Are you worried about your baby getting enough sleep? We know babies sleep a lot, but as they grow, the amount of time they spend sleeping will change. It's important to be aware of how much sleep your baby needs (depending on age) as well as signs that your baby may not be getting enough sleep. 


If your baby seems cranky and out of sorts throughout the day, or if baby falls asleep at times other than nap times (e.g., during stroller or car rides); you might need to think about whether or not your baby is getting enough sleep. Babies who are 12-18 months old require 13 to 14 hours of sleep a day (including naps). Being aware of how much sleep your baby needs and recognizing when your baby is not getting enough sleep are two important steps in making sure he gets the right amount of sleep.


Brain Science for Your Baby

Did you know that infants spend over half of their first 2 years of life sleeping?  Why is that?  During the first two years, your baby's brain is growing rapidly - and it seems that the developing brain needs good sleep in order to develop all those connections between brain cells. 


The part of the brain that helps with attention and impulse control is called the prefrontal cortex (PFC).  Sleep may help with development of the PFC.  A 2010 study by Bernier and colleagues looked at 60 babies and their sleep patterns at 12 months and then at 18 months.  At both ages, the babies who had more uninterrupted sleep had better self-control more than a year later!  The PFC is important for learning, attention, memory, and impulse control. So help your baby's brain by making sure that good sleep is a priority!

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

Figure out how much sleep is recommended for your baby based on age (see the link above).


Remember these are recommended amounts of sleep and your baby may need slightly more or less sleep.


As baby gets close to 18 months old, they may be changing from 2 naps to one longer nap.


Play close attention to signs that baby is not getting enough sleep. You may need to help your baby adjust their sleep schedule to get the right amount of sleep. 

A baby Buffer Prescription for You   


It's important for you to get the sleep that you need too!  Being tired affects how we think and cope. You will have more patience and will be better able to interact positively with your baby when you are well rested.  


Make sure that you are going to bed at the same time every night. 


Get outside during the day and try to get some exercise - chasing after a toddler counts. 


Avoid eating right before going to bed.  

What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Emotionally, one-year-olds are just learning to recognize and manage their feelings. They experience a wide range of emotions and have tantrums when they are tired or frustrated. They may also respond to conflict by hitting, biting, screaming, or crying. One-year-olds want their independence, and may say, "No!" to adult suggestions or insist that they, "Do it!" Then, moments later, they might cling to an adult's leg or ask for help.

Gene's Research Tip

What does spanking do?  It can surprise, scare and hurt.  Sometimes it does all three, other times only one of the three, and if used a lot, spanking may become totally ineffective.  Parents often think it worked, if the child stops the activity, but many young infants and toddlers will go back to the activity quickly. Infants and toddlers aren't ready for understanding why someone hits them.  Many parents think hitting should be enough for the child to "learn" not to repeat the activity, but that isn't how the infant brain always works.  The infant brain can learn to be afraid and untrusting, and one response is to cry and to become aggressive by hitting back, or using fast, angry movements.  This may be the reason more of the infants that were hit in the first year of life "learned" to be angry and aggressive as older kids. 

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Baby Buffer Blog
Written by Barbara Unell, Author
Is there anything more amazing than a baby's gurgles, coos or moves?  Those coos and babble are the sounds of her repeating back the sounds she hears. They are a vital part of your baby's language development and are the beginnings of her first words.

Help your baby grow in her ability to talk by lovingly talking right back to her. When she says the sounds "Oooo" or "aaaah", for example, gently coo them back at her so she can hear you say the sounds she's making.


Research studies tell us that everything we say to our baby matters-simply repeating her "coos" back to her and more.  It has been shown that it is important for us to use words-talk in sentences-when we respond to those sounds that our baby makes. The more we talk to our baby, the better.


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