The Vital Connection Between Sleep and Health

Posted by Linda

We all know that sleep is a vital necessity, but are we aware that as new parents, we can do a lot to teach our children how to have a good night’s rest. Every pregnant mom and dad would benefit greatly by reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. Dr. Weissbluth says that by three or four months of age, babies can begin to learn how to have the sleep that they need in order to improve cognitive functioning and be a more contented child, as well as a healthier one. Before that time, babies are controlled by their biological development which allows them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Don’t forget, however, that your child is experiencing a lot of adjustments and throughout this period may cry quite a bit, depending on his or her temperament.

Looking back at when my children were infants, I hesitated to set an early bedtime, which Dr. Weissbluth advises, because I thought that my child would not fall asleep and end up crying. So I forced myself to stay awake long past my own state of exhaustion till my baby finally nodded off. That, of course did not happen till ten, or eleven or even later in the night and many hours of soothing. If I would have read this book, I would have been less exhausted and less prone to illness, and my child would be the same.

Next time, I will write more about the benefits of having a good night sleep, techniques for soothing your child and the importance of parents respecting their babies’ need for sleep.

What is your experience with sleep and your infant? I would love to hear.

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