Child Sleep Psychology

Child Sleep Psychology

Good sleep in the first years of life plays a critical role in maturational development

... enabling, according to the latest discoveries of the neurobiology of sleep, the increase of neural connections.

The child must learn a dream pattern that must be taught by his parents or caregivers. Although sleeping is something innate, the process of falling asleep is a learned behavior, a habit.

Taking into account different children's temperaments, from docile children to difficult children, it is essential to have their parents' determination of how, where and when to sleep. That is, as parents we should not excuse ourselves in the difficult temperament of our child, since our role is to educate him under certain standards, which we consider by our own education and culture, appropriate to his normal development. Father's homework it is not fully adapt to the child's temperament, but, taking into account their individual characteristics, be flexible before these but maintaining the educational standards.

Teaching a child to sleep is one of the first lessons for his own life, and it is one of the first tasks of our parents role to forge our educational system. First of all we must think about how we want to train our son.

The beliefs we have in this regard will guide us to establish patterns of behavior for the child.

To the Be parents, with all the emotion and psychological shock we feel, plus the first care our little one requires, plus the need to readjust our partner and our personal project; we may not stop to think seriously about the type of education we will establish for the child, how we want to help him grow.

Childhood Sleep Guidelines

As a rule between 2 and 5 years children between 12 and 14 hours. And during the rest of childhood, and until adolescence, sleep occupies 40% of the day. It is essential that children sleep at least 10 hours each night in their first years of life.

A study conducted in Canada on 1,492 families with children from 0 to 6 years old, relates the time children sleep with their ability to learn, the presence of hyperactive behaviors and language development.

Children who lose hours of sleep chronically have worse school performance when they start the Primary stage and their language development is slower.

This is because when a child sleeps less hours than he needs, a part of REM sleep is being lost. This phase of the dream is very important so that you can record in your memory what you learned during the day and so that your brain recovers, predisposing it better to learn new things.

Hours they need according to their age

  • 0 to 1 years old. The newborn should sleep from 16 to 17 hours, 9 hours at night and the rest for the day. Over time the hours of sleep are reduced. With three months the baby needs to rest 15 hours and when he turns 13 or 14, 11 hours at night and 3 during the day.
  • 1 to 3 years. The child should sleep between 10 and 13 hours. It is usual that between the second and third year most children stop doing the nap.
  • Between 4 and 5 years old. Sleep between 10 to 12 hours. They no longer need a nap, but it is good to rest for a little while after the meal.
  • Beginning at 6 years. Sleep needs decrease one hour each year. Between 6 and 8 years, the child needs 11 to 12 hours of sleep, and with 10-12 years, about 10 hours.

It is very important, and the purpose of this writing, that we stop to think about how we want to educate, or how we can educate, or how we should educate, after all these thoughts, we will have a vision about what education we want for our child.

Let's not forget that the child at five is a preliminary study of what will be in adulthood, since in these first five years personality guidelines are established determinants in the psychological training.

Lic. Elízabeth González Montaner
UBA psychologist