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How Much Sleep Does Your Child Need? Advice from a Pediatric Doctor in Ahmedabad

As a parent, we frequently find ourselves wondering about the well-being of our child, and one crucial aspect that plays a significant role in their overall health is sleep. Sleep is a pivotal part of the child’s growth and development journey as well as it helps the child develop both physically and mentally, but determining exactly how much sleep is required for your child is challenging. The amount of sleep required for a child is different from child to child and according to their age. In this article, we will explore the guidance of a pediatric doctor in ahmedabad who recommended the sleep duration for children of different age groups.

Newborns ( 0 to 3 months):

(Average sleep: 11 to 17 hours per day)

During the first month of life, newborns naturally engage in their primary activities such as sleeping, waking up, eating, poop, look cute and start the cycle with little regard for distinguishing day and night. Top pediatrician in Ahmedabad explains, “ in those early months, each baby’s brain lacks what we call circadian rhythm,which is the ability to differentiate the day and night. Around six months, we observe the development of their distinguishing of daytime and nighttime sleep patterns. According to pediatric sleep councils, most of the babies in this age will sleep about 11 to 17 hours per day. Due to wide variation in sleep duration during this stage, and is more evenly spread during the day and night, there isn’t a standard recommendation for how long newborns need to sleep. 

It is important to prioritise the safety of your newborn’s sleep environment; avoid bed sharing , and keep crib accessories like bumpers away from their sleep areas. 

Babies ( 4 to 12 months):

( Recommended sleep: 12 to 16 hours, including nap)

Once they start to recognise the distinction between the day and night, your baby will start to fall into a sleep rhythm, and you can start to encourage a more regular sleep schedule. At this phase, it is advisable to calculate the combined hours of nighttime and naps towards the recommended sleep hours per a day. Pediatric doctor in Ahmedabad says, generally at this age, night sleep lasts about six to eight hours, plus a shorter second chunk of sleep. The remaining sleep occurs during nap times. Some babies may have one sleep, while others might have two or three. We see a wide variation in life. That’s ok, as long as they are happy, healthy, and getting a total number of hours of sleep. 

Around the age of 6 to 12 months, most babies no longer require nighttime feedings unless they have medical conditions that make it necessary. As long as your baby is healthy, you can start to wean them from nighttime feeding at this stage.

Toddlers ( 12 to 24 Months):

( Recommended sleep: 11 to 14 hours, including nap)

As your toddler starts walking and talking, their sleep needs will change some more.Toddlers tend to reduce the shorter and duration of naps, often transitioning to just one nap per day, while increasing their nighttime sleep. At this stage, many children develop a strong attachment to their routine.Pediatric doctor in Ahmedabad recommended implementing gentle yet firm boundaries, maintaining consistent bedtime routine and employing positive reinforcement related to sleep. These measures are instrumental in ensuring that toddlers receive the necessary amount of sleep for their well-being.

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years):

( Recommended Sleep: 10 to 13 hours per day, including nap)

Around this period, your child will likely start to drop that afternoon nap. During this transition, most families find that cutting out naps is a gradual process. Between around 3 to 5,and sometimes a little bit earlier, naps start to fade away, so the majority of their sleep shifts towards nighttime. Top pediatrician in Ahmedabad says, Nap may become infrequent in this stage. They may nap on the alternative days or sometimes they’ll nap for dew days but not on other days. Even if your child doesn’t nap, it is a good time to take some quiet time in the afternoon to relax and recharge. 

If your child isn’t napping, it is important to consider adjusting bedtime slightly earlier to make up for missed nap.this ensures that they still receive an adequate amount of sleep.

School-aged kids (6 to 12 years):

( Recommended Sleep: 9 to 12 hours)

Once your child begins attending school, their primary responsibility becomes learning. Ensuring they are receiving adequate sleep plays an important role in keeping them attentive and engaged in class. Pediatric doctor in Ahmedabad emphasises, Children who aren’t getting enough sleep are more likely to have concentrating issues and inappropriate behaviour at school. Inadequate sleep can impact them in ways that may hinder their academic performance, as well as their participation in sports or other extracurricular activities, causing them to fall behind their peers.

Conclusion:

Child sleep needs are a crucial aspect of effective parenting. Pediatric doctor in Ahmedabad emphasize the importance of consistency, routines, and providing a supportive sleep environment across various stages of childhood. Prioritizing your child’s sleep not only contributes to their overall well-being but also supports optimal growth, development, and a healthy lifestyle.