Children with Down syndrome might have difficulties in getting a good night’s sleep. But parents and caregivers can help the child follow a healthy lifestyle that will help them sleep well at the end of the day. These few tips will definitely guide on how to help a child with Down syndrome sleep better.
Children with Down syndrome will have slow developmental growth that affects their body functioning in many ways. One of the main ones being sleep problems. But this can vary from child to child. Parents and caretakers have to be extremely careful and vigilant in raising a child with Down syndrome so that the child can lead a healthy life.
Some of the most common problems seen amongst children with Down syndrome as sleep issues are anxiety, bedwetting and insomnia. Youngsters and adults under this developmental disorder can overcome problems by following strict routines for which parents have to help them. A healthy child must sleep up to at least nine hours a day. If parents find it extremely difficult to put their child to sleep, it is best to consult a therapist or experts who can guide the child.
Most children with Down syndrome have loose muscle tones and tend to be obese. This is one of the main reasons that can affect their sleep patterns as well. There are many noise machines and smartphone apps that can help aid sleep. Even a good mattress can do the trick.
Parvathy Vishwanath, Founder of Aikya in Chennai says that following a healthy lifestyle for children with Down syndrome is very important.
Here are some tips to help a child with Down syndrome sleep better
- Healthy lifestyle– Whether a child has a disability or not, it is extremely important to make sure that they follow a healthy lifestyle. This includes managing a good diet and regular exercises. Like how experts point out, chances of a child with Down syndrome being obese are high. Make sure that you do not over feed your child, especially junk food. Look at the various exercise options for the child that they enjoy.
- Regular sleep patterns– For a child who has a disability, following a regular pattern helps a lot. Parents can try and introduce them to a relaxing bath before bed or even tell a bedtime story to put them to sleep. If this is followed regularly, the child will get used to a routine that will help them in the long run.
- Physical environment matters– The physical environment in which the child sleep matters a lot. Always try and put them to sleep where there is lesser noise or a place which is calmer. Sleeping in a dark room helps because they tend to fall asleep more faster and peaceful. The room must not be too cold or warm and tidy from toys or other things.
- Reward good behaviour– All children loves to be rewarded a small gift for their gestures. Each time the child does a desirable behaviour, try and reward them with something small, even a chocolate would make a great gift. So when the child goes off to sleep on time, tell them that you are happy for what they have done so that they feel great. A few kind words from parents can do wonders to children.
“Each child is different and hence their needs and requirements also vary. Some children who have low severity will demand things differently than a child with high Down syndrome symptoms. So parents and caretakers must keep a watch on how to reach out to them. Physical activities are always a great way to help the child sleep well at the end of the day”, says Karen Karbhari, Founder of Buddy Centre.