THE POWER OF NAPS!

You have heard about when you hear something related to mom and her baby. For example, a nap can be a kind of rest for a tired baby for a time in which the mom either takes a nap herself or get things done while the baby sleeps. It is basically a time to recharge y sleeping for a short period.

We are all born with an internal clock, called the circadian rhythm. It becomes mature at four months. In 24 hours our bodies undergo a series of cycles which include hormone releases and temperature fluctuations. Sleep is also a part of the circadian rhythm. There is a junk sleep and healthy sleep just as we have junk food and healthy food. When we sleep according to our circadian rhythm, we called it healthy sleep, and when it is not in sync with the circadian rhythm, it is called junk sleep. Just like having junk food one in a while won’t harm you, same is the case with sleep. Sleeping here and there won’t harm you, but when it becomes a habit, it is going to have really bad effects on our moods and overall health.

So, timing is important. We all have witnessed that babies have more or less the same time to sleep or wake up. Before the age of four months, the internal clock is not a full set. After the age of 4 months, babies tend to have a fixed routine, and our job is to make their routine so that we as well as the babies are well rested.

Below is the breakdown of stages in accordance with sleep patterns of babies:

Under four months: babies at this stage do not have a fixed time to sleep. We should make sure that they are well rested

4 -9 months: it is normal for the babies of this age to take 2-3 naps a day. It also depends on when they wake up in the morning. Usually, the nap timings may be between 8 to am, then  12 -1 pm and then 3 -4 pm. It is important that these naps are shorts o that they sleep comfortably at night.

9-14 months: babies at this stage take only two naps a day.

14 months -4-year-old: a little before 14 months, babies start to take a nap only once a day. This napping schedule remains up to the age of four years. Toddlers at this stage tend to fight sleep, but we as parents are consistent in making a routine they will start to take a nap on their own.

Well, usually parents get overwhelmed by the routine of their babies and often ask that what they are going to do when their babies nap so much. The fact is that the babies nap for a very short period of time. Taking a nap is important for their baby’s growth and development. Sleep is the food for the brain, and you won’t like to deprive your child’s brain of its food.

A number of studies show that taking naps is important. Children who do not take naps are found to me more anxious; have trouble dealing with change and difficulty in learning new things. Lack of sleep is also associated with ADHD and obesity.  These studies do reveal that sleep is important for healthy functioning of mind and body.