Sleep can often be elusive for new parents, but as various
studies have shown over recent weeks, it is essential for the
wellbeing of children. From pregnancy right through to the child
becoming a toddler, rest is crucial to overall wellbeing both in
the short to long term.

Get active while pregnant

Trying to get comfortable while heavily pregnant can be especially
tough, but one expert has recommended in recent days that every
effort should be made to get some rest. Louise Whyte, founder of
Penelope Fitstar and a personal trainer specialising in pregnancy
and post-natal exercise, highlighted that mild exercise is great
for helping the body to wind down. For women who just simply can't
get comfortable, she advised getting hold of specially-shaped
cushions that will help improve their position.

Is breast really best?

Experts from the Medical Research Council have argued in recent
days that breast-fed infants tend to demand more attention,
therefore making them more difficult to settle. This behaviour is
normal, however, and should be tolerated by parents rather than
reaching for a formula alternative. Study lead author Dr Ken Ong
suggested that this could be why so many mothers give up
breastfeeding so quickly.

Don't expect sleeplessness to subside

A team from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in
Ohio believe that sleep problems encountered by kids in early life
might not get any better when they become a toddler. Common issues
include suffering from nightmares, waking up throughout the night
and struggling to fall asleep in the first place. The scientists
found that as many as one in three youngsters has a problem that
affects their ability to sleep.

Sleep can improve school grades

Children who have a regular sleep schedule often find their grades
are much better at school, research from the Prince's Trust shows.
Youngsters with a lack of structure to their days were found to
struggle the most academically.