As a parent of a baby or young child, sleep deprivation comes with the parent territory.
When we decided to bring a beautiful child into this world, we knew our worlds – which previously included an excellent night’s sleep – would change forever.
- cell phone in the fridge,
- disposable nappies in the washing machine,
- breastmilk in the coffee,
- falling asleep on the toilet (one I would prefer to forget)
These incidents also provide many great stories to be retold (probably by your partner) at family events for years to come.
But the reality is that a lack of sleep significantly impacts your wellbeing both mentally and physically. Healthy sleep is vital for both you and your child.
Adults that have healthy and sufficient sleep have –
- Improved judgement and decision making.
- Improved overall health.
- Reduced risk of depression and anxiety.
- Improved concentration and motivation.
Children who consistently have a good night’s sleep –
- have better concentration.
- Are more creative.
- Are better problem solvers.
- Have more energy.
- Can retain new things and learn more quickly.
- make better decisions.
- Are less moody and irritable.
- Are less stressed.
Knowing how much sleep your baby or young child should have is essential. The table below indicates the required hours of sleep in 24 hours by age.
|Birth to 8 Weeks||15 – 17 hours|
|2 – 3 Months||14 – 16 hours|
|4 – 12 Months||12 – 16 hours|
|12 – 24 Months||12 – 14 hours|
|+2 Years Old||11 – 13 hours|
When my son was born, I always worried that he was not getting the recommended hours of sleep, and with that came that sinking feeling of Mom guilt.
So, I started researching how I could help my son sleep through the night. It was then I realized there was one thing, one critical thing that I was unintentionally doing that was stopping my son from sleeping through the night.
Using Sleep Props
A sleep prop (also knows as a sleep aid or sleep association) is essentially anything external that your baby or young child is dependent on to fall asleep.
The most common sleep prop for babies is nursing or bottle-feeding to sleep.
They feed, and it is a case of ‘tummies full, eyes closed’.