sumber : http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/ general/sleep/ sleep.html
Sleep — or lack of it — is probably the most-discussed aspect of baby
care. New parents discover its vital importance those first few weeks
and months. The quality and quantity of an infant’s sleep affects the
well-being of everyone in the household — it’s the difference between
being cheerful, alert parents and members of the walking dead.
And sleep struggles rarely end with a growing child’s move from crib
to bed. It simply changes form. Instead of cries, it’s pleas or
refusals. Instead of a feeding at 3:00 AM, it’s a nightmare or
request for water.
So how do you get your child to bed through the cries, screams,
avoidance tactics, and pleas? How should you respond when you’re
awakened in the middle of the night? And how much sleep is enough for
your child? It all depends on your child’s age.
How Much Is Enough?
Charts that list the hours of sleep likely to be required by an
infant or a 2-year-old may cause concern when individual differences
aren’t considered. These numbers are simply averages reported by
large groups of children of particular ages.
There’s no magical number of hours required by all kids in a certain
age group. Two-year-old Sarah might sleep from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM,
whereas 2-year-old Johnny is just as alert the next day after
sleeping from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM. Still, sleep is very important to
a child’s well-being. The link between a child’s lack of sleep and
his or her behavior isn’t always obvious. When adults are tired, they
can either be grumpy or have low energy, but kids can become hyper,
disagreeable, and have extremes in behavior.
Most children’s sleep requirements fall within a predictable range of
hours based on their age, but each child is a unique individual with
distinct sleep needs. Here are some approximate numbers based on age,
accompanied by age-appropriate pro-sleep tactics.
The First 6 Months
There is no sleep formula for newborns because their internal clocks
aren’t fully developed yet. They generally sleep or drowse for 16 to
20 hours a day, divided about equally between night and day.
Newborns should be awakened every 3 to 4 hours until their weight
gain is established, which typically happens within the first couple
of weeks. After that, it’s OK if a baby sleeps for longer periods of
time. But don’t get your slumber hopes up just yet — most infants
won’t snooze for extended periods of time because they get hungry.
Newborns’ longest sleep periods are generally 4 or 5 hours — this is
about how long their small bellies can go between feedings. If
newborns do sleep for a while, they will likely be extra hungry
during the day and may want to nurse or get the bottle more
Just when parents feel that sleeping through the night seems like a
far-off dream, their baby’s sleep time usually begins to shift toward
night. At 3 months, a baby averages 5 hours of sleep during the day
and 10 hours at night, usually with an interruption or two. About 90%
of babies this age sleep through the night, meaning 6 to 8 hours in a
But it’s important to recognize that babies aren’t always awake when
they sound like they are; they can cry and make all sorts of other
noises during light sleep. Even if they do wake up in the night, they
may only be awake for a few minutes before falling asleep again on
their own. It’s best if babies learn early to get themselves to
sleep, so let your baby try.
If a baby under 6 months old continues to cry for several minutes,
it’s time to respond. Your baby may be genuinely uncomfortable:
hungry, wet, cold, or even sick. But routine nighttime awakenings for
changing and feeding should be as quick and quiet as possible. Don’t
provide any unnecessary stimulation, such as talking, playing, or
turning on the lights. Encourage the idea that nighttime is for
sleeping. You have to teach this because your baby doesn’t care what
time it is as long as his or her needs are met.
Ideally, your baby should be placed in the crib before falling
asleep. And it’s not too early to establish a simple bedtime routine.
Any soothing activities, performed consistently and in the same order
each night, can make up the routine. Your baby will associate these
with sleeping, and they’ll help him or her wind down. You want your
child to fall asleep independently, and a routine encourages babies
to go back to sleep if they should wake up in the middle of the night.
6 to 12 Months
At 6 months, an infant may nap about 3 hours during the day and sleep
about 11 hours at night. At this age, you can begin to change your
response to an infant who awakens and cries during the night.
You can give babies at this age 5 minutes to settle down on their own
and go back to sleep. If they don’t, you can comfort them without
picking them up (talk softly, rub their backs), then leave — unless
they appear to be sick. Sick babies need to be picked up and
comforted. If your baby doesn’t seem sick and continues to cry, you
can wait a little longer than 5 minutes, then repeat the short crib-
After several days, your baby should find it easier to get back to
sleep on his or her own. But if your 6-month-old continues to wake up
five or six times each night, talk to your doctor.
Between 6 and 12 months, separation anxiety becomes a major issue for
some babies and may cause them to start waking up again. But the
rules for nighttime awakenings are the same through a baby’s first
birthday: Don’t pick up your baby, turn on the lights, sing, talk,
play, or feed your child. All of these activities encourage repeat
If your baby wakes up crying at night, you can check in to make sure
he or she isn’t sick or in need of a diaper change. You can pat your
child lovingly on the back or belly. Using a pacifier or thumb
sucking can also help children of this age learn to calm and reassure
themselves. If your baby continues to cry, you can institute the 5-
minute visit pattern.
1 to 3 Years
From ages 1 to 3, most toddlers sleep about 10 to 13 hours.
Separation anxiety, or just the desire to be up with mom and dad (and
not miss anything), can motivate a child to stay awake. So can simple
Note the time of night when your toddler begins to show signs of
sleepiness, and try establishing this as his or her regular bedtime.
And you don’t have to force a 2- or 3-year-old child to nap during
the day unless yours gets cranky and overly tired.
Parents sometimes make the mistake of thinking that keeping a child
up will make him or her sleepier for bedtime. In fact, though, kids
can have a harder time sleeping if they’re overtired.
Establishing a bedtime routine helps kids relax and get ready for
sleep. For a toddler, the routine may be from 15 to 30 minutes long
and include calming activities such as reading a story, bathing, and
listening to soft music.
Whatever the nightly ritual is, your toddler will probably insist
that it be the same every night. Just don’t allow rituals to become
too long or too complicated. Whenever possible, allow your toddler to
make bedtime choices within the routine: which pajamas to wear, which
stuffed animal to take to bed, what music to play. This gives your
little one a sense of control over the routine.
But even the best sleepers give parents an occasional wake-up call.
Teething can awaken a toddler and so can dreams. Active dreaming
begins at this age, and for very young children, dreams can be pretty
alarming. Nightmares are particularly frightening to a toddler, who
can’t distinguish imagination from reality. (So carefully select what
TV programs, if any, your toddler sees before bedtime.)
Comfort and hold your child at these times. Let your toddler talk
about the dream if he or she wants to, and stay until your child is
calm. Then encourage your child to go back to sleep as soon as
Preschoolers sleep about 10 to 12 hours per night, but there’s no
reason to be completely rigid about which 10 to 12 hours they are. A
5-year-old who gets adequate rest at night no longer needs a daytime
nap. Instead, a quiet time may be substituted. Most nursery schools
and kindergartens have brief quiet periods when the children lie on
mats or just rest.
A 5-year-old child may still have nightmares and trouble falling
asleep some nights. You can prepare a “nighttime kit” that includes
activities to pass the time and relax your child. It might include a
flashlight, a book, and a cassette or CD player and story tape or CD.
Use the kit together, then put it in a special place in your child’s
room where he or she can get to it in the middle of the night.
School-Age Children and Preteens
Kids ages 6 to 9 need about 10 hours of sleep a night. Bedtime
difficulties can arise at this age from a child’s need for private
time with parents, without siblings around. Try to make a little
private time just before bedtime and use it to share confidences and
have small discussions, which will also prepare your child for sleep.
Children ages 10 to 12 need a little over 9 hours of shuteye a night.
But it’s up to parents to judge the exact amount of rest their
children need and see that they’re in bed in time for sufficient
Lack of sleep for kids can cause irritable or hyper types of behavior
and can also make a condition like attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) worse.
Adolescents need about 8 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night, but many
don’t get it. And as they progress through puberty, teens actually
need more sleep. Because teens often have schedules packed with
school and activities, they’re typically chronically sleep deprived
(or lacking in a healthy amount of sleep).
And sleep deprivation adds up over time, so an hour less per night is
like a full night without sleep by the end of the week. Among other
things, sleep deprivation can lead to:
decreased short-term memory
delayed response time
These can cause generally bad tempers, problems in school, stimulant
use, and driving accidents (more than half of “asleep-at-the- wheel”
car accidents are caused by teens).
Adolescents also experience a change in their sleep patterns — their
bodies want to stay up late and wake up later, which often leads to
them trying to catch up on sleep during the weekend. This sleep
schedule irregularity can actually aggravate the problems and make
getting to sleep at a reasonable hour during the week even harder.
Ideally, a teenager should try to go to bed at the same time every
night and wake up at the same time every morning, allowing for at
least 8 to 9 hours of sleep.
Establishing a Bedtime Routine
Here’s a summary of a few ways that may help your child ease into a
good night’s sleep:
Include a winding-down period in the routine.
Stick to a bedtime, alerting your child both half an hour and 10
Allow your child to choose which pajamas to wear, stuffed animal to
take to bed, etc.
Consider playing soft, soothing music.
Don’t give your baby or toddler a bottle (of breast milk, formula, or
any sugar-containing drink) to aid sleep. This can cause a serious
dental problem called “baby bottle tooth decay” because the fluids
tend to pool in the child’s mouth.
Tuck your child into bed snugly for a feeling of security.
Encourage your older kid or teen to set and maintain a bedtime that
allows for the full hours of sleep needed at this age.
There isn’t one sure way to raise a good sleeper, but every parent
should be encouraged to know that most children have the ability to
sleep well. The key is to try, from early on, to establish healthy
sleep habits that may last a lifetime.
Reviewed by: Barbara P. Homeier, MD