I am passionate about helping families to sleep. Usually, I ask everyone to draft their WHY and write it down on a piece of paper, to look back at it during the sleep training period. The WHY is so important - why do you want your baby to sleep? - why do YOU want to sleep? Each family has a different reason for this WHY; all of them are perfectly fine. Tough, there is some evidence-based research that justifies the importance of sleep from a health and developmental point of view, which I would like to detail.
Newborns need so much sleep. They can - and should - sleep 14-17 hours a day in those early weeks.1 But why is that? Because sleep promotes brain development, mainly active sleep or REM. Studies have shown, that REM sleep in infancy appears to set the stage for later learning. This early influence of sleep patterns on brain development may predict individual differences in later cognitive function.2
Babies and Toddlers
Sleep is crucial even after the newborn stage has ended. Until babies turn 1 year old, they still need 12-16 hours of sleep in 24 hours. Toddlers till age 2 need 11-14 hours of sleep and young children until age 5 still need 10-13 hours of sleep in 24 hours.3 Sleep is essential for their body and mind. Studies have shown that those kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.4
Last but not least, parents also need sleep. Sleep may reduce postpartum depression. Research shows that sleep deprivation can exacerbate symptoms of postpartum depression.5 Sleep is also essential for parents to function better during the day. The baby’s mood is much dependent on their parents' mood. While babies and young children cannot tell how much better they feel after a well-rested night, parents feel the difference.
In a summary, it is clear that sleep is vital for everyone as it is part of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is a basic need and different age groups benefit so much from healthy sleep habits.
If you feel that your child is not getting an adequate amount of sleep and you would like to change this, my packages are here for you. I offer one on one sleep consultancy based on your child’s and the whole family’s needs.