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DREAM - Sleep and Development

Sleep is important for your child’s learning, development and wellbeing. As a newborn, she can sleep for most of the 24 hours a day, but during the first three months she will gradually spend more time awake and enjoy interacting with you. She will also start adjusting to a more regular daytime/night time pattern, which is the start of sleeping more during the night than during the day.

Your child is consolidating her learning during sleep. He is constantly learning, making new discoveries and mastering new skills. As he periodically enters a new development stage, you may notice that he seems to be more tired and that he sleeps more.

Baby SleepingWithin a few months you and your baby are probably finding a routine that works, helping her relax and sleep. Daytime naps are important for young children, although the age at which they give up daytime sleep will vary. You know your child best and will recognise whether she is getting sufficient kip. With the right amount of sleep for your child, she is likely to feel more refreshed, and be better able to control emotions and impulses.

Your child’s sleep pattern and habits will be individual, and you will be the expert in knowing what works for him (and the rest of the household). He is providing you with signals about what she needs to be able to get herself to sleep and to have a good sleep, both for daytime naps and night time sleep. Mayamin provides practical tips that are based on research and expert advice. You will make your choices based on what you think will work for your child. Also, remember that successful sleeping sometimes comes and goes in phases, depending on what else is going on in your child’s development.

Of course, as the parent you are the most important observer of your child’s development, so if you feel worried about anything talk to your health visitor or physician.

Your baby's sleep during the developmental stages

Your baby's sleep pattern will change over time, and there are some typical changes that occur which are outlined below. Just like all other developmental 'events', your child's patterns will be individual, and this section provides a guideline for what you might see as she grows. You will also find ideas and tips around what you can do to support and encourage a healthy sleep pattern that suits your baby. Further tips can be found in Sleep Angels. The section on Sleep Thieves provides information on what can get in the way of good sleep for babies and children.

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