Sleep problems

Baby health

Sleep problems

Every young child needs to sleep. It is the primary activity of the brain during early development. Many children have trouble falling asleep. But also waking up throughout the night is very common.

Short sleeping circles
In children aged six months to 18 months, sleep is made up of cycles that last about an hour. A sleep cycle consists of both light and deep sleep and it is normal for children to wake at night when a sleep cycle comes to an end. Then some children can easily resettle themselves, while others need help getting back to sleep.

Sleep habits and associations
It is common for parents to feed their child to sleep or use techniques such as patting, rocking or holding the child until they fall asleep in their arms. When these techniques become habits that are needed to soothe a child to sleep, they are called sleep associations.

Sleep during the night by age
The younger the children the more sleep they need in general. If we just look at the sleep during the night, most children need between 10-12 hours, depending on their age:

Promote good sleep habits
To reduce your child’s dependence on certain habits and promote good sleep, try the following:

After it works, they wake up again
Even once your child has learnt to fall asleep and stay asleep, things can change again. Coughs and colds or holidays can be enough to disrupt your child’s sleeping routine. Many children who used to sleep well when they are 12 month old are starting to wake up again when they are 18 months of age. As children grow they experience more and during sleep and their dreams such experiences are turned into memories. If these dreams are too vivid, children wake up. If they cry or and need you to fall back to sleep, try to be there for them.


Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (30 June 2020)


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