Baby sleep: Facts you need to know

Baby sleep: The facts you need to know

No, you're not dreaming. It seems a good night's sleep is within your grasp. Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright share the secrets in their helpful new book The Happy Sleeper

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Here are some crucial sleep tips we have pulled out from the book to help your baby, and you, sleep easy.

Did you know?

• Napping helps babies learn and remember language.

• Missing sleep compromises the brain's prefrontal cortex, which our kids need for decision-making, attention and emotional control.

• Little kids who sleep fewer than ten hours a night are twice as likely to have low scores on cognitive tests when they enter school.

• Too little sleep in childhood increases the risk of obsesity.

How much sleep do you really need?

Newborns (0-2 months): 12-18 hours.

• Infants (3-11 months): 14 to 15 hours.

Toddlers (1-3 years): 12 to 14 hours.

• Preschoolers (3-5 years): 11 to 13 hours.

• School-age children (5-10 years): 10 to 11 hours.

• Teens (10-17): 8.5-9.25 hours.

• Adults: 7-9 hours.

Signs of a sleep-deprived child

• Needs to be woken up in the morning.

• Hyperactive, inattentive, moody, impulsive, or aggressive.

• Falls asleep before scheduled naps if taken on a walk or car ride.

• Sleeps in on the weekends.

• Falls asleep in school.

• Becomes clumsy, irritable, easily frustrated.

Signs of a well-rested child

• Wakes up naturally.

• Alert most of the day or until naptime.

• Doesn't fall asleep in the stroller or car during the day (in between nap times).

• Has more or less the same sleep schedule all week.

• Has the same nap habits at home and daycare or preschool.

Unhelpful sleep associations

• Rocking, bouncing to sleep

• Breast - or bottlefeeding to sleep.

• Swings, vibrating chairs, and other devices.

• Pacifiers that baby can't reinsert.

• Music that turns off during the night.

• Stroller rides or car trips.

Helpful sleep associations

• Comforters (stuffed animals for toddlers).

• Baby rocking back and forth.

• Nature sounds or white noise all night.

• Sucking fingers or thumb.

• Moving into favourite sleep position

• Singing or talking to self in the crib.

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