Any mother will tell you how one feels during the first 3-4 months after baby. You feel like a zombie, tired, feeding round the clock and getting no sleep at all. At newborn stage babies may need almost 18 hours of sleep. That sounds a lot, right? But, no they sleep for one hour at max, feed, doze off while feeding and then feed again.
As they grow and become more alert, the sleep intervals become bigger and many babies are sleeping 4-5 hours at a stretch at night by the time they are around six months old. Sleep is as important, if not more, as feeding and playing.
According to book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, MD:
“Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span and allows you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then you are at your personal best.”
At every stage of life, right from babyhood, sleep is essential to recharge the body and brain. A baby needs enough, uninterrupted sleep and naps for proper growth and development.
A baby who has not had a good sleep will be cranky and irritable, while a baby who has had a good, uninterrupted sleep will be playful and alert. A healthy baby/toddler who is getting optimal sleep will achieve her milestones in time and will be happy and more comfortable with surroundings.
One of the biggest reasons that may interrupt a baby’s sleep is wetness at night. Most mums check their babies many times during night and even the most dedicated supporters of cloth diapers use disposables during naps and sleep time. Most diapers are designed to keep wetness inside and ensuring no leakage. This can keep the bed and house clean, but if you see that your baby is getting restless, it is important to check the diaper. From outside, the diaper might look completely dry, but it may be wet inside.
According to a study conducted by leading Research Agency IPSOS, 93% mothers think that a diaper is still working while it is dry on the outside. 95% mothers only check the bed-sheet for signs of diaper wetness rather than checking baby’s bottom.
How to check for wetness after baby gets up and ensure s/he has uninterrupted sleep/nap?
- Check for baby’s bottom and inside of diaper to see if the wetness is getting absorbed properly. This wetness over a period of time also causes rashes and other more serious troubles.
- Use a good quality diaper like baby dry pants which promises up to 12 hours of dryness.
- Establish good sleep habits early.