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The sleep of children is very different from that of us adults, it is very light, the cycles of sleep last 60 minutes instead of 90 of an adult and in the transition from one cycle to another there are short awakenings in which the child often has afraid to go back to sleep alone and asks his mother for help. This is what we are talking about when we talk about "physiological awakenings up to 3 years" (as well as several other factors that we will examine in another article), just the quality of their sleep and their inability to go back to sleep alone (capacity that will acquire with the development and thanks also to the help of parents and their regulatory function).
Among the basic methods, which all mothers have heard at least once before the birth of their child, there is the famous "sleep routine".
BUT WHAT IS IT?
Everything the child does in the hour before bedtime and the time he goes to sleep will affect the quality of his sleep and the amount of his awakenings in a certain way.
Some studies have also shown that a lack of established evening routines can compromise the correct brain development of children, with negative repercussions on their performance that are severely limited, especially in the case of school-age children, when it comes to reading, making calculations or draw flat and solid shapes.
First of all bedtime should take place every evening at the same time, accompanied by small rituals that prepare for sleep and relax the child. In fact, regularity has a positive influence on its development, The suggestion is to learn to read the baby's signals, which can manifest fatigue 'rubbing' the eyes with little hands or yawning, but also becoming particularly restless and nervous ". Once you have identified a time slot within which it is appropriate to go to sleep, it is essential to respect it
A huge help from rituals They are precious allies of the child, but also of the parents, because they make the appointment with falling asleep easier and more pleasant. "After the baby has done the 'full' of attention and pampering with mom and dad, it's time to get ready for sleep," says the psychologist. "First of all, let the child know that the hour of goodnight is approaching, and then start the sequence of usual gestures that precede sleep: wear the pajamas, brush your teeth, drink a glass of water, read a fairy tale or tell a story. Every family has its favorite rituals, to be repeated every evening with constancy. For the children the experience of falling asleep corresponds to a loss of control over reality and detachment from mum and dad, but the repetition of a known sequence of small gestures helps them to abandon themselves to sleep without fear. Around the age of three it may happen that the child tries to lengthen the time of the pre-sleep routine, for example by asking another fairy tale, and then another one ... The parents will be able to accept some additional cuddle requests, but without dilating infinite this phase, because the rituals do not lose meaning. When you leave the child's bedroom, there is no need for silence in the house. Mom and Dad can continue their activities: the background noises have a calming effect, because they reassure the child of the presence of the parent. Finally, to help the children to live with serenity the appointment with the bed, it is useful to convey the message that going to sleep is something pleasant for everyone, big and small.