A long and hard day! But you know it will end at some point with a good sleep. You decide to abandon the ambitious plan to put the last laundry in the wash and go straight to bed. Well, you didn't fall asleep because you're the only family member who has slept enough and now she wants some action. It can be no other than your baby.
A chaotic sleep program
If you feel frustrated and exhausted because of the chaotic sleep program of your baby, know that you are not alone. I do not know if this will make you feel better, but at least you will realize that this is not a cause for concern, this is happening to any parent and you will have to adapt. Babies sleep between 16 and 17 hours a day, but they will never sleep without waking up, they sleep in cribs.
Baby screams and sleepless nights can be fun topics for cartoons or comedies, but for parents this is not a joke, but an exhausting one.
Researchers say that interrupted sleep is the most difficult aspect of life with a baby. Of course, you expect to feed the baby a few times a night, but they all forgot to specify that it is possible not to fall asleep immediately or that it can be woken from hour to hour in the first 3-4 months or even 6 months.
You sleep like a baby
Over time, researchers have discovered more about baby sleep. sleep infants it is characterized by two types of sleep, namely: the one with rapid eye movements (REM) and the one without fast movements (NREM).
The first, known as active sleep in infants, is characterized by random movements of the body and grimaces, irregular breathing and of course, rapid movements of the eyeballs under the eyelids. It is possible for parents to believe that they are awake, but in fact, at this moment the babies really sleep and should not be disturbed.
Sleep without movement of the eyeballs (also called quiet sleep), on the one hand is marked by normal breathing, few movements of the body and absence of movement of the eyeballs. The complete relaxation of the baby's body and face and the absence of reaction to sounds shows us that the baby has fallen asleep.
Babies spend almost 50% of their sleep cycle in REM (when you dream), compared to their parents with 20%. During active sleep, babies are more easily disturbed by the environment than they are in quiet sleep, thus giving them more chances to wake up.
The researchers found that dreams during active sleep help older children and adults understand the events of that day, but in babies, researchers say this is uncertain. Based on the fact that experience stimulates brain activity, some researchers believe that active baby sleep is a process of self-stimulation, which encourages early and rapid brain activity.
Babies enter the active sleep period and can be disturbed from the beginning, while adults first enter the quiet sleep period and it is very difficult to be disturbed. However, the baby's morning cries for help when the parents are in a quiet sleep are much more disturbing than the cries at the end of the parents' sleep period, when they enter the active sleep.
There are three differences between baby and adult sleep. First of all, the longest sleep duration in adults is 8 hours in the quiet sleep period, while in babies it is 3-4 hours. Another difference is that adults only go through a period of sleep, while little ones go through 5 or more.
The most difficult problem is due to the fact that babies do not differentiate between day and night as adults, who sleep at night and wake up in the day.
Strategies for sleeping baby
Nature has ensured the mother-child relationship. In the first days after birth, the mother's breasts produce only small amounts of colostrum and milk, ideal for the baby's needs. The frequent awakening of the little one due to hunger and its feeding leads to the rapid increase of the milk supply and on the other hand and to the increase of the baby's stomach within 2 weeks, the age at which they normally gain the weight lost after birth.
At the same time, the fact that the baby sleeps more leads to awareness of the change of environment, through reactions such as crying.
Where does your child sleep?
There are two variants:
1. Baby's sleep with the mother
Many parents sleep in the same bed with their baby, thus satisfying more frequently the needs of frequent feeding and minimizing the disruption of parents' sleep.
Research shows that the heartbeat of the mother and her breathing rate help the baby to organize his own. The major disadvantage is that as the child grows up, you will have to get used to sleeping alone.
Parents should not use water mattresses, any linens or down pillows. You should not smoke or use drugs in the same environment as your child.
2. The baby sleeps alone
Nowadays, sleeping by a child has become more and more common. At first, frequent wake-ups are needed, but you can minimize the effort by putting the little one in a crib next to your bed in the first month or even the second.
After the first weeks, the infants who were well fed and regained their weight, managed to ingest much larger amounts of milk and increase their sleep period. You can get the little one to sleep more using the following strategies:
- Ignore the baby's movements (agitation, murmur) during active sleep and his sleepy states - many of them will fall asleep instead of waking up after eating.
- Organize your sleeping time by making a program with hours of sleep as well as the bath, the story of sleeping and breastfeeding. All children, whether they sleep alone or not, find a safe routine. Simple habits are most desirable if babies rely on them step by step, giving them the curiosity to see what happens next.
-Other strategies to fall asleep: extinguishing light, optimal temperature, neither too hot nor too cold.
These strategies will help babies sleep from the third or fourth month for 6-8 hours.
However, when it comes to sleep, there is no guide for all parents. First of all no one can control the perfect baby's sleep. You, as a parent, have to choose your own strategies to make the little one fall asleep, the ones that suit him. Secondly, sleep at night is not just a challenge for one night, but a constant one.