Baby’s Sleep

Baby's Sleep

Baby's SleepSleep is organized and constructed from fetal life to adolescence. As a result, a baby’s sleep, which is the basis of its physical development, differs from that of an adult: absence of a day-night periodicity, night-time awakenings, etc. This is a major source of concern and exhaustion for young parents. This is a major source of worry and exhaustion for young parents. So, if you have just welcomed your first child, this article is certainly for you. How to find your way through the famous myths about baby’s sleep?

 

Baby’s sleep from birth to 3 months

 

WHY DOES HE SLEEP SO MUCH? WHY DOESN’T HE SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT DURING THE FIRST MONTH?

Don’t be surprised if your baby only wakes up for short periods to satisfy his hunger or quench his thirst. Especially in the first month, it is quite natural for your little one to spend most of the day asleep (between 5 and 8 pm out of 24 hours). Some experts consider that the sleep rhythm of the newborn during this period is identical to the fetal circadian rhythm (the fetus does not wake up until the last month of pregnancy. Sometimes it sleeps during delivery). Physiologically, these long hours of sleep serve to establish neural connections and stimulate the growth of your baby.

It is important to know that your baby’s body clock at this age, like his brain, is not yet mature. In addition, it is not sensitive to changes in light.

In the first few weeks, babies have very short cycles of no more than 50 minutes. You are lucky then if 3 or 4 cycles follow each other and your toddler sleeps 4 hours in a row.

 

It should also be noted that infant sleep is distinguished by 2 completely independent phases of day and night that alternate:

Quiet sleep

This stage is comparable to the deep slow wave sleep of the adult, but shorter (an average of 20 minutes). It is calm and serene: no body movements, no facial expressions, a slow or barely perceptible breathing and heart rate. Occasionally, you may observe discreet sucking movements.

Restless sleep

This is synonymous with REM sleep in adults. This stage is marked by great agitation: the baby does not stop moving in all directions, his breathing accelerates, his face suddenly becomes colored and more expressive. The baby’s eyes are likely to open, but this does not mean that he or she is awake or about to wake up.

Therefore, being aware of these stages and learning to master their signs will help you survive the long nights. You just need to be patient and tell yourself that after 30 days, the nightmare will end.

 

HOW TO CREATE A SAFE AND PEACEFUL SLEEP ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR BABY?

Teach your baby the difference between day and night:

It’s all about the little details. For example, consider using contrast: dimmed light at night and accentuated light during the day. In addition, you can use noise as a signal that is easily detected by your baby: associate absolute calm and silence with the night (don’t talk to him, total discretion in your movements) and noise with the day (television, moving and talking at his side).

Prevent the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (sudden death during sleep):

This syndrome is the worst nightmare that obsesses parents during the first weeks of their children’s lives. Of course, falling into the trap of paranoia and not turning a blind eye for a second is not the answer. However, here are some measures that have been scientifically proven to be effective:

Breastfeeding is an unbeatable protection factor, as the teat helps to open the airways and in return prevents the risk of apnoea.
In this context, it is important to pay attention to the sleeping position of your baby (lying on his or her back, a firm, non-rollable mattress, no stuffed animals, pillows or duvets) and also to the atmosphere in the room ( an ideal temperature of 20°C, regular ventilation).
If tobacco is harmful for adults, its effect is disastrous for babies. It is obvious not to expose him to second-hand smoke, especially if, unfortunately, he was a victim of fetal smoking.
As for co-sleeping, it is a controversial subject. So, if you have chosen to opt for this strategy, it is important to stay away from all factors that disturb your state of alertness (drugs, medication, alcohol, fatigue, etc.).
Make nighttime sleep a family choreography

The more you adopt a very precise sequence, the more your baby, however young, will get used to this sleep ritual. For example, start by giving your baby a tender bath, putting on a very comfortable onesie, then lay him gently in his cot and tell him a nice story in a low, monotone voice.

No one can argue the effect of music in relaxing and reducing anxiety

Some people advocate artificial heart sounds that simulate the sound environment in which the baby lived during the 9 months of pregnancy.

Make an effort to reduce your consumption of stimulants (coffee, tea, etc.) as much as possible

as these substances pass into the mother’s milk and affect your baby’s serenity during sleep.

Finally, swaddling

This is an effective method of reassuring your baby. Remember that a few weeks ago he was sleeping in a world completely separate from the outside world. Don’t overdo it, as this can become harmful from the second month onwards.

 

Baby’s sleep from 3 months to 6 months

 

HOW DOES IT EVOLVE?

This period is full of good surprises for you: it’s time to take a new breath. Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for since the birth has arrived: your baby is starting to sleep at night (on average 6 to 7 hours in a row). In fact, his sleep is beginning to be organized and resemble that of an adult, and the rate at which he wakes up at night is decreasing considerably. Scientists explain this phenomenon by the fact that growth provides energy reserves and, consequently, thirst and hunger become less frequent.

Moreover, the originality of each baby does not go unnoticed. Variations exist, but the rule is 3 times a day: morning, afternoon and evening.

 

HOW TO ESTABLISH GOOD SLEEPING CLOTHES?

Learning to decode your baby’s behavior will save you a lot of energy later on. If he cries or rubs his eyes, this is his way of saying that he wants to go to sleep. If he wakes up at night, don’t rush to give him a bottle. Often it is enough to simply reassure him by your presence.
It’s time for you, young parents, to take an active role in this development. First of all, start setting precise bedtime and nap times. Sometimes it can be a little tricky to balance your toddler’s sleep needs with your own schedule. Secondly, make sure you stick to the rhythm already planned and if necessary, ask for help from other family members.
The 4th month of life is by far the ideal time to reinforce the sleep ritual (telling him a story, caressing him, rocking him…). What is certain is that there is no miracle recipe. The main thing is to bear in mind that once this ritual is established, your baby will take it for granted.

 

Baby’s sleep from 7 to 12 months

Your efforts are finally bearing fruit and this is much more of a maintenance phase as sleep has become normalized. Your toddler is now falling asleep for 15 hours and taking only 2 naps.

However, don’t be alarmed if there are moments when his rhythm is disturbed. These disturbances may be associated with the growth process (motor development, teeth eruption) or may be the result of separation anxiety.

Finally, here are a few tips to help your baby fall asleep:

Keep the same daily routine that you have already developed during the first few months (the bed, the atmosphere, the bedtime ritual, etc.).
Introduce the notion of a cuddly toy or any transitional object impregnated with your smell.
If you don’t go to bed at home, make the conditions similar to those he is used to.
If he suddenly starts crying during the night and you are sure he is not complaining of a health problem, do not go to comfort him immediately. Just take a look.

 

 

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