Importance of baby’s sleep


Healthy sleep is important for a baby as much as good nutrition. Every mother knows the struggle of handling a sleep deprived baby. Babies tend to become all cranky and fussy when they do not receive adequate sleep. On the other hand, your baby’s nap time is your nap time too. It often becomes the period of the day when you can attend to other things you need to take care of. In addition, a good healthy sleep can bring many health benefits to your baby.

Fundamentals of a healthy sleep

Sleeping becomes healthy, only when certain necessities are fulfilled. They are;

Being able to sleep for an adequate amount of time

Having a quality sleep with no interruptions

Having adequate number of naps appropriate for the age

Sleeping pattern should sync with the baby’s internal biological clock or circadian rhythm

How much sleep should your baby get?

The amount of sleep a baby should receive within a day varies according to the age of the baby.

0-3 months

Total required amount of sleep: 14- 16 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 8-10 hours

Daytime sleep: 6-8 hours

Naps: About 3 naps

4-11 months

Total required amount of sleep: 12-16 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 9-10 hours

Daytime Sleep: 3-6 hours

Naps: 2-3 naps

1-2 years

Total required amount of sleep: 11-14 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 11 hours

Daytime Sleep: 2-3 hours

Naps: About 2 naps

3-5 years

Total required amount of sleep: 10-13 hours

Nighttime Sleep: 10-11/10-13 hours

Daytime Sleep: 0-1 hours

Naps: Not compulsory after age 5

Benefits of receiving adequate healthy sleep

Baby becomes more calm and attentive

Improves baby’s interaction with people in the surrounding and helps to develop social skills

Baby becomes more attached to its parents

Maximizes the development and functions of the baby’s brain and the nervous system

Improves the immune system of the baby

Reduces anxiety and stress

Improves cognitive and behavioral qualities

Gets higher IQ later in life.

Consequences of sleep deprivation

Can lower the immunity of the baby

Baby becomes more irritable and fussy

Baby gets tired easily

Baby loses its concentration and alertness

Causes metabolic changes in the body, that can lead to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases

Can result in less effective brain and cognitive functions

Can result in behavioral problems in later life

What can a parent do?

It is obvious that receiving proper sleep is essential for proper growth and development of a baby. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that your baby receives an adequate amount of sleep within a day. Here are some tips you can use to establish healthy sleeping habits for your baby.

You can regulate your baby’s sleep routine by establishing specific bedtimes and naptimes.

Giving a warm bath before bedtime will ensure sound sleeping

Change your baby into night clothes before sleeping. Then, the baby will know it is time for bed.

Sing a lullaby or read a bedtime story

Give a gentle massage to help your baby fall asleep fast