Sleepytime? Babies NEED naps!
Well I have been pretty MIA – and I apologise. The combination of a fairly severe bout of mastitis plus getting obsessed with the clothopoly anagram has meant that this blog is dying out before it has even begun… I hereby publicly declare I will write a new post every day this week (you can call me on that!)
And I will start the week with something that has been bothering me a long time – Sleep and specifically naps. I will put a tiny tiny little side step in, there may be a miniscule percentage of babies who can get by on little or no naps and remain chirpy and cheerful but basically Babies Need Naps. Fact. Fact. Fact.
So why do lots of parents not get this? Why do I hear “only she only sleeps 20 minutes in the morning and that’s it all day” yet observe an obviously grouchy baby. Or see a baby crying and squirming in his mothers arms while she dangles a toy in front of him. Or watch babies being forced to participate in (useless*) baby classes whilst upset and hitting their face. Or notice a baby being passed around a group of people and as the baby looks away the holder tries to get their attention with smiles and coos. And on and on… and on… As ever, none of these mothers are intentionally being unloving they just don’t seem to get it… Babies Need Naps.
I don’t know who I blame but not really mothers (although some could do with educating themselves a little more). It just seems to be an unintentional conspiracy of mothers assuring each other it’s ok when actually, it’s not. Babies need sleep to grow and develop, the more they nap in the day the better they sleep at night, and actually babies that sleep are happier. Better naps would mean less overstimulated babies and therefore less colic. Babies need naps.
I guess the next conundrum is how to facilitate this blessed sleep, but at least if mothers were trying that would be a massive step forward. Babies need our help and there are many experts offering their opinions although I am definitely on the gentle side of the equation (more another day). And i like the first half of this article about over tiredness, they should give it out at the hospital! Please please help your babies nap and we would all be happier parents.
(*Incidentally I love baby classes. I go everyday. I just accept that under 6 months they are really for the mother and let the poor baby sleep if they need to x)