Mighty Blog

Sleep awareness: what parents need to know

Parents know good sleep is essential for healthy growth and functioning. Parents also know that good sleep can be hard to come by. Sleep Awareness Week happens every year and is recognized March 14-20 in 2021!

Sleep advice from Children’s Minnesota

Karen Hoyer, pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s Minnesota Sleep Center, St. Paul, shares a general sleep guide regarding how much sleep children need as recommended from the Sleep Foundation.  Children need the same amount of sleep every night.

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range 14-17 hours.
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range 12-15 hours.
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep 11-14 hours.
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): Sleep range 10-13 hours.
  • School age children (6-13 years): Sleep range 9-11 hours.
  • Teenagers (14-17 years): Sleep range 8-10 hours.
A patient at the Children’s Sleep Center
This photo was taken pre-COVID

The total amount of recommended sleep hours listed above for infants through preschoolers, includes the scheduled naps during the day. Be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician if you are concerned about how much sleep your child needs.

Tips for sleep on WCCO

In addition, Dr. Gigi Chawla, chief of general pediatrics shares more sleep advice for families with WCCO.

Sleep tips for kids of all ages

Babies and toddlers

Parents of little ones are often looking for advice on how to get their baby or toddler to sleep through the night. It’s recommended to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby at night. This helps send the message that nighttime is for sleeping. If possible, let your baby fall asleep in the crib at night so they learn that it’s the place for sleep.

Teenagers

Teenagers sometimes fall into the habit of staying up late—even on school nights. This prompts many parents to ask “What if my teen doesn’t get enough sleep?” The truth is, many teenagers don’t. Ideally, teens should try to go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends, and wake up at the same time every morning, allowing for 8-10 hours of sleep.

A patient at the Children’s Sleep Center
This photo was taken pre-COVID.

General sleep tips

  • Include a wind-down period in your bedtime routine, with dim lighting and doing something calm like reading or drawing.
  • Establish an “electronic curfew” for your kid’s electronics. Electronics keep kids awake longer, so putting electronics away one hour before bed is recommended.
  • Kids under the age of 12 should not consume caffeinated beverages.
  • Use your bed just for sleeping — not doing homework, reading, playing games, or talking on the phone. That way, you’ll train your body to associate your bed with sleep.

Children’s Sleep Center

Families contact the Children’s Sleep Center for our experience in treating rare and common sleep disorders in infants, children and adolescents.

At Children’s Minnesota, we specialize in identifying and treating a variety of pediatric sleep problems, ranging from: Difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, concerns with a child’s breathing, snoring during sleep, daytime sleepiness, night-waking and difficulty waking up in the morning.

Alexandra Rothstein