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Sleep Helps Babies Learn

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DAYSHOURSMINSSECS
By: Dr. Brenna Murphy
A new study out of Germany shows that sleep determined an infants ability to retain new information.  Babies between 6m and 12m  of age were taught 3 different tasks using hand puppets.  Babies who slept within 4 hours of learning could repeat half of the activities the next day.  Babies who didn’t sleep or only took a short nap could not repeat any of them.  This study emphasizes the importance of good and sufficient sleep for learning and suggests that reading bedtime stories might be one of the most important moments of the day.
Is your baby sleeping enough? Newborns (1-2 months) sleep from 10.5 to 18 hours a day; infants (3-11 months) need 9-12 hours of sleep a night and up to 4 naps a day.  Toddlers (1 – 2 years) need 12-14 hours sleep a day, typically including 1 long nap.

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