We want to be a great parent. Sometimes we don’t know what a good parent would look like but we are trying. This leads us to  worrying. We worry if our children are getting enough milk as infants. When they start solid food we worry about whether we are giving them the “right food” or the “right amount of food”. When they become toddlers, they have strong opinions about food so we worry if they are eating healthy food.

Do we think as often about whether they are getting the “right amount” or the “right type of sleep”?

Sleep and especially naps are necessary for our children to grow both physically and mentally.

blog9Naps are food for our children’s brains. But, not all naps are the same. The timing and length of the nap determines whether the nap leads to a well-rested child.

The morning nap is MENTALLY RESTORATIVE. There is more REM sleep in the morning nap. REM sleep leads to brain development and growth. It looks like a lighter type of sleep or what some call “active sleep”. It restores our children mentally so that they can accomplish all those skills they are attempting to learn.

The afternoon nap is PHYSICALLY RESTORATIVE. There is more non-REM sleep in the afternoon nap. It looks like a deeper type of sleep. The body is being restored in this nap.

When our children do not nap well they can act drowsy and have trouble focusing and learning. The child may give up quickly when struggling to learn a new skill and cry instead. Some children become hyperactive and irritable as they struggle to stay awake. We might think that an overtired child will fall asleep, instead a sleep deprived child will fight sleep as hard as they can.

Make sleep a priority for your child. You would not deprive them of food so don’t think of depriving them of sleep either. It should be very rare that you would skip your child’s nap. If your child has missed their nap, make you sure you compensate your child with an earlier bedtime that day.

Elizabeth sleeping

                 How to sleep and how to stay asleep is a learned skill. I show parents how to teach those skills and encourage and support parents in that process.

If you would like that help I would be happy to talk with you and help you choose a package which would meet your needs.

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Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

Infant Tummy Massage to Relieve Gas

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