1 week, 4 days ago

 
 sleep is very important, especially for infants

According to the following survey of more than 1000 infants and young children in Beijing, 72.9% of them have the habit of rocking / patting to sleep. 

So from the probability point of view, most people have had the experience of crying incessantly when they were children, and had to be gently patted to sleep by their parents. 


 
 sleep environment and behavior statistics [1] 
 
 
 even if parents are in a depressed mood, they will try to coax their children to sleep with patience. 

The reason is very simple: first, children can finally get quiet when they are asleep; second, sleep is very important for infants and young children. 

It's easy to feel in daily life that when you don't get enough sleep or sleep quality is poor, the whole person's state will be very poor, including limb weakness, slow reaction, etc. And for infants and young children who sleep in 1 / 2-2 / 3 time every day, sleep is more important. 


 
 good sleep is very important (source: unsplash) 
 
 
 good sleep is conducive to the development and maturation of the central nervous system of infants 
, which is the basis of physical growth and development of various abilities. 

Sleep problems not only affect the early development of children, but also have a long-term impact on their life. 

Some studies have pointed out that sleep problems can predict children's later 
 cognitive and executive function, attention and behavior problems 
, and are related to 
 overweight and obesity in school-age children [2] [3]. 


 
 you fall asleep after a pat? 



In order to let infants have a good sleep, when they can not sleep in the middle of the night crying, many parents will gently pick it up, carefully pat, coax them to sleep. 

But why is this action so magical? It always works? 

This magical action seems to work more on the 
 psychological level 
. 

For infants less than one year old, the womb of a mother who has lived for months before is a more familiar environment. 

Now he is faced with a new and unknown world. The world is full of colors, lights and sounds that he has never seen before, so it may be a lack of trust and security for him. 

The warm embrace and patting of parents make the baby feel more at ease through gentle physical contact. 


 
 source: unsplash 
 
 
 there is another feature of life in the womb, that is 
 the heartbeat of the mother 
. So if you hold the baby around and place its head close to the adult's heart, the baby will feel the sound of the heartbeat and fall asleep more easily. 

Of course, rhythmic, gentle taps can also simulate this. 

Not only that, rhythmic tapping is similar to hypnosis, 
 monotonous and repetitive stimulation makes the baby slowly enter the hypnotic state and relax physically and mentally. Tools like rocking cradles have similar effects. 

But in fact, it is not a good habit to fall asleep. It reflects that infants and young children have some difficulty in falling asleep and need these auxiliary means to fall asleep. 

Therefore, in many related studies, researchers will advocate that parents should actively correct this kind of bad sleep habits, and reduce the difficulty of falling asleep and improve the quality of sleep by establishing appropriate circadian sleep rhythm and creating a good sleep environment for infants and young children [4] [1]. 


 
 eating can also affect sleep

In addition to sleep, 
 feeding 
 is also the main activity content of infants. These two activities are the necessary basis for all activities of their growth and development, and they interact with each other. 

A correlation analysis between feeding and sleep status of 3016 infants aged 0-6 months in 12 provinces of China was conducted, and the following data were obtained [4]. 


 
 
 not only that, but also 
 different feeding methods have great differences in sleep habits. 

Although breast-feeding infants sleep the longest, they often have bad sleep habits such as sleeping in the same bed with their parents, sleeping comfort and so on, and the average number of sleep per day is more, intermittent. And the baby that uses milk powder to feed artificially, often need to pat and encircle before going to bed to wait for a step to be easy to fall asleep. 

In addition, there are some differences in the incidence of snoring among infants with different feeding methods [4]. 

References:

 
 Wei Qianwei, you Chuan, Liu Jun, Xing Juan, Chen Tongying, men Lei. Sleep status and influencing factors of infants aged 1-3 months in Beijing [J]. Chinese Journal of child health, 2018, 26 (2): 145-148

Sadeh A, De MG, Guri Y, et al. Infant sleep predicts attention regulation and behavior problems at 3-4 years of age[J]. Dev Neurophychol, 2015, 40(3): 122.

Bell JF, Zimmerman FJ. Shortened nighttime sleep duration in early life and subsequent childhood obesity[J]. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 2010, 164(9): 840.

Huang XNA, Wang Huishan, Jiang Jingxiong, Ma Yuyan, Anlin, Liu Xicheng. Study on the effect of different feeding methods on the sleep of infants aged 0-6 months [J]. Chinese Journal of maternal and child health, 2008, 19 (4): 303-30

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