Managing the sleep of babies and young children is a common concern among parents and this is based on much more than their wanting a good night’s sleep themselves. Parents are right to place such importance on their child’s sleep patterns from the moment they are born. Here, online retailer of natural and organic bedroom products Natural Home Products, http://www.naturalhome-products.com/, looks at the vital role that sleep plays in a child’s health and development and advises on how to choose the right cot mattress and cot or first bed for your child.
It is estimated that around 40% of childhood is spent sleeping. In addition to sleeping throughout the night (perhaps sporadically), babies generally spend around half the day sleeping and even toddlers tend to spend more time sleeping than awake. There’s a good reason for this – sleep is not just the time when the body rests but also when it grows and develops; heals and restores itself; produces chemicals that control hunger and weight; and improves the functioning of the brain. All of which is of course vital in the healthy physical development of a baby, toddler and young child.
In addition to these physical factors, sleep is also important for the behavioural development of a child which, when combined with the improved functioning of the brain that occurs during sleep, helps to develop the young child’s learning capacity. The amount of restful sleep a child has will affect their moods, memories, alertness, social interaction and learning abilities.
Having ascertained just how important sleep is to the health and development of your child, there are things you can do to help your child get as much restful sleep as possible. Establish a pre-sleep routine that relaxes your child; stick to established sleep schedules; prepare the nursery with sleep in mind (use calming nightlights, remove more diverting toys from the cot or bed, etc.); keep distractions such as televisions and computers out of the bedroom of young children, etc.
Quite literally underlying all these tips,however, is the quality of the cot or bed in which your child sleeps. Choosing a top quality cot and cot mattress made from natural materials and free from chemical additives will provide your baby with the most comfortable, safe, orthopaedically supported and natural night’s sleep possible. Having a quality natural cot mattress in the cot, one that provides superior fit and orthopaedic support, is equally important to the safety of your baby: advice from some SIDS organisations states that mattresses should fit firmly into the cot and that there should not be more than a 25mm (1 inch) gap between the mattress and the sides and ends of the cot. An organic cot mattress made from the right materials will provide safe ventilation and air circulation and also help regulate the temperature of your baby – firm, yet springy rubberised Coconut Coir is perhaps the ideal cot mattress material, especially when combined with organic Merino LambsWool or organic Cotton fleecing wrapped around the mattress and in mattress comforters.
As your child grows into a toddler and out of a cot and is ready for a cot or junior bed, it’s just as important to consider the quality of both the child mattress and the bed itself. A handmade bed will often be made with superior craftsmanship which will result in a sturdier construction; a natural mattress will provide good ventilation for better hygiene through moisture and temperature regulation; and a natural Latex and Coconut Coir mattress will be firm enough to support a growing spine.
Take a look at our entire range of mattresses, beds and bedding at http://www.naturalhome-products.com/. Our bedroom products will take your child from baby to infant to growing toddler, ensuring at all times that they get the restful night’s sleep that is so important to their health.