Sleep is a basic physiological need necessary for physical recovery, recuperation, body growth, brain maturation, learning and memory. Some babies sleep 18-20 hours in their first days of life, while others sleep only 8-10 hours. These different trends may persist during the first year of a child’s life. Be that as it may, it will be very useful for all parents to learn more about their child’s sleep, as well as the physiological and psychological aspects associated with sleep.
Newborns spend an average of 16 hours a day sleeping. Their sleep per night is divided into 4-6 episodes of sleep, separated by relatively short periods of wakefulness. During the first year of life, in the process of rapid development, sleep is concentrated mainly at night, and daytime sleep is sharply reduced. Night sleep becomes longer, and the number of night awakenings and their duration decrease. This process, which leads to “sleep through the night,” is achieved in most children during the first year of life. However, up to 20-30% continue to experience fragmented sleep, characterized by frequent nocturnal awakenings and difficulty falling asleep, which becomes their main sleep problem during the first two years of life.