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    Sleep: Does Your Child Get Enough?
    Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP posted:
    "Thirty minutes until bedtime," is called out, and the routine in my house begins. The kids finish playing and head upstairs for a bath or shower. They brush their teeth, put on their pjs, read a bedtime story, and it's lights-out by 8 p.m. Our bedtime routine works well and usually runs smoothly. My children, like most children, need the consistency of the same routine every night.

    Regular sleep schedules help children sleep longer and wake up less often during the night. Just as good nutrition is important for growth and development, sleep is an essential part of a child's life, and crucial for their developing brain.

    What time your child goes to sleep at night is determined by your household routine and schedule, as well as your child's own internal circadian rhythm. If you find your child is cranky and uncooperative in the evening, or hard to arouse in the morning, an earlier bedtime is probably in order. But if your child lies in bed singing for two hours every night, she probably just isn't tired yet. So listen to your child's body and determine an appropriate bedtime. I find that between 7 and 9 p.m. is good, depending on the age of your child and how much sleep is needed. Here is a breakdown of approximately how many hours of sleep children need, naps included:

    ? Birth to 3 months: 15 to 18 hours
    ? 4 to 11 months: 14 to 15 hours
    ? 1 to 3 years: 12 to 14 hours
    ? 4 to 5 years: 10 to 12 hours
    ? 6 to 12 years: 10 to 11 hours
    ? 13 years and up, adults included: at least 8 or 9 hours

    What is your children's bedtime routine? Do you feel your children are getting enough sleep? How do you ensure a regular sleep schedule for your children?
    An_222109 responded:
    I've had this discussion with my pediatrician just over the past year. We have a great bedtime routine, we never have a battle at bedtime (naptime can sometimes be a different story). He gets snuggle time with Mom around 8:15 and then we call for Dad to put him to sleep at 8:45 (he's 2 1/2). He's up around 6:00 and has about an hour half nap during the day. Seemed like way too little sleep to me (in addition to the fact that there's no 'me' time because I got to sleep right after he does!).

    The pediatrician asked a bunch of questions including how his demeanor is during the later portions of the day and how the bedtime routine goes. He assured me that the amount of sleep is fine for my son and said some kids just don't need as much. I trust my pediatrician and completely agree - but selfishly wish he'd go to sleep a little earlier! Maybe when he drops the nap completely....
    baby1at35 responded:
    My boys are almost 5 and working on 6 yrs.
    Both go to bed around 7:30 and are up between 6:30 -7am. Any less sleep than that they have a rough time during the day.
    I also noticed (I have tried to push bedtime back ) that I miss their sleep cycle then. So I stick with 7:30 and they get enough sleep. If it is has been a particularly busy day they tend to sleep 12 hrs.
    Sleep is important in our house so I try to maintain a routine..Bath time at 6: 45 to 7, books, kisses/hugs and lights out.

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