‘Go to sleep little baby’ becomes a mantra when you are a sleep-deprived parent hoping your little one finally drifts off after fighting sleep. Babies can be difficult to keep on a regular schedule and are not sound sleepers. Getting enough sleep is critical in a child’s physical and mental development. It is important to note that infants have a different sleep cycles than adults. Babies spend less time in the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage where dreaming takes place. In addition, babies’ sleep cycles are much shorter. The chart below reflects the National Sleep Foundation‘s recommendations on the ideal amount of sleep for each age group. As you can see, very young children require a lot of sleep each day.
0-3 months old: 14-17 hours per 24 hours
4-11 months old: 12-15 hours per 24 hours
1-2 years old: 11-14 hours per 24 hours
3-5 years old: 10-13 hours per 24 hours
6-13 years old: 9-11 hours per 24 hours
14-17 years old: 8-10 hours per 24 hours
18-25 years old: 7-9 hours per 24 hours
26-64 years old: 7-9 hours per 24 hours
65+ years old: 7-8 hours per 24 hours
Many parents desperately search out different strategies to help their little ones sleep for longer and more peaceful durations. White noise and sleep music are easy to incorporate into your child’s sleep routine and can make a big difference.
Multiple scientific studies have shown that white noise helps infants drift off to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. One groundbreaking study in particular put two groups of 20 newborns between 2 and 7 days old in a randomized trial to test the effect of white noise on promoting sleep. The difference in rates of falling asleep between the two groups of infants was impressive. In the group of 20 newborns subjected to white noise, sixteen (80 percent) fell asleep within five minutes. In the control group, only five (25 percent) of the babies fell asleep spontaneously.