Sleep is essential for having a healthy life. It allows our body to rest, and maintain good mental and physical health. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. Similarly, adequate sleep hours allow us to go through different stages of sleep, achieving a restorative sleep. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies that are still growing!
Sleep is vital for babies. Their brains require it to develop properly and their bodies to grow. When a baby sleeps, he saves energy, allowing him to gain weight faster and have a healthy development. Also, his organs mature and his immune system grows stronger to protect him from diseases and infections.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for babies that are 7-9 months old is between 12-15 hours. Some babies sleep less, between 11-13 hours and others more, up to 19 hours a day. However, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below this 11-19 hour range. Sleeping less than recommended deprives their bodies of rest and the benefits provided by sleep. When your baby sleeps, he is recharging the energy necessary to crawl, move, sit, eat, and explore his surroundings. On the other hand, sleeping more doesn’t allow babies to get the proper food and stimulation needed in a day.
Sleeping well is extremely important. It is essential for our body because it allows us to rest and maintain good mental and physical health. Rest helps our brain work at its optimum level. It helps us be alert, learn, and concentrate during the day and consolidate what we learned, forming memories during the night. Sleeping well also lowers our stress levels, letting us live healthier lives. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies!
Around the fourth month, a baby’s circadian rhythm is consolidated. If you are consistent with routines, your baby learns to differentiate between day and night. The hours a baby sleeps at night increase slowly, but they still need naps during the day. In fact, sleeping during the day and sleeping at night are interdependent, because the amount of hours a baby sleeps during the day affect sleep at night. During the day, babies should sleep a minimum of two naps of 1 or 2 hours. There are children who even sleep three naps! The morning nap is regularly set 1 hour and half or 2 hours after waking up, while the midday nap is usually around 1:00 or 2:00 pm. The time you choose for each nap is not that important, but what is important is sticking to a fixed sleep schedule. That way, your little one will anticipate his sleep hours. You can create your own short pre-sleep routine, like having a feeding or reading a book, followed by putting him in his crib and slightly turning down the bedroom lights.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for babies that are 4-6 months old is between 12-15 hours a day. If your baby sleeps a bit less, like around 10-11 hours a day; or a bit more around 16-18 hours, it could be fine, however sleeping more or less time than those ranges is not recommended. A long overnight sleep allows your baby’s brain to go through the different stages of sleep, needed to have an optimal development. When your baby sleeps, the brain processes all the information received during the day and helping him learn. He will eventually reach a restorative sleep, and he’ll wake up happy and rested. Sleeping less or more hours during the day affects him too. If he sleeps less, then he will probably be overstimulated, and this will make it even more difficult to get some sleep during the day. On the other hand, if he sleeps a lot during the day, he won’t do so at night. Therefore, try to establish fixed sleep schedules to help your baby sleep 2 or 3 naps during the day and sleep through the night.
We all know that sleep is very important. We need our body to get enough rest so that we can maintain physical and mental health. Sleeping helps our brain function optimally: it improves our learning, our ability to concentrate, and our decision-making skills. Sleeping well affects our quality of life. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies!
When a baby sleeps, he saves energy, allowing him to gain weight faster and have a healthy development. Also, his organs mature and his immune system grows stronger to protect him from diseases and infections. When he’s asleep, your baby’s body releases a growth hormone, which helps him to keep growing. Finally, sleeping helps increase your little one’s appetite, so he can eat well and get the nutrients needed for his proper development. It’s important to remember that babies don’t sleep like us: they sleep for brief moments at a time and constantly wake up to eat. Their first few months, babies usually eat 8-12 times a day, causing their frequent wake ups. Their sleep cycles are different from ours, allowing them to sleep for few hours, but deeply.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for babies that are 0-3 months old is 14-17 hours a day. Some babies may sleep less, between 11-13 hours, while others sleep up to 19 hours a day. However, going above or below the range of 11 to 19 hours is not recommended. Sleeping less than recommended deprives their bodies of rest and the benefits provided by sleep, and on the other hand, sleeping more doesn’t allow them to get the proper food and stimulation needed in a day.
If your baby doesn’t wake up during the night, you are one of the few lucky ones who can rest the whole night through.
There are children who take enough food during the day and don’t require eating overnight. This is not a problem, as long as your baby is happy and healthy in all aspects. If your baby is taking at least 8 daily feedings of milk, every 2 or 3 hours; wetting about 6 diapers a day; and gaining weight, then you have nothing to worry about! Your baby may be sleeping five or more hours without waking up for food and this is not a problem. However, if you notice your baby is not gaining weight, you have to look into why he is not waking up to eat. If during the first two weeks of life your baby is not waking up after five hours without feeding, you might need to wake him up and feed him so that he can gradually gain the weight necessary for his healthy development. Ask your pediatrician for his opinion. If he indicates that you should wake your baby up, then follow his instructions; he knows your baby’s developmental needs. Likewise, if your baby doesn’t wake up to eat during the day, but he is growing at a healthy rate and your doctor tells you that there is no need to wake him, then let your baby sleep and take that extra time to recharge your own energies.
During the first two weeks of life, babies are able to sleep and skip their meal time. Just try to ensure that during those first two weeks, no more than 4 hours go by between feedings. Ideally, you should feed your newborn every 2 or 3 hours, helping to establish your milk supply and ensuring that your little one receives the necessary nutrients and calories. Remember to relax, it’s not necessary to set a specific mealtime. Let your baby eat when he wants to, but keep track of his diaper changes. The first month, you should be changing around 10 diapers a day, 6 wet diapers and 3 or 4 that contain poop. After the first month, your baby will wet 4-6 diapers, normally pooping a bit less.
Just like adults, children sometimes work out confusing feelings or difficult experiences through their dreams. Even though there are a few things more distressing than hearing a sudden scream in the middle of the night coming from your little one’s bedroom – nightmares are quite common.
It’s important to note that nightmares occur for all children, regardless of their environment. Most parents will be concerned about a particular trauma he or she might have experienced, but nightmares can emerge as easy as telling a scary story (that may not seem frightening to you), going to the mall and your little one seeing a poster of an animal that he finds frightening, or finding a scary item. Later in the night, these scary stories or objects might find their way into your child’s dreams. This happens because children at this age have a hard time separating fantasy and reality, which can lead to fears, and thus be vented through dreams.
What can you do to deal with your child’s nightmares?
While it is true that every child has an occasional scary or distressing dream, nightmares seem to peak most during the preschool years when fear of the dark is common. Another thing that is important about nightmares is that they happen closer to the morning, in the late stages of REM sleep. This is an important characteristic as it differs from night terrors, which happen during the first few hours of sleep when your child is sleeping deeply.
Bedtime can be such a challenge for some babies, but what if you’re only making it harder? Sometimes as parents we are not aware that what we do may affect our little ones – even the little things. Here are 3 bedtime “no-no’s” you should be aware of.
Letting your baby stay up late
Believe or not this is a very common mistake, some parents like to play with their baby late at night because they don’t have much time with him or her during the day or they developed the habit of putting him or her to bed just before they go to sleep. A late bedtime will lead to an overtired and fuzzy baby who will most assuredly have trouble drifting off to sleep, which can also increase night awakenings.
What to do: Did you know that most babies actually display signs of sleep readiness between 6 and 8 pm? Be aware of signs like, droopy eyelids or eye rubbing, before your baby gets a bit fuzzy. If you get him or her to bed when he or she is drowsy but not overtired or completely asleep, it will be easier for him or her to learn to fall asleep on his or her own. Continue reading →
If your little one has found a way to escape from the crib even when the mattress is in the lowest position possible, it is a good time to move from the crib to a bed.
Falling down and getting hurt is a risk that can occur once toddlers learn the tricks that allow them to climb down from the crib. Now, the good news is that most children are happy to make the change to a “big kid” bed. Perhaps your little one will even agree with you that he should stay in bed all night. Nevertheless, this transition involves a big change, so reinforcing bedtime rules and routines becomes a crucial step in avoiding those dreaded nighttime visits.
Reinforcing the bedtime routine
First of all, make sure your child is not sick, does not need to use the toilet (if he is potty trained) and that you are not going through a major transition such as welcoming a new baby.
If you don’t have a bed just yet, don’t worry. For now, you can temporarily place the crib’s mattress on the floor.
Celebrate this new milestone together and praise him for growing up. If you make a big deal about this new change, the transition will be more attractive to him.
Continue following the same bedtime routine as always but do not forget to add this last step: tell your child that he should stay in bed until you come for him in the morning.
Once your toddler is lying down in his bed and you have completed the routine, praise him for following the instructions, give him a big kiss a hug and gently leave the room.
Don’t forget to tell your little one you’ll look out for him at night. This will give him a sense of tranquility and safety.
Finally, if your toddler wakes up and leaves his bed, make sure to take him right back to his bed quickly and in the most boring way possible. The first night might pose many unsolicited visits but if you remain firm and consistent in taking him back to his room, your little one will learn to stay in bed at night.
Preventing bedtime battles
We are not going to lie, at first you’ll probably need to repeat the phrase “you can not get out of bed until morning” until you feel like a broken record. Try to remain calm, this is perfectly normal, your baby is simply enjoying his newfound freedom. Now, if you want your baby stay in your bed all night, try to ignore his protests, stand firm and strengthen the bedtime routine with positive praise when he sleeps in his bed all night. Remind him that the rules include all family members to sleep in their own bed until morning (with the exception of getting up to go to the bathroom). Finally prevent letting your toddler sleep in your bed or stay with the family past his bedtime if you do not want this to become a habit.
Tips for a successful transition
Place a night light in your little one’s room.
Incite your toddler to take one of his stuffed animals to bed with him if he does not do this yet.
Invite him to choose his sheets, duvet and even his bed!
Use a chart of achievements where you can place a sticker every time your little one stays all night in bed.
If you can, get a clock that changes color when you can get up.
Keeping my baby safe
Now that your bedroom is easier to access, verify that there are no toys on the floor or placed where they pose a hazard. If you live in a two-story house, ensure access to the stairs is blocked. Finally, try not to buy bunk beds since studies have reported that they cause accidents and head injuries.
Hopefully this information helps you on this important transition. Remember that the process can be tiring and difficult, but we know you can achieve it! Always follow your instincts and do what’s best for you, your baby, and your family; only you will know what is best.
We all know that sleep is an important part of our lives – so much that in fact we spend about 1/3 of our lives asleep. When you are well rested you feel happier, more alert, and more energetic. In other words, sleep is necessary for the brain and body to repair and develop properly, and that is especially true during the fist years of life. Quality periods of sleep are just as important to your baby as the food you provide!
As parents, you may have witnessed first-hand the effects of a missed nap or a bedtime delay – it’s not a pleasant experience. Lack of sleep not only impacts your baby’s mood, but also his attentiveness and concentration – which ultimately affects his learning and growth. When your baby is awake, every sound and movement is a new experience for him that will require energy to process.
We know that babies devote most of their time to sleeping, right? But have you ever wondered how much of what you and your baby do together during the day, especially the learning moments, he will be able to remember? Is there an optimal time during the day that you should be teaching him new skills that will stay for the long term?
Having a baby is no easy task! Yes, it’s beautiful to see them grow and get to know them more and more every day but it can certainly become a challenging experience especially since during the early years, you and your baby will be in constant change and adaptation. One of the biggest changes and adjustments is sleep and all that it entails. Sleep habits are crucial for both the healthy development of your baby and your continued health. Without a full rest both you and your baby’s performance, health, and mood will be affected, so it is very important to try to always meet this basic need!There are many techniques that you can follow to help your baby sleep, some more effective than others, but they all depend on your baby’s personality and preferences. There is no exact recipe to ensure a quick and effective way to sleep that applies to every baby, that’s why it’s important for you to get to know your baby and what works for him or her. There are ways to set parameters to identify and anticipate effective techniques. Here are some methods you might want to try out to get started on forming healthy sleeping habits! Continue reading →
Sleep deprivation is one of the most frequent things parents complain about – and we are sure that a least 99% of all parents may be sleep deprived to some degree. That’s why we have found the most common methods used to create sleeping habits that will help your little one sleep through the night, so you will get some much-deserved rest too! First of all, you should know that babies have different hours of sleep depending on their age. Newborns up to three months sleep approximately 18 hours a day. This means that this will be the time where you sleep less – and not because you are staying out late! The good news is that between four and six months of age, most babies are capable of sleeping “through the night”, which generally means up to 8 to 12 full hours. This is great news for you, because then you would be able to sleep more and feel well rested in the morning.Pediatricians recommend that parents begin implementing a sleeping habit for their babies at around four months, giving them a chance to develop a more regular sleeping pattern. Keep in mind that every baby has his or her own unique developmental timetable. The best way to know if your baby is ready to form sleeping habits is to observe how he or she reacts to your sleep training. If he or she doesn’t seem ready, slow down and try again in a few weeks.Here are some methods you may want to try out. We have enlisted some pros and cons. Remember that no single approach will work with all babies all the time (or even all the time with the same baby!). If one “sleep training method” isn’t working for your family, just drop it and take time to find and develop a nighttime parenting method that works for you! Continue reading →