Baby Needs – The basic needs of the baby Sleep Play & Exercise
Baby Needs – Basic needs sleep,play and exercise
Baby Needs when the baby is born, it is generally asleep or half-asleep most of the time. Its eyes remain closed. Gradually it wakes up, and from the fourth or the fifth day onwards the proportion of its waking periods increases, but not to any large extent.
For a month or a month and a half, it should be allowed to sleep as much as it wants to, during the day as well as during the night. Of course there is no harm if it wakes up at the time of feeding, bathing. changing clothes or nappies etc., and plays for a few minutes.
A healthy baby needs that is getting sufficient nutrition remains asleep for long periods and does not cry or trouble the mother in any way. It does not even need to be rocked in a cradle or a swing. It is only if there is something troubling it-physically or mentally- that it needs to be rocked or swung. Alter about six weeks there is a gradual decrease in the periods it spends in sleeping.
Baby’s requirements of sleep – Baby Needs
Apart from individual variations and environmental factors. the periods of sleep required by a baby at various ages are as shown in the table that follows. In individual cases, the needs may vary by five to ten percent from those indicted in the table
Some people may feel that the periods of sleep shown in the table are rather over-generous. But this is not true. In fact the longer the baby sleeps. the better will It be for Its health and development. Even for children older than those covered In the above table. It can be said that a few additional hours of sleep would always be beneficial. But some mothers Just would not allow their babies to have enough sleep, because they feel that excessive sleep tends to make them lazy. This notion is of course erroneous, the scientific (act being that Insufficient sleep tends to have an adverse effect on the physical and mental development of the child.
The sleep requirements of babies between the sixth and the twelfth months vary widely. Many factors may be responsible for this : physical health, environment, beliefs of the parents regarding the requirements of sleep. etc. Children up to the age of eight or nine years should get ten to twelve hours of sleep at night.
The environment should therefore be quiet, not too warm and not too cold. and sufficiently protected from interruption. During sleep, the rates of breathing and heart-beats art lower. As a result, the nerves and the brain are at rest. In the body of the sleeping child the work of restoring the tissues is going on. Thus sleep is beneficial for the health of the child.
Play and exercise
The babydoes not show any tendency to play for the first three months or so. nor does it need the exercise Involved In playing during this period. It gets all the exercise it needs in the act of feeding. After three months, It begins to indulge in random movements of Its arms and legs. It derives a certain pleasure from these movements. And makes various gurgling sounds to express this pleasure. At the age of. four . to five months, it can hold its head steady.
At about this age it is attracted .towards simple brightly coloured toys. When the baby becomes capable of sitting, which happens at the age of six months or so, it plays with things near at hand, including its own fingers, thumbs and toes. It likes to put rattles, toys, dolls, etc., into its mouth, sucking or licking them. Sometimes it starts throwing things around. If you bring the things back to the baby, it will throw them again. It derives great pleasure from such activity.
As the child grows older, its tastes in play and playthings change. A one-year old child will play tirelessly with the sari of its mother or a piece of cloth.
The new-born baby is exercising many of its muscles in the very act of feeding at the breast. Crying in itself is a very important exercise for the lungs and the diaphragm and plays a very important part in the development of the baby’s musculature.
You have just to watch a baby feeding or crying to confirm these facts. In fact it can be said that the baby sometimes seems to cry just for the exercise the act involves. If therefore the baby seems to be crying naturally without any real cause of discomfort, you should not be in a hurry to stop its crying.
Every tendency and activity of a child is natural and instinctive and rather than trying to stop such activity without thinking,it would be advisable to direct or modify such activity after careful consideration.
Play and exercise makes as great a contribution to the growth and development of the child as do all other factors put together