Crying, screaming, despair. If children do not sleep through the night, the nightly rest can quickly become a nightmare. BIt is normal for infants and young children to wake up regularly during the night, but how can parents deal with this and when does my child's insomnia become a problem? We have much more about this and about with sleep coach Katharina from "Katies Kleine Nachteule">> spoken.>

Baby yawns

1. First things first: what does a sleep coach actually do? 

Sleep problems in children are not uncommon - the accompanying desperation and overwhelm of the parents is completely understandable. This is exactly where a sleep coach acts as a supporter, motivator and sometimes also as a suggestion box. The task of a sleep coach is to recognize the individual needs and problems of a family and to work out a solution hand in hand with knowledge and empathy. Of course, these can vary greatly from child to child and from family to family. 

2. As a parent, how do I deal with my child having trouble sleeping? 

"First of all, take a deep breath," advises sleep expert Katie here. Sleep problems are stressful and frustrating for those affected, but especially then it is very important to realize that at the end of the day it is "only sleep". Sounds harsh, but it is meant exactly the opposite: because even trying to accept and accept the situation can help immensely in constructively looking for solutions and tackling them.

It's difficult to keep a clear head when you're acutely sleep deprived and stressed out. In this situation, good communication between the parents is also important. It is perfectly fine to be in the relatives & Ask friends and acquaintances for help and, in addition to the child's sleep, also try to keep one's own rest.  

It also makes sense to differentiate how long the sleep problems have been occurring. Is it just a short-term period? Then there is no reason to worry at first. It is completely normal that your little night owl's sleep becomes more difficult at times. Often only external factors can be the cause of the sleep disorders, which accordingly only last in phases. This can be, for example, a bedroom that is too warm in summer or the coming of the first baby teeth.

Babies wrapped in cheesecloth 

3. How much sleep does my child actually need? 

This varies from child to child and depends on the child's age. In principle, however, it can be said that a newborn baby by the end of the 3rd month needs around 18 hours of sleep, spread over many short naps, within 24 hours. With increasing age, the need for sleep then decreases. A one-year-old child only needs 12-14 hours of sleep a day and a two-year-old child around 13 hours. When it comes to primary school age, i.e. between 5-7 years, a child needs 10-11 hours of sleep. 

Important here: The sleep requirement of each child is individual and also depends on whether certain life situations, such as school enrollment, are strenuous for the child, whereupon the need for sleep recurs may vary slightly. 

4. Does my child have to take a nap in the afternoon? What do I have to consider? 

Children usually take a nap between the ages of one and two. A duration of 2-3 hours is usual. When taking a nap, it should be noted that there should be a certain regularity, routine and, of course, a consistent time. Most children need a nap until about the age of three or four, but even after that children need at least a midday rest break. 

5. What is important for newborn sleep? 

Newborn babies sleep a little differently, since a day-night rhythm has to develop first. Babies’ sleep is actually a random product during this time and must slowly level off. It is completely normal for newborns not to be able to put themselves down easily and to seek a lot of physical contact due to the transition from the safe mother's womb into the world. Even short sleep phases are normal and are caused by hunger, among other things, because the baby's small stomach is empty again very quickly.

Author: Jane-Lee Fromm

Eliane Wikert