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The Importance Of Rest For Your Baby

Nov 9, 2007
It is a fact of life that all living creatures need to rest in order to stay healthy and happy. Sleep is one of the necessary tools of survival just like eating and drinking. In order for the body and mind to perform at their best, a regular sleep routine is needed.

When we sleep, it gives not only your body, but your mind a rest as well. It is thought that sleep allows you to prepare for the next day and gives your brain an opportunity to sort things out. Though scientists aren't precisely sure what type of organizing our brain does when we sleep. It is believed that during sleep your brain stores and sorts data, solves problems and replaces any chemicals that the rest of the body may need.

Different Babies May Have Different Sleeping Habits

The amount of sleep that a baby needs will depend on the baby herself. Age plays a large factor in how much sleep is needed, but nature plays a large part too. A newborn will sleep anywhere from 10 to 22 hours per day. This amount of sleep will decrease as the child grows.

If you have a baby that sleeps well, consider yourself lucky. For those less fortunate, there are things you can do as a parent that can get your baby on the right track to get the proper amount of sleep that she needs. Some babies are more active than others and will require less sleep, others are more laid back and are ready for a nap anytime, anywhere. Only you can determine the sleep needs of your child by observing behavior during the day. A child that needs more sleep will be cranky, clumsy and whiny without the proper amount of rest, while a child who needs less sleep will be ready to face the day with a smile and energy from the moment they awaken.

Teaching Your Baby Good Sleeping Habits

Though we may think that sleeping is as natural as breathing, it isn't. If you have poor sleeping habits, your child may inadvertently pick up your bad rest habits. Usually by the time a baby reaches about 3 months of age they have developed a sleeping pattern. Most babies at this age have stopped their night feeding and this is an ideal time to begin training your baby for sleep. You must keep in mind that all babies develop at a different rate. If your child doesn't seem ready for sleep training at this particular time, put it on the back burner and try it again in a couple of weeks.

When we say a baby sleeps through the night, we usually mean they are sleeping at stretches of 5-6 hours at a time. Some babies will sleep longer, some shorter. Once a child has reached the age of 6 months and is still waking for a nighttime feeding, it may be time to start night weaning.

Some babies sleep well through the night and then begin to wake up again. Don't be alarmed, your baby may be missing you or she may be trying hard to master new skills that spill over into her rest and awaken her.

The best way to start healthy sleep habits at this age is to establish a regular bedtime as well as scheduled naps and stick to that schedule. You will notice signs of your baby becoming tired such as rubbing her eyes or pulling at her ears. You can also plan for specific nap times such as a nap after lunch feeding and one before the dinner feeding. Some people put their babies down two hours or so after they have last woken up. As long as you give your baby the opportunity to sleep, any approach you use should be fine.
About the Author
Debbie I. Snare recommends reading more information on the importance of Baby Rest/Sleep at http://www.MyBabyAdvice.com - You will also find helpful Baby Shopping Suggestions there.
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