08 Mar The Importance of Sleep for Children
I have heard many statements about a child’s sleep habits come out a parent’s mouth: “She doesn’t sleep well, but she will grow out of it”, “Eventually he HAS to start sleeping through the night”, “My child doesn’t need naps”. The list goes on. And then when their child acts out or is upset or cranky, it gets blamed on teething or something else, when a lot of times it can be the result of a child who is sleep deprived and overtired. Unfortunately, because many parents simply don’t know what to do with a child that doesn’t sleep well, they tend to make excuses, pretend problems don’t exist or tell themselves that it is normal behavior for a child that age.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to make parents that are reading this feel guilty… I have said these things as well before I sleep trained my daughter. Instead, I am just trying to bring to light the IMMENSE importance of proper sleep for babies and children that many parents are not aware of. And it is not just so you do not have to deal with a cranky or misbehaved child. Sleep recharges the brain’s battery and there are numerous mental and physical benefits to achieving healthy sleep.
Some examples of how lack of sleep can negatively affect a child include:
- How alert (or not) they are and how they react behaviorally during their waking hours
- Whether they seem able to cope (or not) with what happens during their daytime
- Inability to focus on the most basic tasks and decreased ability to retain information
- Experiencing Fatigue
- Affecting growth and immune system
Some examples of how good sleep can positively affect a child include:
- Outings being much more enjoyable
- A higher IQ
- Child being easier to put down for sleep and nap readily and for long periods
- Child being more adaptable
- Improved concentration, better processing of information, memory and behavior
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is for our little ones. The truth is that young children do not just “grow out” of sleep problems; they need to be taught to sleep well. If your child is experiencing sleep problems, don’t fret. This is a very common in young children and it can be fixed. But it is up to you as a parent to step up and do something about it. If you have concerns about your child’s sleep habits, please give me a call at 1-587-437-0097 to learn about safe and proven options that can help you and your family.