Getting your baby to sleep through the night turns out to be a universal challenge. A baby’s sleep is not just important for your sanity as the parent; it’s fundamental for the baby’s development, which means bigger brains! While newborn babies appear to sleep so easily and naturally, as their sleep patterns shift and evolve when the brain matures, you can help to shape natural sleep rhythms and patterns in sleep habits.
The brain is on fire when we sleep. It’s very, very active. It’s essentially the brain’s “me time.” And when you think, “wow, a baby is spending 16 hours a day, two-thirds of their first year, sleeping” - and - pause for a second because - holy cow, this amount of sleep is happening RIGHT when the brain is making its first neural connections. These neural connections are the foundation for how we interpret our world, how we handle anxiety and stress, OR manage our attention span. They help us navigate our first social interactions and how we tell our bodies to walk and talk. It’s fascinating what sleep can do. And, by focusing on coaching your child to get consistent sleep, you are giving your child brain-boosting gifts that will last their lifetime.
When a child gets enough sleep, they are both physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. And when they don’t get enough sleep, they may seem drowsy or HYPER alert. If the tired state lasts for a long time, neural connections won’t form as optimally, and some of the results research has shown us are difficult moods or hard-to-control behavior. Certainly, it is not a state for your Lovebug to be ready and enjoy the many learning experiences they face in the first couple of years.
Sleep problems not only disrupt nights; they disrupt days too - they will be less mentally alert, more inattentive, and unable to concentrate. They also make them more physically impulsive, hyperactive or lazy. When a child sleeps well, they have the best chances to learn and grow up with charm and humor.
If you're wondering if your little one is getting adequate rest, you can download the Lovebug app and take advantage of our 1-week free trial. When you log your little one's sleep activities, your Lovebug app will produce what we call a "Rest Score." Your rest score will let you know how well rested your baby is, and the Lovebug app will use your logs to analyze what might be troubling your little one's sleep, and will deliver you lessons specific to your baby's sleep struggles.