We have often heard that babies grow in their sleep and most of their development takes place while they are in a deep slumber. Knowing this, we do let our little ones sleep for most hours, but sometimes we cannot resist the urge to wake them up and play with them.
Just as every human being requires sleep, our babies do too, so as to function properly and enhance brain activity. Newborns are not accustomed to patterns of sleep yet and may take up to six weeks to even develop a certain pattern. By the age of 2, most children spend their time asleep than awake. Sleep helps them with the mental as well as physical aspects of their development,
We know a lot of things but do not really try to comprehend the reason behind them. Likewise, why our babies need a lot of sleep, also remains somewhat of a mystery to us. Sleep and proper nutrition are of the utmost importance for our babies. Some infants sleep for as long as 18 hours, at a stretch.
They might be asleep, but their minds are conscious. You can often find them twitching, smiling, sucking or playing in their sleep. When babies are sleepy, they fuss, cry, rub their eyes and show signs of mild irritation or weariness; in which case it is best to put them to bed, without much ado.
Infants spend between 16 to 20 hours sleeping, seventy percent of which is rapid eye movement and the rest thirty percent is non-rapid eye movement. Meaning, in rapid eye movement, our little ones are conscious and are most probably having a dream; whereas, in non-rapid eye movement, they are actually in a deep sleep. It is this non-rapid eye movement that serves as a stimulus to crucial and proper brain development.
In terms of behaviour, sleep plays a major role. If your little ones have slept properly, they can wake up rejuvenated and charged. They show more readiness to cope with things, attentiveness, cheerfulness, and more learn-ability.
Children, who are well rested, tend to trouble their parents lesser and are more joyful. Also, since their brain development happens in a proper manner, these kids tend to have a lower chance of any trouble in the future. As an advice to parents, draw out action plans so as to figure out ways, in which to induce them to sleep on their own.
Let your child discover their own ways of falling to sleep and ask them to be consistent with their sleeping patterns. Enforce an early bedtime and create a proper sleep routine if you like. Also, some parents find it convenient to feed when their child is sleeping, however, this is an extremely harmful thing to do as food may go into their windpipe.
While we are talking about the importance of sleep, it is also mandatory for us to understand that we should not force our children to go to even when they do not want to. Since, after a certain age, the number of hours required for sleeping, decrease by quite some factor.