5 Reasons Babies Sleep So Much!
Your baby may need between 11-17 hours of sleep a day, and getting enough sleep is crucial to their growth and development. Sleep helps with the growth of the physical, neurosensory, and brain. It also helps children learn better and can have an impact on their temperament.
Now that your joy bundle is home, you may be surprised to find out how much time you spend sleeping. If your baby misses meals or sleeps through your household’s din and you lose sleep over it, take a breath! Sleep has an important place in the day of your baby and can affect their growth and development. More than half of your baby’s first year of life will actually be spent sleeping. Here’s why you need to make sure you get all the 40 winks and then some. Sleep after birth in the first years:
1. Physical growth
Sleep can play an important role in the physical growth of your baby. Bursts of growth hormone secretions are known to occur during a sleep stage known as slow-wave sleep when you are in deep sleep. And research that looked at the relationship between sleep and baby growth even found that periods in which babies slept corresponded more with length spurts and weight gain.
2. Helps With Neurosensory Development
Sleep is also important for your baby’s neurosensory system to develop properly. When they are asleep, the neurosensory system of your baby is stimulated from within. This is referred to as endogenous stimulation and refers to neuronal discharges that may not be associated with the baby’s external environment. For the normal development of the neurosensory system–which includes visual, auditory, touch, and vestibular systems–these discharges are important as they create connections between brain structures and sensory organs. Endogenous stimulation only occurs during a sleep stage called REM sleep.
3. Helps in Babies Brain Development
Another important aspect affecting sleep is the development of the brain. Brain plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to respond to the environment by changing its function and structure, is a vital component involved in brain maturation. Animal studies have found that there is a loss of brain plasticity for young animals deprived of sleep.
4. Helps Babies Learn Better
Sleep plays a role in consolidating your memory and helps your child learn better. One study taught an artificial language to babies aged 15 months. It was found that the group that took a nap between the teaching of the language and the test that followed not only remembered word pairings that were taught but were also able to learn abstract relations between those words (such as the rules that govern grammar). They were able to recognize those rules in new word pairings as well.
5. Impacts Temperament
This one might not come as a surprise. After all, we all know that it can be a little cranky for babies (and adults!) who don’t get enough sleep. Studies have also found that there are more “difficult” temperaments for young children who get less sleep.
Your baby may need 11–17 hours of sleep A day depending on age During the day, if your newborn sleeps longer than 2–3 hours, wake them gently for a feed and then let them go back to sleep.
The amount of sleep babies require depends on their age and individual constitution. Newborns usually need the most sleep, and as they grow, this decreases. A newborn can sleep throughout the day for about 8–9 hours and get a shut-eye in another 8 hours at night. Here’s a guide on how much your baby should sleep:
- Babies between 0 to 3 months need 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day.
- Babies between 4 to 11 months need 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day.
- Toddlers between 12 to 35 months need 11 to 14 hours of sleep a day.