Monday, November 23, 2009

The Science of Sleep: Healthy Bedtime Habits for Babies and Moms

Some notes on the J&J Science of Sleep talk and the Mommy forum held afterwards. Hopefully, I got all the facts right. If not, the doctor is not at fault, but Mommycow here who didn't get enough sleep the night before.

Why is Sleep Important for Babies?

• There are parts of the brain more active during sleep such as certain glands that stimulate growth and appetite.

• Three times the number of growth hormones are released during sleep compared to when babies are awake.

• Since hormones are regulated by our circadian rhythms, and babies can't distinguish between night or day, it's important for them to complete sleep cycles.

• If there is proper sleep, there is weight gain, height increase and muscle growth. Good sleep facilitates Good Growth.

Why go for a Sleep Routine?

There are self-soothers (babies who fall asleep on their own) and there are babies who need to be soothed (they need to cry then be cuddled). The role of bed time routines is to condition the child to sleep.

Creating this transition early will help mommies in the long run, the point of the bed time routine is to teach the child to be self-soothing, where he is able to put himself back to sleep if he wakes up during the night. If the sleep routine is broken, you can always go back and repeat the pattern.

Children who are 1 year old and below sleep more than 14-16 hours in a 24 hour period.

Common Sleep Problems in Babies
• Day/Night Reversal especially in first few weeks of life
• Iregular Sleep patterns
• Sleep Regulation (70-80%) sleep through the night by 9 months old
• Night time wakings (6 months old 25-20% in 1-3 years old)
Lack of sleep or not enough of it can make your child high risk for mood and behavioral disorders.

Sleep and Its Impact on the Mother and Family
• When a Mother is sleep deprived it can aggravate post-partum depression
• Parental mood disturbance, daytime fatigue and decreased level of effective parenting
• Even a risk factor for child abuse
• Secondary effects on parents and family

Children and Snoring
Snoring has something to do with the quality of sleep the child is getting. Snoring can also be a sign of an underlying condition, but most of the time, it is just a sign that your child is a 'noisy breather'. If you have concerns, of course, you should not hesitate to consult your pediatrician.

On using Baby Powder on your Baby
Baby powder has been a childhood staple in many pinoy families for generations and when you say babies, one can only think of the scent of baby powder.

Baby powder is not advised though if the child has asthma. But in using baby powder, proper application of the product should be practiced.

Sprinkle the baby powder onto your palm, away from the baby. It is ideal to use your hands directly in rubbing the powder unto the skin. Do not use a fluffy powder sponge. Babies as we all know are very delicate. Mommies should always use their best judgment on what products are good and safe for their baby's well-being.

Related Posts:

Sweet Dreams My Baby: A 3-Step Bedtime Routine by Johnson & Johnson

MommyCow at the Johnson & Johnson's Bedtime Discoveries