Little Routines, Gillian Stewart

Regular naps are 'key to learning'
Gillian Stewart, Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I have just heard on the radio this morning another news item on babies sleeping.

 "The key to learning and memory in early life is a lengthy nap," say scientists. Trials with babies up to twelve months old, indicated they were unable to remember new tasks if they didn't have a lengthy sleep afterwards.

I can almost hear you all shouting out in despair. "That's great, but I can't get my baby to have regular naps."

It is very interesting how these scientists come up with these findings but fail to mention how you get a baby to sleep!

I do think most people know how important sleep is to everyone, especially babies.

Sleep is needed for healthy growth and the rejuvenation of vital systems in our body, which includes the body's ability to build memories.

Many of the enquiries I receive and the visits I make, are about sleep.
Sleep is something that we actually need to train ourselves and our babies to do.

Daytime naps are extremely important for your baby. A well rested baby during the day will sleep so much better at night. Wake times during the day will then mean the body is  'good to go' for learning new things. These can then be strengthened whilst your baby is resting and asleep.

You do need to take charge though, as babies can so often get things wrong. They appear to be telling you that they don't want to go to sleep but what they are actually telling you is "I am very tired so please can you help me go to sleep."

Set your babies routine with regular nap times. Most babies need sleep after being awake for around two hours. Younger babies can only manage an hour and a half of wake time. This is on top of a good nights sleep.

Encourage your baby to have one or two short naps during the day and then one long sleep at lunch time. Help them by being at home so they sleep comfortably in their own cot.

Don't worry if your baby has a little cry when you pop him or her down for a nap. Some babies seem to need to have a cry before they fall asleep.

Babies need sleep and lots of it. Let's face it, so do we! Think how miserable we feel when we are tired. It is the same for babies but they find it so much harder to deal with than we do.

So, put aside a week and set your baby's nap times. You will be amazed the difference it will make to your little one. Lots of smiles and a much happier baby ready to explore and take on the challenges of each new day.

If you would like help on achieving a good day and night sleep routine for your baby, do please get in touch. An email can change your baby's life and yours too.