Sunday, September 4, 2011

Get your Zzzz...

Sleep can be a source of continual frustration for parents and children. Getting enough sleep dramatically elevates your child's mood and decreases irritability during the day.  Sleep is also linked to cognitive and physical growth, and increases attention and concentration.  Listed below is the average recommended hours of sleep according to age group:

Between Birth - Six Months: 15-18 hours
Between Six- Twelve Months: 14-15 hours
Between Ages 1 - 3: 10-13 hours
Between Ages 4-11: 10-12 hours
Teenagers: 8- 9 hours

Establish the ground rule that beds are for sleeping : 

Older children will often try to use their beds to study.  This will associate bed-time with school and anxiety; an association we do not want to encourage.  Younger children may want to have toys on their bed, which is o.k.  These toys, however, should be solely for bed-time.  Bed toys should be safe and soft, used only as comfort object rather than play.

To help you avoid the bed-time struggle, create a bed-time routine.  Start by avoiding the use of computers, T.V., and electronic devices at least 2 hours before bed-time.  These tend to be too stimulating and will affect your child's ability to relax.  

Dim the lights around your house closer to bed-time, and ask your child to go brush their teeth, wear their pajama's and snuggle into bed.  Cuddle next to your young child and choose one or all of these comfort activities: 

  • Read a book or two.  One of my favorite bed-time books for young children is Goodnight Moon.  
  • A warm drink can often be comforting.  Milk or chamomile tea are wonderful. 
  • Try massaging your child's hands, tickling his back, or rubbing his feet.
Be consistent and persistent.  If you are unable to do the bed-time routine yourself, find someone else who will: a sibling, spouse, or nanny.  Applaud your young child for successes made with bed-time.  Very importantly, applaud your self when you are successful!  

Restful dreams...


  1. Congratulations for your blog, looking forward to read more beautiful articles. Good luck 

  2. Thank you MWK. I hope to hear from you often:)

  3. great advice! but please dont emphasize the use of a nanny to put the child to sleep. its either mom,dad, realtive or the child learns how to put himself to sleep alone by either hugging a comforting toy, listing to a song or simply teaching the child to think happy thoughts before bedtime.
    nanny's are not in position to do all the emotional bedtime routine of rubbing, reading, or cuddling especially in kuwait. there is a misunderstanding between the nanny and a house maid. good luck to you all! being a parent is not easy but sure is fun and satisfying do it yoruself and feel proud :)

  4. You are absolutely right "funtastic". This is by no means my attempt to encourage dependance on nannies, but rather an emphasis on the importance of keeping a routine. If the routine is broken during the beginning, the child will have a difficult time settling down. In case of emergencies, when parents and family member cannot be present, nannies can be helpful in reminding the child about the routine, and helping that child settle down.

  5. While I completely agree with "funtastic" on minimizing use of 'nannies' to put a child to sleep or even spend most of the child's waking time with them, I don't think that Zaina either emphasized or encouraged the use of nannies.. I think she knows better than anyone of us how dependent most people are on nannies in Kuwait and is merely reflecting on a reality that has to be addressed.. You don't like it and I don't like it, but many have nannies doing most of the work with their children.. I think it's wrong but if someone wants to do it, at least make sure they are supervised and doing it right.. I trust this is what Zaina meant..

  6. Thank you "Anonymous" for your comment. Yes I obviously did not mean to encourage the use of nannies, nor am I going to be in denial of the reality we live in regarding the use of nannies... (and I do not mean just kuwait)
    This topic will certainly be covered later in my posts. Keep an eye out:)