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The Importance of Sleep for Little Ones: A Guide for Parents

Why is sleep important? As adults it’s quite simple, a good nights sleep allows our bodies and minds time to rest and recharge, ready for the next day. However for babies and children it is a bit more complex than that. There is so much that goes on in our little one’s brains and bodies while they sleep – it helps them learn, grow and develop.

Why is it important for little ones to settle to sleep quickly, calmly and have enough sleep?

  • While little ones sleep their brain rests and restores from their busy day 

  • Their memory develops during sleep 

  • Their social & behaviour skills mature 

  • When learning to talk, they start to integrate all they have heard, storing how it sounds and what it means when sleeping 

  • They process all that’s gone on during the day 

  • They grow at night! the growth hormone is most active during non rem sleep 

  • Sleep helps fight infection 

  • Improves their attention span 

When overtired little ones can 

  • Struggle to solve problems 

  • Retain new information 

  • They can get frustrated, leading to increased temper tantrums

  • They are unable to process all that’s gone on during the day

  • Struggle to go to sleep let alone stay asleep 

  • They can become stressed and then struggle to be relaxed and calm

  • It can become fussy 

  • Often struggle to feed & eat 

Having battles at nap and bedtimes can lead to disturbed sleep, with frequent waking, early waking and a tired, grumpy baby let alone a tried grumpy mummy & daddy!


How can you help your baby or child get all the sleep they need? 

  • Have a regular nap & bedtime routine 

  • Having a warm bath before bedtime helps with settling to sleep 

  • Avoid screen time or electronics at least an hour before bedtime 

  • They are able to self-settle 

  • The appropriate naps for their age 

  • An early enough bedtime


If you need help with your little one’s sleep or routine, please get in touch and I would be happy to help.

Sam, aka The Baby Guru


Don’t forget to follow on social media for weekly tips and advice on all things sleep, routine and feeding.

baby sleeping on her tummy


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