You need to know regarding Infant Sleep
Watching your baby lie down in her crib sleeping is simply moving. It melts every mother’s heart since the baby seems so innocent and sweet. This feeling, however, may not last for long since the baby may not remain for hours asleep especially during the night. The sleep cycle for infants is very different compared to that of adults.
Infants have different sleep needs which change with age. Understanding how the sleep cycle of your kid works can help you fulfill their sleep needs. We are here to discuss infant sleep in detail to help every mother know how to improve their child’s sleep well and also manage sleep problems. Find out more!
The sleep needs of your child
When your baby is below two months, they tend to breastfeed after a few hours. Their need to sleep may not be as intense as their need to feed. Such an infant sleep for hours ranging from 10-18 in one day. They sleep in short segments spending at least 4 hours in bed. An infant does not distinguish between daytime and nighttime. Since they cannot tell the time, they may remain awake for hours during the night.
A 6-month old baby starts sleeping for up to 6 hours without waking up. The brain keeps on developing, and the stages of development may cause sleep problems in infants. Most kids start associating time to sleep with being left alone. This is what causes infants to cry as they try to seek your attention.
The sleep cycle of kids is not the same as that of adults. Unlike adults who spend a lot of hours in the REM phase, infants spend a short time in this phase. The rapid eye movement phase is the deep phase of sleep where dreams occur.
The cycle of an infant is shorter than an adult due to minimal time in this phase. Some children develop sleep problems at a tender age of about six months. You should closely monitor your child to identify sleep problems and manage them early enough.
How can you tell that your infant has sleep problems?
A 6-month baby is ready for regular sleep throughout the night. Though this is the case, they may start waking up in the middle of the night crying even after you have fed and changed them. During this period, children undergo a part of the development which is referred to as separation anxiety. The baby finds it hard to understand that being apart from you for a few hours is temporary.
Separation anxiety makes it difficult for a child to go back to sleep. It also leads to fatigue and overstimulation in children. Babies respond to this condition through crying and remaining awake for long. They may give you a hard time since they tend to cling on the parent and refuse to sleep alone in a room. When you notice such signs, you should consult your doctor to rule out any illness.
How can you boost infant sleep?
Identify the signs of sleep readiness
Children show obvious signs of feeling sleepy even if they try to fight them off. No child likes missing out on the fun going on around them due to sleep. You should, therefore, tell when your child is ready to sleep through signs such as yawning, rubbing the eyes, fussing or looking away.
Put your sleepy child in bed
Sometimes, cuddling the child every time they feel sleepy can make them get used to the habit. This makes it difficult for your baby to fall asleep without the cuddling. Once in a while, train your kid to go to sleep without having to cuddle them.
Do not allow them to sleep in your arms but instead let them practice self-soothing from a young age so that they can rest on their own. You can comfort your baby during the day but don’t do it at night since it can worsen separation anxiety and make it hard for the child to remain alone in a room.
Establish a routine
Babies know nothing about sleep and waking patterns. It is upon you to help them develop these patterns naturally to ensure that they are getting sufficient sleep. Establish a solid routine at bedtime so that their bodies can start aligning with the internal body clock.
This helps a child to fall asleep at the right time without fighting it. In the bedtime routine, you should add activities such as taking a bath or storytelling to help them relax and sleep well. Ensure that the routine is consistent every day for your baby to respond positively.
Make the sleep environment comfortable for them
The baby’s comfort should be a priority since it helps them sleep well for hours and prevents them from waking up after a short period. Ensure that you get a firm and comfortable mattress to boost the quality of sleep. Check out Simba mattress review to help you decide the best mattress for your young one.
The room temperature should also be conducive for your child to prevent them from getting cold or too warm. Use the right clothing on your child to help in temperature regulation. You can also introduce a soft toy or a small blanket to put them in a good mood before sleeping.
Reduce the chances of getting sudden infant death syndrome
This is a sleep-related condition that affects a lot of babies. You can lower the risks of your child developing it by letting your child sleep on their back. Place your baby’s crib in your room so that you can monitor them through the night. Provide a pacifier for your baby to use while sleeping. You should also ensure that your child receives the necessary vaccination to prevent the syndrome.
Let them nap during the day
Naps are healthy for any child at different times of the day. Healthy napping goes with the age of your child. Napping during the day helps your child get enough sleep. They need a morning nap which can come at least two hours after waking up. Trying putting them down even if they may not seem to be tired. Let the afternoon nap come two hours after the morning nap.