Sleep and your baby's immune system
The importance of sleep for your child
We all know that sleep is important. It gives our bodies a moment to relax and helps us to get ready for a new day. For your child sleep is even more important. Your baby is discovering new sounds and movements every single day while being awake. Therefore, it’s very important that your child rests enough to be able to process this all. But did you also know that this moment of rest is also very important for your child’s immune system?
Sleep and the immune system
Getting enough sleep is very important for the immune system to work correctly. In other words, lack of sleep can have impact on the normal functioning of the immune system. When not getting enough sleep, it’s more likely that your baby gets sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold. It can also affect how fast your child recovers when being sick. During sleep the immune system releases proteins called cytokines. When your child has an infection, the production of cytokines increases to fight the infection. However, when your baby is not getting enough sleep, it may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, the antibodies and cells that normally fight infections are also reducing in lack of sleep.
So, when your child isn’t sleeping enough, they won’t be able to fight the infection as good as when he would get enough sleep. Therefore, it’s important to create a good sleeping pattern for your child. And let’s be honest, the moments that your child is having his little immune-boost nap, you can also have your own energy-boosting moment. A win-win situation!
Everyone's experience is different
There are some people who can deal with a little less sleep than others, however almost everyone needs their night’s rest hard. When your baby is a newborn, sleeping takes place most part of the day. But as your baby is getting older, they sleep more hours after each other and is developing a day-to-night sleeping rhythm. However, most parents recognize that having your child falling asleep isn’t always as easy as it is for adults falling asleep so try to be consistent (and patient) until you find you and your child’s routine!
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