Welcome to November’s Hope in Adoption Topic of the Month – Sleep Schedules & Routines!
Our goal is to help you find hope in your journey and adopt parenting tools that work. I am Amy – a registered nurse, nursing professor, parenting educator, wife to my husband Drew, and Mama to 5 beautiful babes. Fun fact, all 5 of my babes were adopted at birth. I was present for 4 of the 5 deliveries! I am passionate about nursing, education, and motherhood.
Combining these 3 loves is a dream come true. I am excited for the opportunity to empower you through education and create a strong, supportive, parenting community. As I couple my scientific and research based nursing background with my love of being a mother to my 5 babes I will help you adopt real life, tried and true parenting tools that work!
Let’s Get Started!
First things first, it is essential to set realistic expectations for our babes and sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics teaches that infants do not have a regular sleep cycle until around 6 months of age (AAP, 2013). This does not mean that we cannot work to help our babes establish patterns with their sleep schedule. Their growing body needs sleep. They depend on us to help them get the sleep that they need.
Please remember, your babe’s resistance to sleep does not mean that they do not want or need sleep. Is that worth repeating? Resistance to sleep does not mean that your babe does not want or need sleep. They need sleep. They want sleep. They also need and want you to help them get that sleep. Even better, they need and want you to coach them and help them know how they can get the sleep that they need and want. Your babe needs and wants the life skill of self-soothing and consistent, independent sleep.
Welcome to the toddler phase!
If your toddler does not consistently demonstrate independent sleep through the night (on average 10-12 hours) please refer to the newborn/Infant material. This can help you gain insight on how to help with night sleeping. Your child can and should be expected to fall asleep independently and sleep through the night consistently at this phase. If you are not there yet, it is ok! I am here to help.
Know that nap schedules will be less routine until nighttime sleep is consistently independent and throughout the night (10-12 hours). If your toddler struggles with their nighttime sleep, this is where we want to focus first. Naps will transition during this phase. Learn when your little one is ready to drop a nap and the 5 steps in dropping a nap.
Most little ones transition from crib to bed near the end of this developmental phase or beginning of the next. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting as close to 3 years old as possible if your kiddo remains safe in their crib. If they are climbing out this creates a safety issue and it is time to transition. If your little one repeatedly asks for a toddler bed, it is probably time for the transition.
Welcome to the preschool phase!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends little ones in the preschool phase receive 11-12 hours of sleep each day.
Your child can and should be expected to fall asleep independently and sleep through the night consistently at this phase. If you are not there yet, it is ok! I am here to help. Please refer back to previous developmental phase material. This can help you gain insight on how to help with night sleeping.
Most little ones transition from crib to bed near the end of the toddler developmental phase or during the preschool phase.
Your little one may show signs of nightmares or night terrors during this developmental phase. If this is a consistent pattern in your little ones sleep make an appointment with your pediatrician for further evaluation and recommendations.
You’ve come so far and now you’re into School Age Routines!
Typically, sleep is more routine and less stressful during the school-age phase. However, do not underestimate the continued importance of sleep for your kiddo.
How much sleep should your school-age kiddo have? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 9-12 hours of sleep, on a regular basis for children 6-12 years of age to promote optimal health.
Are you worried that your kiddo is not getting enough sleep? Check out these 3 steps that can help you identify sleep discrepancies.