Many things are essential to a child's development. Healthy nutrition, educational play, and a loving, safe parent-child relationship are all well-known crucial aspects of a child's life. But there's one aspect of childhood that's often overlooked. Sleep. Getting a good night of sleep is just as important for a child's development as anything else. Healthy sleep promotes growth, a healthy heart, a better immune system, the ability to learn, and much more. Making sure your kid is getting enough sleep could make a huge difference in their behavior. But exactly how long should a toddler sleep at night?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers should get around 11 to 14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Naturally, this will be divided up into naps (generally one or two per day) and nighttime sleep.
As babies grow into toddlers they become more aware of their surroundings and more prone to distraction, which often leads to sleep problems. According to an article in Parents about 20 to 30 percent of children experience some kind of sleep problem, be it because of poor routine, sleep walking, night terrors, or frequent waking. Although there's no sure fire way to ensure your toddler will get exactly 14 hours of sleep a day, there are several ways to encourage it, helping better sleep gradually become part of their make-up.
Establishing a consistent nighttime routine is one of the most helpful things you can do. Whether it's giving them a bath at the same time each night, shutting off electronics (the NSF claims electronics at night greatly impacts your child's quality of sleep), or giving them a snack or bedtime story, consistency is key. According to Aha Parenting, having reliable routines is essential to their development, and the same goes for bedtime.
So if you've noticed a change in your child's behavior or sleep patterns, allowing them to simply get more sleep at night may be a game changer for the both of you.