Children & Sleep

There's nothing more challenging than taking care of a new baby. The good news is, as babies grow older, they sleep for far longer periods at a time and soon will sleep through the night. In the meantime, know that erratic sleep schedules and getting up in the middle of the night will be part of your lives for the next few months. So make the most of the sleep you can get – provide yourself and your partner with a restful sleep environment. Sleep in a cool, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress. That way, you'll get the best sleep you can, even if it's for shorter periods of time. And learn to sleep when your baby does. It may be tempting to tackle chores while your baby sleeps, but a quick nap will help boost your energy. Sleep is as important to you as it is to your child.

On average, infants need about 16 hours of sleep, toddlers need about 12, pre- schoolers need about 10.5 – 11.5 hours and children six and older need about 9-10. To help make sure your child get the sleep they need, make sure your child's bedroom is conducive to a good night's sleep – your child's room should be cool, quiet and dark and he or she should be sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress.

If a mattress is no longer comfortable for you, it's not good enough for someone else – especially your child. As kids grow, they need supportive and comfortable bedding as well. Be sure your children have enough space to move around comfortably as they grow. In addition, your child's first "big girl" or "big boy" bed may not provide enough space or comfort for your adolescent.