We undergo rapid and immense development within the first year of our life. This is the reason why babies sleep so much. Sleep impacts growth, weight, mental, development, learning, and the immune system.
Having enough and good sleep is important for babies. Sleep helps the brain to grow and develop properly. It also allows the body to heal and repair itself. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems in babies, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mental health problems. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that your baby gets enough sleep.
How much sleep does a child need?
The sleep of newborn newborns varies greatly. After around a month, most newborns sleep 14 to 17 hours daily. After that, your infant will gradually sleep more at night and less during the day.
Although an individual child’s requirements may differ, try to limit daytime naps to 1 to 2 hours to prevent extending night bedtimes. Children in primary school require 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night.
What to do in the first year?
You can do a few things to encourage better sleep in your baby.
- A tired infant has greater difficulty sleeping. Because napping helps babies sleep better at night, keeping your baby awake throughout the day will not help your infant sleep longer at night.
- Put your baby to bed when they are sleepy yet awake. Remember to place them in their crib or on a hard, flat surface on their back. Soft objects such as cushions and plush animals should be kept away from the crib.
- It’s OK to rock and cuddle your infant. Holding a young infant will not spoil them.
- A pacifier can provide comfort and aid in your baby’s sleep. However, waiting until nursing is going well is preferable before using a pacifier.
Things to remember for infants (4 to 12 months)
Babies at this age sleep an average of 14 hours a day, but less or more might be expected for your baby. By 4 months, most newborns require three naps per day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the early evening.
Between 6 and 12 months, your baby will most likely transition from three naps per day to two lengthier naps in the morning and afternoon. Every infant has varied napping requirements. Some take 20-minute naps, while others sleep for 3 or more hours.
- Establishing a bedtime routine can help signal the brain that it is time to wind down and sleep. Keeping a regular sleep schedule as much as possible will help your baby sleep better.
- Creating a calm and comfortable sleeping environment can also promote better sleep. Ensure the room is not too hot or too cold, and there is minimal noise and light.
- A relaxing session before bedtime might assist your baby in transitioning from play to sleep. Quiet activities like reading, telling your kid a tale, or playing gentle music will help them feel relaxed and sleepy.
- Avoid giving them sweet foods and drinks. The same goes for everything that has caffeine in it.
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