The importance of sleep to humans- whether adult or babies- cannot be underestimated. In fact, to babies, sleep is ever so precious. Babies need sleep in order to generate the energy that can power major processes and stages in their development.
During sleep, they grow stronger bones and have major overall growth as well as developing the vigor they need for active play, good health and better wellbeing. Having good sleep habits and more specifically a good sleeping routine and decent sleep environment is crucial to ensuring your child gets the optimal benefits during sleep. In this article, we will not only give you tips on how to encourage good sleeping habits in your child but also teach you how to read basic signs that can affect your baby’s sleep effectiveness.
Your Baby’s Body Clock
Have you ever wondered why you wake up at a particular time every single day, even though you do not have an alarm? Well you actually have an internal body clock; and so does your baby.
Sleep patterns and your child’s body’s biological rhythm known as the circadian rhythm is regulated by this internal clock. This is done through the release of melatonin- a hormone that induces sleep.
Encouraging Good Sleep Habits
Good sleep habits are lifelong skills. Again, this incubation of good sleep habits will set the stage for successful sleep training; a great approach that can result in quality baby sleep.
Now let’s establish practices that should be carried out frequently in a bid to ensure a good sleeping culture with your child:
Show Your Baby The Differences Between Day And Night
Once your baby is at least 2 weeks of age, it’s time to help her recognise the differences between daytime and night time. Here, you try as much as possible to teach your little one that the day time is an active period.
In the day time, when she is alert: Play and interact with your baby as much as possible, change clothes to signify the beginning of a new day, ensure day time is social by singing and chatting with her, allow your baby to get used to noises during day time by putting on the radio, television or washing machine and if she feels sleepy, follow those sleepy cues. Also, encourage playtime outdoors as exposure to sun helps synchronize their body clock, which promotes night time sleep.
During night time: change him into comfortable pyjamas, keep the sleep environment as dark as possible and eliminate all forms of noise. By doing this you will be signalling to him that night time is for sleeping in addition you will be helping him establish a healthy circadian rhythm.
Wind Down Activities As Bedtime Approaches
A wind-down period as bedtime approaches will significantly help in your child’s transition from playtime to sleep. You could read a book to her, tell a story or play soft music. This approach will help your child to feel less agitated and calm their nerves allowing them to become more relaxed. Also, try as much as possible to keep all electronic gadgets far away once it’s time for sleep. At least an hour before bed time, make sure that the television, mobile phones, and computers are all switched off.
Well curated professional help is often invaluable. This is definitely something you will get on top of so try not to stress out too much, sometimes all we need is a steer in the right direction and those sleepless nights will become a thing of the past!