Parenting comes with a lot of sleepless nights, as children go through a lot of rough patches when growing up which lead to sleep problems.
These problems can be resolved easily if you visit a child specialist and discuss your child’s sleep situation.
Here we are comprising some common sleep problems in children their reasons and solutions according to age:
Infants: Parents of infants get very little sleep specially during the initial months after the baby is born. First cause of sleep disturbances in infants is their hunger. They get hungry after every two to three hours and require regular feeding even during the night.
Another common cause of sleep disruptions in infants occurs when they are mixing up day and night time or they are having tummy issues. You can consult a paediatrician to discuss how you can help soothe your baby’s tummy and schedule feeding and nap time to make them sleep longer.
Once your infant turns six months old they are ready to drop on night feeding and sleep through the night. Best Child specialist in Lahore advises to not cut off night feeding abruptly, what you should do is stretch the night feeding time gradually and make sure that your child eats enough during the day.
Some babies go through a sleep regression phase between 4-12 months of age which means your baby would be ready for anything but bedtime. During this phase it is advisable to stick with your previous bedtime routine and start it at your scheduled time on a daily basis and your infant will gradually come back to its routine and the regression phase will get over on its own, since it’s just a temporary blip.
Teething pain may also be the cause for sleep disruptions in some babies. You can help your teething baby calm down with a pacifier or a teething toy and maybe a lullaby. Or with the advice of your paediatrician you can offer a pain relief medicine at bedtime too.
Toddlers: Toddlers should get at least 11 to 14 hours of sleep during 24 hours. Their sleep time is usually spread over one or two naps during the daytime and a stretch of 9 to 10 hours of sleep at night time. But when they reach the age of two most children don’t nap more than once a day.
Most common sleep problem with children of this age group is bedtime resistance, which means that your child won’t be ready to go to bed. It may be because of the separation anxiety that they may be feeling on the thought of getting separated from their parents or guardian, or in other cases they may not want to miss out on the worldly fun and waste time sleeping. What you can do to help your child during this phase is stick to the same sleep schedule and bedtime routine everyday. Consistency is what helps in sleep training toddlers.
Some toddlers wake up from a deep sleep because of night terrors, nightmares or terrors can be a result of lack of sleep in some children. What you can do to calm your baby down after a night terror is offer them some water, give them cuddles and encourage them to go back to sleep. A persistent positive bedtime routine can also be helpful in preventing night terrors.
You need to seek instant medical advice if you think that your child is getting scared more than normal in their sleep and it is also affecting their daytime behaviour.
Preschooler and school aged children: Pteschoolers and school aged children require 10 to 12 hours of sleep on a daily basis. Nightmares are a common cause of sleep disruption for children. What you can do to help them sleep soundly and prevent nightmares is tuck them in their favourite blanket with a stuffed toy if the need be and maintain a positive bedtime routine. Using a nightlight and cutting off on screen time before bed also helps. After your child wakes up after a bad dream you should always hug them and reassure them positively.
Some children grind their teeth during sleep. Although it doesn’t affect their teeth in any way, it can be disturbing for themselves and people sleeping around them too. Most children outgrow this teeth grinding phase but if it worries you, you can see a child specialist or dentist and they will rule out the causes and prescribe you with a night guard for your kid.
If your child snores, breathes loudly or their breathing stops for a few moments while sleeping, then you should seek medical advice as it can be a symptom of childhood sleep apnoea. Some children outgrow sleep apnea but others might need a proper treatment.
Adolescents and Teenagers: Adolescents and teenagers require 8 to 10 hours of sound sleep daily. Most common sleep problem among this age group is that they have a hard time falling asleep and it is because of the hormonal changes that are taking place in their bodies, these phases of sleep regression are commonly called insomnia or delayed sleep phase. What a parent can do to help their teenagers is encourage them to put down their screens at least 1 hour before bedtime and have a fixed bedtime routine.
Sleep apnoea can also be a cause of disrupted sleep in your teenager. For the treatment of sleep apnea you should talk to Best Child specialist in Karachi.
Nightmares are also a common cause of sleep disruption in children of all age groups, but they are more common in teenagers. Most common cause of nightmares is stress, and other things that can trigger nightmares are certain medicines, alcohol or sleep deprivation. If your child is having frequent nightmares then you should definitely look into the matter deeply.