Why Toddlers and Babies Need Sleep

sleeping baby

sleeping baby

When it comes to babies and toddlers, sleep is one of those really important topics. Sleepless nights are not a fun time for you or your bub! Sometimes it feels like they never want to snooze but babies need sleep and this is such an important part of your childs development.

So why is nap time so important? Babies and toddlers spend all day learning new things and then they process it all while they sleep! In fact lots of amazing things happen while babies and toddlers sleep including the growth hormone being released from their brain. This is why new borns are extremely sleepy for the first few weeks of their life. They are going through so much growing and learning they will need to sleep a lot! For these few weeks new borns are only fully alert for a few minutes out of every hour.

New borns will need around 17 hours sleep over a 24 hour period. That’s only 7 hours of being awake! As your child grows they need sleep less and less for example a 5 year old will only need 10-12 hours sleep a day. (significantly less than a new born but still a lot more than an adult!). A good indication of whether your child is getting enough sleep is their behaviour when they are awake. If they are extra whiney and grumpy then this often means they are tired and you might need to increase their nap times.

As your child’s central nervous system develops their sleep cycle will start to become more regular. So sleepless nights are only temporary! The fastest way to make this happen is to establish a set routine for both day naps and night time sleep. But until it does, your best bet as a parent will be to nap when your child naps. Unless you want to become a walking zombie anytime soon!

 


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