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Connection between sleep and your baby’s brain development

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Like all parents, we believe you too want the best for your child. Therefore, it is only natural for you to be eager that your child learns and acquires new skills as early as possible to get a head start in school and excel in academics. However, there is one fundamental aspect of childhood that you can't ignore, and that is, the relationship of sleep and your child's brain development.

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Studies show sleep plays a significant role in brain development

According to The British Medical Journal, the Millennium Cohort Study, which followed 11,000 kids to demonstrate the relationship between sleep to brain development in children, shows that children who had irregular bedtimes up to the age of three were the most negatively affected when it came to reading, math skills and spatial awareness. A Canadian study further supports these findings. In their research, they found children sleeping less than ten hours a night before age three were most likely to exhibit language and reading problems as well as ADHD1.

*1 http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/robert-rosenberg-sleep-answers/sleep-and-childhood-brain-development/

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A study from October 2013 linked Albert Einstein's genius to well-connected brain hemispheres2. Having both sides of your brain symmetrical and well-connected is key to maximizing learning, memory, and creativity. It is important to note that it is while young children sleep that connections between the left and the right hemispheres strengthen.

*2 http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/einsteins-genius-linked-well-connected-brain-hemispheres

Don't compromise on your baby's sleep

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Sleep improves changes in brain connections

The capacity for change or growth and strengthening of connections between nerve cells is the basis of development in the brain. Babies and infants, who are acquiring information at a rate faster than at any other point during life, sleep the most. Newborn babies can sleep for anything up to 18 hours a day, and 12 hours or more is the norm for toddlers and youngsters all the way up to school age. The function of sleep is to help consolidate the waking experience of your young child and convert memory into more permanent and enhanced forms.


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A good night sleep is a must for your baby

It is clear that a good uninterrupted sleep is a fundamental requirement for your child's healthy growth and optimal brain development. It is as important as good nourishment and the everyday little bonding moments you share with your loved one. Therefore it is good to establish a regular bedtime and make everything conducive to ensure your child gets a good night sleep. It is also important to note that the first three years of life seem to be a particularly sensitive time for sleep and its relationship to brain development.


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A good diaper can help your baby sleep comfortably

As sleep is so important it is good to select a good diaper. It is important that the material is suitable for our humid weather. The diaper should also offer good absorption so your baby can be dry and comfortable.

Do babies suffer from sleep deprivation?

Just like adults babies suffer from sleep deprivation. A lack of sleep at night can make your child moody, throw tantrums and overly emotional. It can affect his or her motor skills and concentration during the day leading to more accidents, and behavioural problems. In older children, it can reflect in poor performance in schools. Hormones that regulate hunger and appetite can also be affected, causing them to overeat and have a preference for high-calorie carbs. It is important to note that unlike adults who tend to become sluggish when they are sleep deprived, babies and young children become hyperactive.

Why does a baby twitch?

It is normal for your baby to twitch a lot while sleeping. This is because a newborn spends one-third of its entire existence in a rapid eye movement sleep or REM state, with intense brain activity and continuous muscle contractions. Take it as a way for your baby to check out what his or her muscles and limbs do.

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