Worrying about your little ones sleep is really common. Sleep can effect so many things, how they act and react to situations, how they feed, how they behave…..the list is endless. And as parents we all want the best for our little ones, so it’s only natural that sleep is something you will worry about.
“Im worried that she might not develop properly if she’s not sleeping enough”
So how much sleep is enough sleep?
A lot of people compare their little ones to what is “normal” or “average”. Knowing what is typical for your little ones sleep can be really useful. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong if your little one needs more sleep or less sleep than you what is typical. If our little ones are interactive and cheerful during the majority of the day then there is no real reason to be concerned.
Sometimes if your little ones have had a particularly bad nights sleep or completely skipped a nap they can be really cranky (to be polite) the next day. But usually it’s nothing an extra nap or early night can’t fix.
“What about their quality of sleep, do naps on the go count?”
In short, yes, they do. In fact with younger babies sleeping in their pushchair, car, bouncer or in your arms can be their favourite way to sleep as it reminds them of being in the womb, when ALL their daytime naps would be on the go. So if their favourite way to sleep is in one of those places it is absolutely fine. There is no need to worry about the quality of their sleep.
“My baby is getting a lot less sleep than is recommended and is a nightmare because of it”
Okay, so if this is you then don’t panic, you are doing nothing wrong. Some babies and toddlers really do struggle despite trying their best to sleep. And because of this it feels like you have got a permanent grump bag on your hands. You try your best to help them but nothing seems to work, I feel your pain, sleep can be HARD WORK.
“I’m too exhausted to even know where to start”
There are usually a lot of factors that impact our little ones sleep. And a lot of them you can actually work on during the day. And excluding medical influences such as reflux, feeding or health problems can all help significantly too. So try not to feel too overwhelmed if you need help with your little ones sleep.
It can be physically and mentally very tough on you if your little one isn’t sleeping in a way that means you can rest too. So make sure you are looking after yourself, and ask for as much help and support that you need.
But please rest assured that as long as you are practicing loving, responsive parenting then in no way will your little one be suffering.