This is a topic I hear daily from parents, they believe and often argue the point that it is actually best to keep their baby or young child up during the day…due to the fact they say if they don’t then it is going to have an effect on their night sleep. In many cases, it is stated by doing so it has actually made for better night sleep. If you share this view I suggest you read this to find out how this is not true.
So for me, this is most defiantly one myth I have to burst today. What most people do not know and are a matter of fact, Is the exact opposite is the truest. Sleep begets sleep. Let me repeat that… Sleep begets sleep. In most, if not all situations, when a baby that does not sleep during the day, they then struggle more to fall asleep at night, or will at the very least, not have a good quality of sleep during the night.
What is known by us experts are that when your baby is small, the more sleep he or she needs during the day. The recommended amount of daytime naps for a newborn baby is between 6 – 9 hours per day. Which is then gradually reduced in their need for daytime sleeping the older your baby gets. It is only by the age of 2.5 years that a select few toddlers are naturally ready to drop their daytime sleep (although some quiet time is still recommended). This is also due to them being very good natural night-time sleeper, with them getting long enough in the night. This being 11-14 hours of solid sleep being had every night. Yes, naturally, all children differ, with some toddlers still needing to take naps until they are 5 years old.
What happens to an overtired baby?
Over tiredness – by not allowing your child to get enough sleep during the day it will cause over-tiredness to occur. This then makes for a child who is cranky and fussy. Normally, and in most cases, these babies also feed badly.
So, what is happening in the body and mind of your over-tired child? They become so physically exhausted that their body triggers a stress response. What exactly does this mean? The baby’s body produces Cortisol, – simply put. Your baby is in “fight or flight” mode. The impact of this hormone change in their body then makes it extremely difficult to get the child to sleep. Which, in turn, causes them to be more over-tired, and the beginning of that vicious cycle is created and will continue to get worse and develop until it is addressed.
In addition to this, the sleep they get during the daytime counts towards their daily quota of sleep that every child needs to have. This is because there are only so many hours in a night that a child is able to sleep. Therefore, by looking at their sleep in a 24-hour window it is much easier to ensure your child’s development is both healthy and as we wish to be by them sleeping the correct length of time.
The benefits of good sleep for a child include, but is not limited to:
– Overall improved mental and physical health
– Improved attention
– Improved behavior
– Improved learning
With the lack of proper sleep on your little one causing diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, depression, heart illnesses, and other illnesses.
Part 2 – I will look and discuss how to improve your child daytime sleep. If in the meantime you know and understand the best thing to do is get help with your child sleep then I offer a Do – It – Yourself (DIY) sleep program which I personalize to you and your child allowing you to follow this in your own time and make the positive changes you need to ensure your child is healthy and well. I also offer a one to one personalized program with up to 4 weeks of support by purchasing it via this link. To discuss this further you can book a free 15min introductory call with myself to speak about how I can help you and your family sleep better.