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Sleep and being a parent!

Sleep.....its one word that means so many different things once your a parent. It is no longer what you do all Sunday morning after a late Saturday night, it becomes what can control your life. From daytime naps to restless nights, to getting your teenager to bed on time, sleep is on every parents mind.

Even once you think you have it cracked it may not last forever so its easy to see why there are so many advice pages and services available.

We work with many parents who simply cannot continue to function the way life is with little sleep and busy lives. I love the fact we are able to offer a totally personal service to work with families with children of all ages to develop plans just for them, seeing amazing life changing results, its also awful to see how much lack of sleep can impact on their lives.

Sleep is the primary activity for the brain for babies and by three to six months most children have a regular awake/sleep pattern and are able to tell the difference between day and night sleeps.

The two main stages of sleep are:

Non-Rapid Eye Movement  (quiet sleep) blood supply to the muscles is increased, energy is restored, tissue growth and repair occur, and hormones release for growth and development.

Rapid Eye Movement (active sleep) their brains are active and dreaming occurs. Bodies become immobile, breathing and heart rates are irregular.

Babies split their sleep 50/50 between these two stages with each sleep cycle lasting about 50 minutes. At about six months of age, Rapid Eye Movement makes up about 30%. Children of a  preschool age, have a sleep cycle of about 90 minutes.

So how much sleep do they need?

Children's Sleep requirements as advised by the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic:

1 week

  • daytime: 8 hours
  • night time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

4 weeks

  • daytime: 6 to 7 hours
  • night time:8 to 9 hours

3 months

  • daytime: 4 to 5 hours
  • night time: 10 to 11 hours

6 months

  • Daytime: 3 hours
  • night time: 11 hours

9 months

  • daytime: 2 hours,30 minutes
  • night time: 11 hours

12 months

  • daytime: 2 hours,30 minutes
  • night time: 11 hours

2 years

  • daytime: 1 hour,30 minutes
  • night time: 11 hours,30 minutes

3 years

  • Daytime: 0 to 45 minutes
  • night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes to 12 hours

4 years

  • night time: 11 hours, 30 minutes

5 years

  • night time: 11 hours

6 years

  • night time: 10 hours, 45 minutes

7 years

  • night time: 10 hours, 30 minutes

8 years

  • night time: 10 hours, 15 minutes

9 years

  • night time: 10 hours

10 years

  • night time: 9 hours, 45 minutes

11 years

  • night time: 9 hours, 30 minutes

12 years

  • night time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

13 years

  • night time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

14 years

  • night time: 9 hours

15 years

  • night time: 9 hours

16 years

  • night time: 9 hours

Please remember this is only guidance and every child is unique.

So what can you do if you are having sleep problems....the most important thing is consistency, no matter what you choose to try to solve them, be consistent and give it time, solutions take time and do what is right for you and your family.

If you don't see it as a problem...great don't listen to others, if your happy with you little one sharing your bed.....fine as long as your doing it safely, but if you feel you have a problem and want to try and improve the situation there are lots of options available from books, to online forums to personalised support. Its what works best for your family.

Always remember no matter what you know your child best and what may or may not work for your family,however sleep is so important to both parents and children there is help available.

If you would like a chat with our sleep team simply enter your details below and click submit and we will be in touch.

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