Infants need to continue to feed at night. Children are not all the same when considering feeding patterns therefore some may feed more frequently and others may sleep longer. The overall goal recognized in research is that children should be sleeping a long sleep trajectory (6 hours of sleep) by 5 months of age. This is not to say they should not feed at all during the night, but that they are sleeping for a longer stretch and then feeding and sleeping, feeding etc… Babies may continue to need to feed at night past the age of six months. Contact us to ensure you are meeting your baby’s nutritional needs before changing feeds as part of sleep training.
It is critical in the early months for a child’s normal growth and development to get the nutritional intake that they need. Before 6 months of age you should be responding to your child's needs - they need you and its possible they are hungry! The fatty (hind milk) in breastmilk is key to brain development. Feeding plays such an important role in the healthy development of your child and is important when addressing sleep goals. Trust in a professional paediatric health expert at SleepdreamsTM to get the appropriate advice around feeding and sleep.
Help your child get to sleep by keeping bedtime the same as the body’s natural release of melatonin (a hormone produced by the body to signal bedtime to the brain). This is around 7 to 7:30 pm. Waiting too long after this may make it more difficult for your child to get to sleep.
Keep your bedtime routine consistent so that your child understands that bedtime is coming. They won’t understand your words just yet but this helps to establish the cues for bedtime.
A baby's daily activities may seem simple but they are still very important activities. Babies wake, eat, play (which is key to learning and development) and sleep. They are learning all the important ways in which to move their body, to communicate with you and to have their needs met. Your infant / baby / toddler / child needs adequate sleep as it's a foundational activity of daily living. When you suffer a sleep debt, all facets of activity suffer as a consequence. We know as adults, if we don't sleep well we can be moody, irritable and unable to think clearly. To give you an idea as to how much so, consider the following: Having less than 5 hours of sleep on two consecutive nights means your thinking, judgment, reasoning and decision making are equivalent to having a 0.08 blood alcohol level.
Sleep is essential for normal growth and development, and current research shows that 25-30% of children are not getting enough sleep. Development for a child means they must learn gross motor skills (e.g. learning to roll, sit, crawl, walk and run), fine motor skills (e.g. learning to feed themselves, play with a rattle, and manipulate toys) and social and language skills (e.g. learning to communicate and socialize with others). Healthy development stages are served better with an appropriate amount of sleep.
Sleepdreams professionals help babies get the sleep help they need. Remember that as Registered Occupational Therapists specializing in sleep, many extended health care plans recognize and cover the costs of our services.