For healthy growth, sleep is very important for infants. In the womb, they spend 16-20 hrs sleeping daily. In sleep, 60-80% of that time is spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, also known as active sleep because of the incredible brain activity that occurs during REM sleep. Newborns spend about 50% of their 16-18 hrs of daily sleep in REM. The percentage of REM sleep decreases until adolescence when it comprises about 25% of sleep.
Thus to ensure they have good sleep, here are three tips:
1. Put babies to sleep on their backs: This is the safest position for healthy babies. Babies are more likely to succumb to SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents if they sleep on their sides or tummies.
2. Dress your baby in clothing that’s warm, but not hot: Overheating is a risk factor for SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. Ask yourself what you would wear to bed and have that as a guide. Keep your baby’s head uncovered indoors – this allows your baby to cool rather than overheat. Don’t panic if your baby’s hands and feet feel cool – that’s normal.
3. Don't have cot bumpers, soft toys, pillows, doonas, and sheepskin or lamb’s wool: Infants have been suffocated by bumping into or being covered by these soft objects. It’s safest to keep them out of your baby’s cot.