When it comes to parenting, most Mums and Dads have the same common question:
How to put the baby to sleep?
Parents try hard to make their babies sleep, but do they always succeed? To get your baby to sleep you have to understand some basics and that is what you will learn below: 4 Interesting baby sleep facts every parent should know.
It is a daunting task for new parents who are still in the learning phase. Remember babies don’t come with a manual and not all babies react to the same things. So at the beginning don’t worry if you can’t get your baby to sleep after trying everything and hours of effort – it is quite normal and you are not alone or as some people call themselves a ‘ bad parent’ or ‘not made for this’ – it’s life – its parenting and it does get better.
Although we cannot eliminate the fatigue of caring for a baby, however, we can help to reduce your stress to some extent. With this article, we will ensure that you learn 4 baby sleep facts to equip you and help make your baby sleep in the best possible manner so that it does not harm its health, and that is an important point to take in. If you are a new parent(s) or already have kids and this one won’t sleep – ah! It is key to try and understand or even have a rough idea of your babies sleeping pattern or cycle.
That is what we will focus on in this article – we will try to figure out your baby’s sleeping behaviour and to find the best strategy that works for you. We have put together 4 baby sleep facts that every parent should know.
Baby Sleep Facts #1: Sleep Patterns for Babies Are Not the Same as That of the Adults
Unlike adults, baby sleep patterns are unpredictable. They do not rely upon circadian rhythms. We, as a grown-up, sleep for a particular period but on the other hand, infants in particular new-borns do not have fixed sleeping cycles. They sleep when and where they want and for how long they want to.
You may have to strive hard to set their moods, which is the main reason behind their inconsistent sleeping schedule. Until babies reach the age of 5-6 months, they keep following irregular sleep patterns.
Infants feel free to sleep, even after gaining stability in their sleep patterns. Newborns do not undergo the same phases of sleep as adults as we experience sleep cycles after every 90 minutes. From mild sleep to REM sleep (also referred to as active sleep), in which the baby may twitch or jerk her arms or legs, and her eyes move under her closed eyelids, this cycle keeps on repeating.
This cycle is reduced to 50 minutes for babies. They commence the adult sleep pattern when they reach the age of walking or when they are toddlers.
Baby Sleep Facts #2: Babies Spend More Time in Light Sleeps
New parents are familiar with this fact but, do they know the reason behind it? The answer is probably no. The main reason is that they, the babies, have short sleep cycles. If your baby wakes up between sleep cycles, it does not mean that he/she is a light sleeper. For them to sleep well is just like a learning process.
Adults spend nearly 20% of their sleep hours in REM sleep. Contrary to this, infants sleep half of the time quietly, and half actively. Their REM and non-REM sleeping period are the same.
NREM (non-rapid eye movement) – also called dreamless sleep -consists of three sleeping stages. Just before REM sleep, babies go to deep slumber. The rest of the stages are the types of light sleep.
NREM is a very important sleep stage for babies (and all of us) during NREM the body repairs and regenerates tissues, builds bone and muscle, and appears to strengthen the immune system.
Why are we discussing this?
Apart from small sleeping cycles, newborns undergo deep sleep for very short timings. It will barely take about 20 minutes for your baby to make a transit from profound to light sleep. Soon after that, deep slumber is followed by REM. For this reason, babies frequently sleep.
I came across a solution to help babies sleep and to educate parents on how best to do this – I wrote a quick article on it and you might like to read.
Baby Sleep Facts #3: Every Baby Has a Different Day Time Napping Behavior
Experts can talk and argue on this point forever so by looking at the average why don’t we settle it on our own? Infants go for different daytime naps, depending on their age groups. A 90 minutes long nap is considered to be a healthy one.
Routine sleeping cycles, best for the babies are 3 to 4 naps for infants who are 3 to 5 months, 2 to 3 sleeping cycles for 6 to 9-month division, and up to 2 times for kids above that until they start walking. Babies don’t snooze a great deal. They take naps for short intervals. In the whole day, they wake up on and off in the middle of dozing times of two to four hours.
The daytime sleeping routine of your baby relies on various factors. Your demeanour, schedule, and conditions around them are worth mentioning. If your baby sleeps frequently, yet for short intervals, then there is nothing to worry about. Consider him waking for some food. Some infants sleep only once but that one nap is as long as 90 minutes, which is also perfect.
The point to ponder is the time altogether that your baby spends napping throughout the day. 11 to 18 hours of sleep is considered a healthy one. The fact of the matter is that your infant is too small to read the baby books and comprehend their doctor’s advice – they sleep when they need to so just let them!
Don’t get panicked if their sleeping behaviour is slightly different from what we have discussed. If your baby is happy, you should also be happy.
Something to consider if your baby is overtired or especially at night when they cannot settle is relaxing baby sleep music – it works for some but not all have a look at this video it will give you a better idea.
Baby Sleep Facts #4: No Matter If They Sleep- They Are Still Learning
Maybe it will sound a little weird, but babies get a ton of rest. As far as babies are concerned, sound sleep is very important.
Babies undergo a learning process even when they are asleep. They spend up to 75% of their time sleeping. They prepare themselves to perceive their parent’s voices. They communicate using non-verbal signals. They show their emotions just as pain or hunger and a lot of other things too. Babies observe their surroundings consistently when they’re alert.
What they understand is then combined and reinforced by sleeping cycles between their waking minutes.
What’s more, although there’s no confirmation that adults also learn while sleeping. Studies reveal that learning demands to recall your observations while you were awake. Believe it or not, it works for babies!
Now it is your turn – try and figure out your babies sleep pattern so that you and your baby can enjoy some quiet and peaceful downtime. I used to get all the jobs done around the house when the kids had their naps or catch up on that well overdue sleep. It is important as a new Mum to sleep when baby sleeps so you can keep up your energy levels needed to give them the best care and attention required and also so you don’t fall into bad health and get even more sleep deprived.
Nobody said it was easy but it is so rewarding especially when you get that first smile or they say their first words as at the beginning it is all give and no thanks – that smile and chuckle makes it all worth it.
If you want to watch a video on this I made one for you – a little shorter but hey!
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