A study has found that children who remain sleeping in cots until they are three years old tend to have better sleeping patterns than toddlers who don’t.
Parents or guardians who choose to keep their kids in a crib for around three years will also achieve a better quality of sleep.
The study shared by Sleep Medicine observed the sleeping patterns of parents, caregivers and their children in 5 different countries.
Previous studies have found that children who experience sleep deprivations have a more difficult time completing simple tasks and tend to have tantrums.
The survey, which had participants in New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Australia, and the UK, has found that making the transition from cot to bed later in children’s life can have a great positive impact on their sleeping pattern and development.
Sleeping in a crib is associated with numerous benefits such as resisting less at bedtime, sleeping undisturbed for extended periods of time, and falling asleep sooner.
This also benefits parents and caregivers as they can get more sleep themselves.
The researchers surveyed 1,983 people with children aged 18 to 36 months. 63 percent of toddlers use a cot and the number dropped to 34 percent between the ages of 24 and 30 months. It dropped to only 14 percent between 30 and 36 months.
One of the reasons why parents move their child to a bed earlier than recommended is that they have another baby coming and want to use the crib again. Another reason is that toddlers seem to out-grow them or they start to climb out of their cots.
But the journal suggests that parents should let their toddlers sleep in a cot until they are three.
Lisa Metzer, a pediatric psychologist, said: “Adults tend to see cribs as cages, but that’s not how children see them.
“Children like small spaces as they feel safe and comfortable with them; if you watch young children play, they like to play under the table or in large boxes.”
Lead study author Ariel Williamson told Reuters Health: “Research during the last decade has shown how important healthy sleep is across the lifespan, but especially during childhood.”
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