Sleepless nights are just a fact of parenting, it comes with the territory, we know this. Unless you hit the parenting jackpot with an angel child who sleeps for 8 hours straight, then count your blessings. Sleep issues can stem from a number of factors; sometimes it’s teething, sometimes it’s a growth spurt and sometimes it’s whatever new explanation we decide to come up with that is making your baby fussy during the night and causing you to lose sleep and go into zombie mode during the day. But here’s one more thing to seriously consider if your baby is having difficulty sleeping; they may not be playing enough during the day.
Researchers at Michigan State University believe babies who are less active during the day might be getting less sleep, and that there is a link the physical activity and sleep. The study focused on physical activities like tummy time for newborns. Tummy time which helps newborns develop their motor skills is a way to increase physical activity according to this research.
22 healthy six-month-old babies were followed and monitored for the amount of physical activity they were engaged in and the amount of sleep they were getting over 24 hours. Researchers found that the babies who slept less and had more overnight feedings were significantly less active during the day. The tired newborns were also found to weigh more based on their length, indicating a potential risk for early-onset obesity.
If sleep remains a difficult battle especially as your tired tot grows, consider the amount of physical activity they're getting in during the day. In addition to creating a soothing bedtime routine, which is highly encouraged, parents can also work on implementing more physical activity into their baby’s daily routine. You can interact with your baby more with floor time activities and do more supervised tummy time several times a day to help them get a good night’s sleep.