As a parent, we all know that one of the most important things for your newborn, and you, is a good sleep schedule. Just like getting the proper nourishment for optimal growth, a child needs adequate rest to maintain healthy development.
Even as adults, getting enough rest is a healthy aspect to everyday life. However, it is even more important for a child's growth. We parents are often working long hours, have hundreds of loads of laundry, and a million other things happening in our daily lives. So, maybe missing a nap here, or staying up a little later there, doesn’t always seem to be that harmful but, it in fact it is the exact opposite! Everyone needs a certain amount and a certain quality of rest. It plays a huge role in social behavior, temperament, and learning ability.
The essentials are that they get sufficient amounts of uninterrupted and good quality sleep, be on a consistent schedule (one that is in line with their biological clock), and have the proper number of naps a day based on their age. Just as each child is unique, each age range is also unique. Younger ages generally require more of it than older ones.
Dr. Marc Weissbluth, MD, states that sleep, “...is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm…" it, "...increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles…” In his book, Dr. Weissbluth provides exceptional information and tips for getting the required amount of necessary rest.
A great way to help maintain on one of these schedules is consistency. Keeping nap and bedtimes on a routine, for both laying down and waking up, is a key ingredient for good sleep. Take note if you detect any difficulty falling or staying asleep or is prone to hard snoring or heavy breathing while asleep. Any of these may be evidence that their sleep routine isn't working for them.
Because each child is different, as well as each age range, it is important to know the best amount of rest that is required at each stage of life. An adequate volume plays such an important role in someone's brain and character development and as a parent you want your child to function at their highest potential.