Why Is Sleep Important For Newborns & 8 Tips to Help

Every newborn’s sleep routine may be different. There are so many baby sleeping patterns and habits that parents aren’t really sure of. Many parents – especially first-time parents tend to worry whether their baby is getting enough sleep. Parents often go through stress whenever their baby is having trouble falling and staying asleep.

Here are some of the reasons why sleep is important to your newborn and what you can do to help them sleep well. 

Growth

A normal baby’s weight gets doubled by around five months, and triple by around twelve months. This is a lot of growth in such a short period of time, and a good sleep plays an important role in supporting the babies’ growth. Generally, an infant’s sleep can be divided into two phases, the REM sleep and non-REM sleep.

As babies sleep, they will cycle through non-REM and REM sleep, which determines how light or how deep they sleep. Both of these sleep stages are beneficial for your baby’s growth. For instance, REM sleep is critical to an infant’s development as it is used to consolidate memories.

On the other hand, “somatotropin” is a growth hormone which is released throughout the day, but “approximately 80% of it is only released soon after a child or adolescent is in the Non-Rem stage of sleep.” Other than that, not having enough sleep could also affect a baby’s physical development. 

Newborns usually sleep for around 16 hours every 24 hours. However all babies are relatively different and their sleep patterns can vary a lot. Newborns tend to have day/night confusion due to their immature circadian rhythm, which may cause them to nap longer during daytime and be fully awake by night. This can be particularly exhausting for parents to get used to in the first few months.

Like an Singapore confinement centre, PEM’s in-home confinement nannies are able to help new parents with day and night baby care and night feedings, so that the parents are able to get a restful sleep and feel recharged the next day.

Weight Gain

Some studies suggested that babies with short sleep duration could lead to childhood obesity. The ideal hours for babies to sleep would be 16 hours, hence less than 12 hours during infancy appears to be a risk factor for overweight and adiposity in preschool-aged children. Hence, not only sufficient sleep helps babies grow, it helps set a good foundation for their healthy weight gain too.

Mental Development & Learning

Your baby’s brain roughly doubles in size in their first year, and most babies’ brain development happens during sleep. When babies sleep, it allows the connections between the left and right hemispheres of their brains to form. Furthermore, your baby’s brain synapses are also formed when they sleep. Synapses are something like the pathway for information to travel from one part of your brain to the other. When your baby sleeps in their first 3 years, over 1,000,000 million neural connections are formed per second. Not only that, your baby’s brain stores what they’ve learned in a day during their sleep. Hence, having sufficient sleep is crucial for your baby’s cognitive development.

You May Also Read this: Tips To Help Your New Born Sleep through the Night

Immune System

Sleep is important for babies’ immune system as they are still immature and not as strong as adults. It usually takes time for immunity to develop, and sleep plays a role in this. If your baby is sleep deprived, they will be more prone to disease and infection and it can affect their recovery time. Being ill could also bring a negative impact in their sleep as it will disrupt their sleeping cycle and give them less quality sleep overall. 

8 Quick Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Well

1. Encourage your baby to nap more throughout the day so they could sleep better at night. A theory of thinking that having your baby awake throughout the day will make them sleep better is false. Your baby will tend to be awake more because they can’t sleep comfortably. 

2. Practice by putting your baby in bed when they are drowsy but still awake, so that could learn to fall asleep in their crib or bed. 

3. It is okay to cuddle and rock your baby to sleep, you could also learn to do some baby massage to help them relax.

4. Always remember to put your baby to sleep on their backs in their crib or a flat surface.

5. It is okay to let your baby stir during the night, give them a few minutes to settle before attending to them.

6. Try to avoid stimulation during nighttime feedings and diaper changes, some babies usually just go back to sleep naturally.

7.  Try to avoid using a pacifier if the breastfeeding is going well. 

8. Bedroom environment is important so having dim lights could set the sleepy mood for babies. MumChecked is a one-stop mum and baby products shopping site that offers a variety of nursery products to help your baby sleep better.


Things can seem to be overwhelming especially for new mummies who need the same extra care and sleep just as much as their newborns. PEM Confinement Nanny service offers new baby confinement care services which help ensure both the mother and the newborn gets the best care and sufficient rest during the first month. Learn more on our website now!

  • PEM Confinement Nanny Agency

    We are a group of frontliners and support team members who are passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience in confinement care. Representing the largest confinement nanny agency in Singapore which has served over 250,000 mothers in over 30 years, we are all about sharing useful and insightful information based on our experience to help new parents navigate this exciting chapter of their life better.