Dr. Komarovsky about what to do if a child does not sleep well at night and often wakes up


Restless children's sleep at night - the problem is quite common. Many mothers and fathers dream that the child himself slept properly and gave them, the parents, to sleep at least 8 hours. Not all moms and dads know why their children sleep badly at night, often wake up, start, flinch anxiously. With these questions, parents turn to a reputable pediatrician and author of books and articles on children's health, Evgeny Komarovsky.

About the problem

The reasons for the violation of the night's sleep is quite a lot. This is the beginning of the disease, when its symptoms still do not notice others, and emotional turmoil, an abundance of impressions.

Often, bad sleep at night is an echo of an ill-conceived day regimen, when a crumb sleeps too much during the daytime.

A baby may sleep restlessly and often wake up and cry if it is cold or hot, if it is overfed. Up to 4 months, the cause of night anxiety may be in intestinal colic; up to 10 months and older, a child may sleep poorly due to discomfort caused by teething.

A newborn and an infant baby up to a year can sleep badly if he feels hungry. In all children, without exception, poor sleep can be a symptom of a serious illness - rickets, encephalopathy, a neurological diagnosis.

Lack of sleep is dangerous for the child's body. Due to constant lack of sleep, many organs and systems are unbalanced; the child is deficient in many enzymes and hormones that are produced during sleep. Therefore, to establish a dream - the primary task.

About the norms of children's sleep

Between the concepts of "child's sleep" and "the dream of the whole family," Yevgeny Komarovsky puts a bold equal sign. If the baby sleeps well, then his parents get enough sleep. The whole family feels great as a result. Otherwise, all households suffer.

In pediatrics, it is customary to assess the quality of the child’s daily sleep according to certain average rates:

  • Usually newborn sleeps up to 22 hours a day.
  • Aged child from 1 to 3 months - about 20 hours.
  • At the age of from 6 months Crumbs need at least 14 hours of sleep, of which at night should be from 8 to 10 hours.
  • One year old in order to stay healthy, a child must sleep at least 13 hours a day, of which about 9-10 hours are given overnight.
  • If the baby from 2 to 4 years - In a dream, the child should spend about 12 hours.
  • After 4 years - at least 10 hours.
  • At 6 years old the child must sleep at night 9 o'clock (or 8 o'clock, but then be sure to go for another hour in the afternoon).
  • After 11 years night sleep should be no less than 8-8.5 hours.

At the same time, reminds Komarovsky, it is necessary to take into account the hours that the child sleeps during the day. There are no uniform standards, everything is quite individual. In general, a child under one year old needs 2-3 small “quiet hours” during the day. Baby up to 3 years - one or two. The situation when a child in 2 years does not sleep during the day is not very normal, since he is still too small to stand all day without rest. If the child in 5 years refused daytime sleepThis may well be a variant of the norm, since sleep in many respects depends on the temperament of the smallest man.

How to fix a dream?

Making sleep at night is not as difficult as it seems at first glance.. Evgeny Komarovsky in this case offers ten "golden rules of healthy childhood sleep."

First rule

It is desirable to perform it as soon as you and your baby come from the hospital. It is necessary to set priorities as quickly and irreversibly as possible. The child must intuitively understand that there is a time when everyone around him is resting.

Komarovsky recommends immediately determine what interval is suitable for sleep for all households. It can be from 21 o'clock to 5 in the morning or from midnight to 8 in the morning. The child should be laid on a night's sleep at this particular time (the time frame should not be moved anywhere).

From all family members will require discipline and compliance with the established rules themselves.

It is clear that at first the crumb can wake up at night to eat. But by the age of 6 months, most babies do not need night feeding, and mother can get her 8 hours of sleep without waking up for a son or daughter.

Often parents complain that the baby only sleeps in their arms. As soon as he is transferred to the bed, he immediately wakes up and begins to express discontent. This case is the lack of discipline from the parents themselves. It is enough to remember that rocking on hands does not in any way affect the health and strength of sleep, this is only a whim of the parents themselves. Therefore, the choice for them - to download or not to download. Opinion Komarovsky - the child should sleep in his crib and go into it at the same time.

Rule two

This rule follows from the previous one. If the family has decided how long the night’s sleep should begin, then it’s time to think about the day regimen for the youngest household. What time he will swim, walk, sleep during the day. Very quickly, the newborn will get used to exactly this schedule, which was offered to him by the parents, and there will be no problems with sleep either day or night.

Rule Three

It is necessary to decide in advance where and how the child will sleep. Komarovsky believes that the best option for a baby up to 3 years old is his own cot, and she may well be in the parents' bedroom for up to a year;

After a year, says Yevgeny Olegovich, it’s best for a child to take a separate room and rearrange his bed there (if, of course, this possibility exists). A joint dream with parents, which many mothers and even fathers are now trying to practice, is not the best option. Yevgeny Komarovsky believes that such a rest does not have any relation to sound sleep, and he doesn’t add health either to the mom and dad or to the child. And because it simply does not make sense.

Fourth rule

It will not be necessary to use it, if the mode of a day of the baby is well thought out by his parents. But if the toddler tosses a lot at night, sleeps "in fragments" for 30 minutes or an hour, and the doctors did not find any physical diseases or neurological diagnoses, most likely, he just gets too much sleep during the day. Yevgeny Komarovsky recommends not to be shy and to wake up the sleepy baby decisively in the afternoon, so that they “leave” an hour or two in favor of a night rest.

Fifth Rule

Sleep and food - the basic needs of the baby in the first year of life. Therefore, parents need to find the right balance between them. For this Komarovsky advises to optimize the diet. From birth to 3 months, the baby may biologically need feeding at night 1-2 times. From 3 months to six months - enough to feed at night once. After six months - feed at night is not necessary at all, says the doctor.

With the implementation of this rule in practice, the most problems arise in families that try to feed the child on demand. If there is a clear mode or often the recommended mixed mode (on demand, but at certain intervals - at least 3 hours), then the baby gets used to eat that way. But if with every peep he is immediately given a breast, then you should not be surprised that a pussy wakes up every 30-40 minutes and cries. He can do it already because he just chronically overeats, his stomach hurts.

It is best to offer a light snack to the baby in the penultimate feeding, and in the last one before bedtime - to feed him nourishingly and densely.

Sixth rule

To sleep soundly at night, you need to get tired in the afternoon. Therefore, it is necessary to walk more and more often with the child in the open air, engage in age-appropriate development games, practice gymnastics, massage and harden the baby. However, in the evening, a few hours before bedtime, it is better to limit active games, strong emotions. It is better to read a book, listen to songs, watch (not for long) a favorite cartoon. Komarovsky reminds that the best sleeping pillsMother’s lullaby doesn’t exist in nature.

Rule Seven

It regulates the microclimate in the room in which the child sleeps. The baby should not be hot or cold, he should not breathe too dry or too humid air. Komarovsky recommends adhering to the following microclimate parameters: air temperature - from 18 to 20 degrees, air humidity - from 50 to 70%.

The bedroom should be ventilated, monitor the cleanliness of the air. It is better to install special valves on the radiator in the apartment, which will prevent the air from drying out in winter.

Rule eight

To sleep crumbs become stronger, do not forget about the massage before the evening swim. Komarovsky advises bathing in a large adult bath filled with cool water (not higher than 32 degrees). After such a procedure, good appetite and healthy sleep are guaranteed.

Rule Nine

Parents who want to get enough sleep at night should take care that the child sleeps comfortably. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the mattress. It should not be too soft and forced under the weight of the baby. It is better if it is filled with environmentally friendly materials marked "hypoallergenic".

Bed linen should be made of natural fabrics. Do not buy bright sheets and duvet covers with cartoon characters. For a baby it is much more useful if there are no textile dyes in the laundry, it will be the usual white color. Wash clothes should be a special baby powder and rinse thoroughly. Pillow baby does not need at least 2 years, says Yevgeny Komarovsky. After this age, the pillow should be small (no more than 40x60).

Rule Ten

This is the most delicate rule that Yevgeny Komarovsky himself calls the most important of all ten. Calm sleep can only be a baby who is dry and comfortable. That is why it is very picky to consider the choice of a one-time the diaper. It is better to give preference to expensive diapers with a “smart” absorbent layer, proven by generations and safe.


If parents are faced with the task of arranging sleep for a child who has long grown out of diapers, then mom and dad will have to work hard. First, the child will need to increase physical activity and significantly reduce the influx of new impressions (temporarily not to buy new toys, books and not to show new films). Sometimes it is necessary to abandon the daytime sleep in favor of the night.

Exactly the same tactics should be followed by parents of toddlers who, as people say, confused day and night. Only a merciless day restraint of dreams will help during the week to transfer the child to the normal mode, when he begins to rest at night.

If violations of night sleep are not eliminated even with systematic compliance with all the above recommendations, the child must be examined by a doctor.

Parents, on the other hand, should take a closer look and observe the nature of the sleep of crumbs and postures in which he still manages to fall asleep. If the baby is sleeping with his head thrown back, this may be a sign of increased intracranial pressure. If a baby often shudders in a dream, it can be a manifestation of neurological problems, as well as calcium deficiency and vitamin d.

If the child is sleeping with his eyes ajar, this may be a sign of increased nervous excitability. Sleep disorders in a child very rarely require any medical treatment, it is not necessary to stuff the baby with tranquilizers and nootropic drugs. But sometimes you can use herbal preparations or motherwort broths, valerianmint.

A dream on his stomach, about which there are so many disputes on parental forums on the Internet, Komarovsky considers quite an acceptable and even very useful option. For a child, such a position of the body during rest is quite natural. There is no connection between sleep on the stomach and sudden infant death syndrome, Komarovsky says.

Small children are very meteosensitive. Even with all the recommendations, sometimes there can be sleepless nights, if atmospheric pressure “jumps”, the weather changes dramatically, there is a strong thunderstorm outside the window.

In the video below, Dr. Komarovsky will tell you what conditions should be created during the day so that the baby sleeps well at night.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.