Why is sleep important? As adults it’s quite simple, a good nights sleep allows our bodies and minds time to rest and recharge, ready for the next day. However for babies and children it is a bit more complex than that. There is so much that goes on in our little one’s brains and bodies while they sleep – it helps them learn, grow and develop.
Why is it important for little ones to settle to sleep quickly, calmly and have enough sleep?
- While little ones sleep their brain rests and restores from their busy day
- Their memory develops during sleep
- Their social & behaviour skills mature
- When learning to talk, they start to integrate all they have heard, storing how it sounds and what it means when sleeping
- They process all that’s gone on during the day
- They grow at night! the growth hormone is most active during non rem sleep
- Sleep helps fight infection
- Improves their attention span
When overtired little ones can
- Struggle to solve problems
- Retain new information
- They can get frustrated, leading to increased temper tantrums
- They are unable to process all that’s gone on during the day
- Struggle to go to sleep let alone stay asleep
- They can become stressed and then struggle to be relaxed and calm
- It can become fussy
- Often struggle to feed & eat
Having battles at nap and bedtimes can lead to disturbed sleep, with frequent waking, early waking and a tired, grumpy baby let alone a tried grumpy mummy & daddy!
How can you help your baby or child get all the sleep they need?
- Have a regular nap & bedtime routine
- Having a warm bath before bedtime helps with settling to sleep
- Avoid screen time or electronics at least an hour before bedtime
- They are able to self-settle
- The appropriate naps for their age
- An early enough bedtime
If you need help with your little one’s sleep or routine, please get in touch and I would be happy to help.
Sam, aka The Baby Guru
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