Your baby is officially a toddler, but just as much needs sleep than when he was younger. Up to the age of two, babies need between 13 and 14 hours of sleep per day, including 11 hours at night. The remaining hours of sleep take the form of naps. Your child will probably still need two naps at 12 months, but at 18 months, an hour, an hour and a half or two hours of sleep will be required. siesta may suffice. This rhythm can continue until the age of 4 or 5. The transition from two to one nap is sometimes difficult. Some experts recommend alternating between the two, depending on the length of the nap. your child's sleep the day before. You can also try putting your child to bed earlier on days when he or she has only had one nap.
How can you establish good sleep habits?
At this age, there are few new techniques to promote your child's sleep, and you may encounter new difficulties, such as sleep refusal between 18 months and 3 years of age. Stick to the methods you've established since your child was 6 months old.
Respecting a bedtime ritual
Abedtime ritualwill help your child to relax at the end of the day and get ready for bed. If your little one needs to let off steam, let him run around and let off steam for a little while before moving on to a calmer activity, such as a quiet game, a bath or reading a story. Follow the same ritual every night, even when you're not at home. Children love consistency. When they can predict when and how something will happen, children feel in control.
Respecting a daily ritual
It's a good idea to follow a napping ritual during the day, and stick to it. If your child naps, eats, plays and gets ready for bed at more or less the same time every day, he'll fall asleep more easily and without complaint.
Make sure your child falls asleep on his own
If you want your child to sleep through the night without calling you, it is important that hefalls asleep every night without your help. He shouldn't need you to rock him, feed him or sing him a lullaby to be able to fall asleep. If he does, he'll never be able to go back to sleep on his own if he wakes up during the night. This situation is likely to be distressing for you.if this happens because your child will cry out for you. Everyone has their own way of dealing with night-time awakenings.
Sleep in babies aged 12 to 18 months
At this age, your child may be reluctant to fall asleep or have a tendency to wake frequently during the night. This is certainly due to a new phase in your child's development, as he or she begins to stand and walk. Your child is so enthusiastic about his new skills that he wants to practice and try again, even at bedtime. If he refuses to go to bed, most specialists recommend leaving him in his room for a few minutes to try and calm him down. Otherwise, let him cry to determine whether this disagreement is temporary or masking a deeper problem.
You'll also need to decide how to react if your child wakes up at night, can't get back to sleep on his own and ends up crying out for you. If your child is on his feet, you can help him to get back into a lying position, but if he's only looking for your attention and for you to stay and play with him, try to be firm. Teach your child that nighttime is for sleeping.
How to deal with baby's sleep problems?
What to do when your child wakes you up at night, even though he's old enough to sleep through the night? To ensure that your child sleeps through the night without calling you, it's important that you teach him to calm himself by sucking his thumb, stroking his cuddly toy, or in some other way. Most specialists agree that it's important to prevent your child from becoming dependent on external factors such as music, light or feeding to fall asleep. If they do, they'll need them every time to go back to sleep at night, and will find it hard to let them go.
If your child doesn't sleep well at night, there are various approaches you can take to try and solve the problem. It's up to you to choose the one best suited to your family!
Technique n° 1
As long as you let your child fall asleep on his own at night, you can choose any way you like to help him get back to sleep, such as rocking him or taking him for a walk until he falls asleep again. If the bedtime ritual remains the same, night-time awakenings should diminish within a few weeks. If this method doesn't work, try this one: when your child cries, go back to him, stroke his back and tell him that everything's fine, but that it's now time to go to sleep. Don't hug your child. Be reassuring but firm. Leave the room, wait 5 minutes and then come back to check if your child has gone back to sleep. Repeat until your child is asleep, spacing out your visits.
Technique no. 2
Help your child to recognize bedtime by establishing a ritual. Make sure he falls asleep on his own, without your help, without a bottle. While this type of method works in the short term, it teaches your child more about being put to bed to sleep than about falling asleep alone. If your child wakes up, try letting him cry for longer and longer periods, starting with 5-minute periods, then 10 minutes and so on. In between these periods, stay with your child for 2 to 3 minutes to reassure him/her by talking softly to him/her and stroking his/her back. Don't take him in your arms or rock him; he needs to stay in his own bed.
Keep an eye on the clock to see when your child is showing signs of fatigue, and put him to bed every day at that time. Organize a bedtime ritual and discuss it with your child so that he understands how things are going to happen, when and why. However you organize this ritual, the important thing is that your child is calm and awake in bed, ready to fall asleep. If your child wakes up during the night, don't take him out of bed or into your room. He needs to learn to go back to sleep on his own, even if this means crying at first. Reassure him for a while, then come back briefly every 5 to 10 minutes until he goes back to sleep.
To help your child, you can teach self-comforting techniques by giving him a small scarf with your scent, a comforter or helping him find his thumb. Stick to an encouraging and reassuring bedtime ritual. If your child starts to cry at night, wake him up before going to bed, give him a cuddle and put him back to bed, telling him you're there.
Try to bring your child's nap time forward, and shorten it if necessary. Stick to your bedtime ritual. To help your child fall asleep, you can also cuddle him, pretend to be asleep yourself, or go about your business until he falls asleep watching you fuss. If your child wakes up at night, don't let him cry, but try to find out why: a full diaper, hunger, a change in the day's routine, a blocked nose or even itchy pyjamas can all be reasons for waking up at night. Spend more time with your child during the day, and let his dad comfort him at night. In this way, both parents can help him get back to sleep. If your little one has been sleeping through the night until now, but is going through an important phase in his development, expect him to wake up more often at night. When this happens, try to get him to go back to sleep without taking him out of bed. Caress his back, talk to him softly and sing to him. You can also take him to bed with you if you like.
There's no one right way to calm your child and help him sleep through the night. It's up to you to choose an approach that works for you and your family.