The circadian rhythms that create the sleep-wake cycle take time to develop in newborns. You can help your child get on a regular sleep schedule as soon as possible so they get the rest they need. Consider all the reasons that getting enough sleep is essential for your baby’s health now and in the future, and ask your pediatrician for additional tips on getting your baby on a regular sleep schedule.
The Importance of Sleep Schedules for Infants and Toddlers
Why Sleep Is Important
According to the National Sleep Foundation, children under the age of two may need to spend more time asleep than awake for their ideal physical and mental development, with newborns needing 10.5 to 18 hours per day and toddlers needing 11 to 14 hours. Sleep will help them maximize learning, memory, and creativity. This means that getting the appropriate amount of sleep now is essential to child development that they’ll rely on for the rest of their life. Additionally, your pediatrician can answer any questions you may have about the importance of sleep to babies and toddlers.
How to Get on a Sleep Schedule
Newborn infants less than four months old sleep and wake throughout the night and day. Their sleep schedule is dependent on their need to eat regularly. You can encourage them not to sleep during the day by exposing them to noise and light while interacting with them. Keep things quiet and dark at night so they know the cue for sleep. By the time they’re six months old, you can start putting them to bed when they are drowsy but not yet asleep. This will teach them to self-soothe, so they won’t rely on you to put them to sleep. Work with your pediatrician for tips and methods to help get your baby to sleep as much as they need to.
The pediatricians at Children & Adolescent Clinic PC in Hastings, NE, specialize in the growth and development of children while supporting the entire family. Whether you have a sick infant or want to get your toddler on a sleep schedule, they can help. They are available 24/7 to handle any medical emergencies as well. Learn more about their children’s hospital online and call (402) 463-6828 to schedule an appointment.