My baby barely sleeps. Will this affect her development?
First of all, we know that sleep is important and that babies spend about half their lives sleeping. Sleep seems to mostly affect your baby’s daily mood and how well she functions on a day-to-day basis. Longer term studies on sleep and development are mixed. Studies show that less sleep during infancy can be associated with higher risk for things like obesity, behavior problems, and social-emotional development. Studies looking at cognitive development (basically baby IQ) are more mixed, with some studies finding some links and other studies showing little relationship. This is probably because there are so many general factors that affect how smart your baby is going to be, such as genetics, nutrition, and daily interactions with parents and the world. Obviously it is important to help your baby get the sleep that she needs, but if your baby seems to need less sleep than other babies there is no reason to be overly worried about her long-term development.