The importance of sleep

In order for children to grow and develop properly they must get adequate and consolidated sleep. Children who sleep 10 to 12 hours per night awaken well-rested, ready to cope, attentive, cheerful, and best able to learn from their environment.

Sleep is so important that infants in the womb spend 16-20 hrs per day asleep. By six months of age, night time feedings are usually not necessary. 70-80% of babies will sleep through the night by nine months of age. Babies typically sleep for 9-12 hours during the night.

In the Babyroom, we follow the child’s routine from home. The babies sleep in a variety of ways – during initial settling in sessions we establish how children go to sleep at home, we will follow this as much as possible during the settling in stages.

We then provide parents with some suggestions for routine and provide tips on how to make sleep time a calm experience for babies and parents. We use dream coracles in the babyroom, these are floor level cots which mean children can crawl into them when they feel ready. These enhance our child-led environment and means the children can make choices of their own.

Having contact from a familiar adult means children feel safe to be independent and make their own choices – which is a significant part of all children’s development. Some of the children have comforters, dummies and grobags to sleep with. Sleep times are a calm unrushed time in the Babyroom and include music and quiet time with the key person. Our staff members will help the children go to sleep, usually by rocking or patting, and will then check on the children every 15 minutes.

Our Top tips

  • Let your child have opportunities to discover their own techniques for falling asleep
  • Be consistent – whatever happens during sleep sessions should be consistent so your baby understands their routine and what it means
  • Use early bedtimes – they ensure that children do not become overtired. When a child is overtired, it becomes more difficult for the child to settle down and fall asleep. When sleep does come, they will be much more restless with more tossing and turning and more night time waking
  • Create a bedtime routine and stick to – you can start a bedtime routine at a very early age. It’s a good habit to get into and it is an excellent cue to the body and the mind that it is time to settle down and get ready for sleep
  • Create a naptime routine. A short nap routine can help cue your baby’s body and brain that it’s time for a nap
  • Don’t skip naps! Skipping naps and/or having a late bedtime will affect the next 24-hour cycle. Skipping naps does not help your baby sleep longer at night!

Approximate Sleep Requirements


Share post: