Sleep is an essential part of a healthy routine for both children and adults. Research studies highlight that children who regularly get enough sleep have good behavior, improved attention, increased memory, enhanced learning skills, and overall physical and mental wellbeing. (also read Bed sharing with babies)
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children of different ages have different sleeping requirements. For instance, infants and toddlers sleep for 12 to 14 hours. Likewise, children between the age of 3 and 18 sleep for 8 to 10 hours at night.
Not getting enough sleep can cause various health conditions, such as obesity, hypertension, difficulty waking up in the morning for school, and poor mental abilities. Although there is no scientific evidence that validates the appropriate age for children to put themselves to bed, the general perception is that kids aged between 4 and 6 sleep themselves.
Children putting themselves is directly proportional to your parenting skills. Some children, even at the age of 10, need mommy’s help for going to sleep. If you have not groomed your child properly, he or she may find it difficult to put themselves to bed or trouble staying asleep at night. Read on!
Reasons Children have Difficulty putting themselves to bed?
Nighttime is usually a difficult time for most children, especially those who have been dependent on their parents for years. Some children can quickly put themselves to bed, while others find it difficult to sleep alone.
It is essential to reassure your child that you are always there for them. Encourage your child to sleep alone to help mitigate the effects of separation anxiety. Research says that it is a normal process for young children below the age of three.
While most children learn to overcome the situation and tend to sleep alone, sometimes, it may take longer for a child to sleep in a separate room. As a result, your children develop anxiety and stress, affecting their quality of life and disrupting the family. However, there are several ways to help your son or daughter learn to sleep by themselves, such as
- Communicate with your child and let him know that you understand his feelings
- Get your child’s agreement about changing the bedtime pattern
- Stay in your child’s room for some time until he or she falls asleep
- Keep distractions away and avoid threatening him to sleep on his own
- Teach your child ways to cope with his sleep anxiety – for example, tell him or her to visualize a happy place or recall a memorable experience
- Always be encouraging, cooperative, and friendly to your child
Once your child is able to put himself to bed, the later progress is relatively easy. Sleeping alone will give your child enough confidence, increase his or her self-esteem, and develop autonomy. All this leads to a healthy and happy future.
Most children between the ages of 4 to 6 will put themselves to bed. However, some children who are dependent on their parents will find it quite problematic. At the same time, it poses a massive challenge for parents too.
If your child has is suffering from separation anxiety, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes, a mental health condition could be the reason. Remember, it will take some time for your kid to develop the sleeping alone habit.