The Tools You Can Use to Adopt a Relaxing Bedtime Routine With Your Kids — Starting Tonight!
By the age of two, babies have spent 13 months of their lives sleeping — hard to believe having gone through all of those sleepless nights with them, isn't it? Sleep is a pillar of health for people of all ages as it is essential to human functioning, but it is most important for babies to get consistent sleep for several reasons.
At a Johnson and Johnson leadership panel, Dr. Lisa J. Meltzer — associate professor of pediatrics at National Jewish Health and Sleep Education Fellow for the National Sleep Foundation — spoke a bit on the importance of sleep for children, especially in their first year. "One of the most critical things that happens during the first year of life, and while babies are sleeping, is that their brains are constantly reorganizing and processing, which helps them learn," she said.
Not only does cognitive development occur, but physical development — growth hormones are released as a baby sleeps — and both social and emotional development occur as well; sleep truly helps babies in every way. If you ask a parent to look back at their child's first year and fill in the answer to the sentence, "When my baby was tired he was ______," you'll get a number of answers — fussy, cranky, tearful, irritable — and the same would likely be true of the parents responding, proving that a baby's sleep is not only vital for the baby himself, but for his parents as well.
If you've ever thought, "I feel selfish because I want my baby to sleep just so I can," Dr. Meltzer says not to feel guilty or selfish at all. "Sleep is essential for a healthy well being, and sleep deprivation is not a good thing. I stress this to parents and tell them that science clearly shows that babies, who have learned to sleep around the age of 11 months, have mothers who are less depressed when that child is two to four years old." But Dr. Meltzer, who is a parent herself, knows this is easier said than done. Her solution? A consistent bedtime routine that makes sleep possible for every member of the family.
Johnson's — which, as a company, has helped one billion babies' bedtimes around the world — formulated a three-step bedtime routine that was tested through 100 moms and babies. While it may not work for every family, the routine does feature tools that you can use during your own bedtime routine to help soothe your baby into a deep night's sleep. Read through to learn more.