 hours of sleep per day for toddlers aged 1 to 2 years
10 to 13 hours of sleep per day for toddlers aged 3 to 5 years
It is important to note that every child is different, and some may require more or less sleep than others. However, these guidelines can serve as a helpful starting point for parents.
Tips for Helping New Zealand Parents Get Their Toddlers to Sleep
Now that we know how much sleep toddlers need, let's explore some tips for helping New Zealand parents get their little ones to sleep.
Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine
A consistent bedtime routine can help toddlers associate certain activities with sleep and signal to their bodies that it is time to wind down for the night. This routine could include activities such as taking a bath, reading a story, or singing a lullaby.
Create a Calm Sleep Environment
A calm sleep environment can help toddlers feel more relaxed and ready for sleep. This could include dimming the lights, playing soothing music, and ensuring the room is at a comfortable temperature.
Limit Screen Time Before Bed
The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. It is recommended that parents limit their child's screen time before bed or eliminate it altogether. Read stories instead, let your toddler pick out 1-3 books per night.
Encourage Physical Activity During the Day
Physical activity during the day can help toddlers expend energy and feel more tired at night. This could include playing outside, going for a walk, or participating in a dance class.
Monitor Your Child's Diet
What toddlers eat can impact their sleep quality. Foods that are high in sugar or caffeine can interfere with sleep, while foods that are high in tryptophan, such as turkey or milk, can promote sleep. My life changes dramatically when my 3 year old eats ice cream, her behaviour changes are intense. I avoid at all costs.
Be Patient and Consistent
Getting a toddler to sleep can be challenging, and it may take time to establish a routine that works for your child. However, being patient and consistent can help your child develop healthy sleep habits that will benefit them in the long run.
Sleep is essential for toddlers, and New Zealand parents can play an important role in helping their little ones get the sleep they need. By establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a calm sleep environment, limiting screen time, encouraging physical activity, monitoring their child's diet, and being patient and consistent, parents can help their toddlers develop healthy sleep habits that will benefit them for years to come.