Feeding Growing Minds – Sleep
Over the course of this 3-part article, we will investigate health benefits and a growing mind in connection with Diet, Exercise and Sleep.
In our lifetime it is estimated we spend around one third of our time sleeping.
The elixir of life, the recovery slumber, that repairing, rejuvenating, restoring medicine. It isn’t prescribed by your GP or your Nursery Nurse, but in short, it should be.
During the course of the day our minds and bodies need to function very actively and to complete all of the daily tasks and routines we need to be well rested. This is exactly the case for our children if not even more so.
Sleep is a very powerful food for our brains, we slip into deep sleep and our brains take the chance to digest and process the day and equally to rest and prepare for the next.
For children good quality sleep is an absolute necessity.
To prepare your child for their long nights sleep a few things should be in place
1. Create a sleep routine with your child
Helping your child to understand that you will begin to settle down and get ready for sleep, this may include an evening snack, a warm bath, baby massage, a shared story or even a lullaby.
2. Prepare your child’s room
A sleep-conducive room should be dark or dimly lit with a night light. The room should be cool and your child’s sleepwear should be appropriate. For safety an infant that is not yet able to turn over by themselves should not be covered by a blanket, you may like to choose a sleep-suit or a baby sleep sack.
3. Avoid excess noise
We all know the chores for a parent may continue well after their child sleeps, however, it is best not to use the washing machine or vacuum or have the television on at a loud volume even in the close by rooms. Your child may fall asleep with these noises in the background, though we cannot know how deeply they are sleeping and are the surrounding noises affecting the quality of the sleep? This being said if your child uses noise to sleep there are many White Noise Apps available that have a wide variety of sounds and you can select the duration and volume suitable for you and your child.
4. Prepare for night time waking
During the night your child may wake up needing; water, the washroom, a cuddle or simply Mummy or Daddy to fix their blanket for them or pass teddy back (he fell out of the crib.) A key point here is to support your child with what they need by being prepared. A small night light or lamp in your child’s room will help you to locate teddy without over-lighting the room. A water bottle prepared in the room will save you a trip to the kitchen. It is also important to remember that during the night, particularly in what should be sleeping hours you should speak to your child in no more than a whisper. A quiet voice helps your child understand that it is still night-night time.
5. Invest in a sleep monitor
With infants and children, it is especially important that your child sleeps safely. In this ever expanding digital age sleep monitors have developed in their sophistication and many features such as; heart rate monitors, respiratory monitors, sleep sounds, parents voice recordings and two-way communication features are available. Whichever type of model you go for try to use one that is easily transferable and transportable as your child’s bed will move and change as they grow and a helpful tip is to choose a model with night vision, so Mummy or Daddy don’t need to tiptoe in to check!
Even with all these strategies in place some nights may be sleepless, you or your child may have a restless night sleep. It is important to assess the wellbeing of your child if they really cannot sleep. Are they hungry, do they need a cuddle or a few words from Mum or are they unwell. Monitor your child’s temperature frequently and check their urine output or their nappy. If in doubt contact your family GP for health related queries.
Don’t forget, your team at JINS is here to help from feeding, to bathing to sleep we are here for you. Pop in or give us a call and our friendly staff will be sure you get the quality information that you need to help both you and your child.
Take care, sleep well and see you in the morning, good-night ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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