Ask any parent and they will tell you that becoming a mom or dad is not only a phase in life, it’s a full-time job, albeit a very rewarding and satisfying one. Just like any other position in life that grants you so much responsibility, it is your duty to understand it fully and to deliver to the best of your capabilities. Raising a child, especially a toddler is a particularly challenging time in parenthood as there are so many variables that can have such a big impact on the development of the child.
Moreover, the baby is in a state in which he or she can’t communicate with you so you have to rely on your own analysis and intuition to understand whether they are hot, cold, hungry, sick, or anything else. While you might know how many calories the child needs, getting them to actually eat enough is a different challenge that no one has any advice that could help you out. Similar is the case with sleep, it is a critical component of your child’s diet and you need to make sure they are well-fed with sleep to ensure that they are developing properly.
Sleep is extremely important even for adults but for babies, it is even more important as they are going through a phase of development that encompasses their entire bodies. For babies, sleep can have a huge impact on a wide variety of physical and mental areas. These are some of the main things you should know about sleep and how you can help your baby benefit from this activity.
1. Mental Development
When we go to sleep our body transitions to a phase of recovery and this includes both mental and physical recovery. However, for infants not only are they recovering during sleep but they are also growing. While babies may seem like they are completely calm while they sleep, their brains are actually in overdrive and the majority of their mental growth and the physical development of their brain is happening while they sleep. In a very literal sense, the connection and neural pathways are actually formed while they are sleeping, so it is critical for a child to get enough sleep in order to have a properly developed and fully functional brain.
2. Better Learning
Just as how sleep has a huge impact on the physical development of the brain it also influences their learning and cognitive abilities very directly. In fact, research suggests that children who nap in the afternoon for an average of an hour, learn better and retain much more. While it’s important that your child sleeps a good number of hours at night, the sleep specialists at https://www.littleones.co/ strongly urge parents to have their toddlers get at least an hour of sleep during the day. Getting in a nap later in the day and near the evening can make it difficult for them to sleep early so try to get them to nap in the early afternoon.
3. Sleep Fights Illnesses
Even in adults, those who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are more likely to contract illnesses and even basic viruses like the common flu. When we sleep our bodies produce cytokines which are a kind of protein that helps fight viruses, illnesses, they help heal injuries and even help us develop a stronger immune system. Moreover, in the case that a baby is sick the healing processes are only triggered while the baby is asleep so it is even more important for them to get enough shut-eye to recover.
4. Sleep Affects Weight
When our bodies detect that we have had enough to eat they create a hormone known as leptin which tells our brains to stop eating. However, the production of this hormone can be affected if a baby or even an adult has not had enough sleep. For this reason, they overeat because the body can’t judge whether they have had enough to eat or they haven’t had enough sleep. In this way, sleep deprivation can have serious effects on the weight of babies, and being overweight can lead to many other problems.
Sleep is magical in how it creates balance in the body both in physical terms and mental. While it is such a standard part of life that everyone does, the way a baby sleeps and the quality of sleep that they get can have an impact on many areas of their lives. While sleep has a direct impact on their development in their initial stages of life, these effects will stay with them for the rest of their lives and can have a big influence on their development later in life. If you want to help your baby grow into a healthy adult, start by getting them to sleep enough.