Benefits of Sleep for Babies
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 by Sukkie
When I was pregnant with my first child, I envisioned my child becoming accustomed to MY lifestyle. I fantasized about having no disruption to my dinner parties, long afternoon excursions and decedent coffee dates with my husband and friends. My child would simply adjust to this way of living, wouldn’t he? He would easily become accustomed to eating “on the fly,” sleeping “on the fly,” essentially living “on the fly” (as long as he was with me!) and everyone would be happy. Months later, baby arrived and CRASH, BOOM, BANG…..REALITY!
It didn’t take me long to realize the importance of consolidated sleep for my child, meaning not fragmented and uninterrupted. And if he didn’t get it, he was a grumpy and irritable little bugger making my dinner parties, long afternoon excursions and decedent coffees a nightmare! When sleep deprivation sets in, life in general becomes less rewarding for both parents and children.
In fact, research shows that children who don’t get enough sleep can often present as overactive or hyper, impulsive, emotional liable and moody. Their attention span and concentration is compromised, making it difficult for them to retain information and take in stimulus. Children who are well rested present as happy, alert, interested and ready to soak up information. Additionally as we sleep, growth hormones, growth factors and immune regulators work together to repair tissue, conserve energy and bolster our immune system. For a baby, sleep provides the developing brain with much more nerve stimulation than he or she would simply get from sensory stimulation.
After reviewing the research, for me, it was an easy decision to get my child the optimal amount of sleep he required in order to function properly. And, without saying, the days of sleeping “on the fly” ended abruptly. Studies show that up to 30% of babies have sleep problems, and that 75% of parents would like to change their babies’ sleep habits. If you are one of those parents, let’s chat!