When you have a baby, sleep is not an option. You can’t sleep. Even on vacation, you wake up at 6:30 am.”- Jimmy Fallon
These neonates are the most adorable ones, with the ability to unwind every one of us from our stress and anxiety. Babies are the light to those families living in the hope of happiness, while they go through their extreme phases of darkness i.e., trials and tribulations, in their marital journey.
So, in the story of a newborn’s journey right from the mother’s womb to come out into this world, the mother has got a great role in taking care of her baby. However, once the baby is out of the womb, then the actual puzzle will be introduced to her. Well, the puzzle here represents, how to make the baby fall asleep, although any mother wouldn’t call it to sacrifice when she has to go through sleepless nights, because she cherishes every moment with her baby, but, it’s such a challenging task for her, I would say. Therefore, before you find ways to solve this puzzle, you must understand the sleep cycle based on your baby’s age.
Having 6-9 hours of sleep at a time is what experts call sleeping through the night, but the baby still needs to breastfeed, as they have tiny tummies and might feel hungry and once, they are fed they would fall back asleep.
Like we feel uncomfortable and take an ample amount of time to adjust in any new place, similarly, infants get confused with days and nights once they are out of the womb and take a few days to adjust to the new environment that they are brought into.
The average number of hours that a baby need as per their age is as follows:
- To begin with, a newborn actually needs 16 hours of sleep per day, which includes 8 hours of sleep in the daytime and 8-9 hours of sleep at the night.
- In addition to this, a child of 1-2 months of age usually sleeps 7 hours during the daytime and 8-9 hours of sleep at night, thereby the total average number of hours of sleep per day is nearly 15.5 hours.
- Furthermore, a child of 3 months old needs only 4-5 hours of sleep during the day and almost 8-9 hours of sleep at the, which covers 15 hours of sleep per day.
- Similarly, babies of age 3-6 months almost need 14-15 hours with 4-5 hours of daytime sleep and,8-9 or 9-10 hours of sleep at night.
- Eventually, the babies after 6 months need 14 hours of sleep, with 3-4 naps in the day, together with 10-11 hours of sleep at night.
In conclusion, sleep patterns tend to change as the baby grows.
IMPORTANCE OF BEDTIME ROUTINE TO HELP BABY SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
The daily routine before you go to bed, for example, a few adults would read a book before they go to sleep, likewise, the mother ought to follow a few bedtime routines for her child in order to provide complete sleep training to the baby.
You can give them a bath before going to bed and try to dim the lights, and avoid loud noises too, these mini habits will help you to develop a good sleep schedule for your child. Apart from these, you can hold the baby and move around so as to encourage sleepiness.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT CHILD’S SLEEP:
As adults often experience such sleep disturbances due to multiple factors such as stress or change in work shifts, at times babies have disturbed sleep patterns, due to various reasons, which have to be taken into consideration. Accordingly, along with the bedtime routines, you need to consider the factors that prevent the child from falling asleep, such as separation anxiety, hunger, bed-sharing
Every child is equipped with the so-called Separation anxiety, which is defined as the fear of being away from their parents. In order to take away this feeling or fear from your child, you make sure you continue to touch the baby’s head or back, until the baby calms down, thereby helping your child to be less frightened and know that you are close by.
One more aspect which must be considered i.e., hunger, the babies have got small tummies ranging from the size of a cherry to an egg (depending on their age) and so these babies cry out in the night as they feel hungry, so you make sure that proper breastfeeding is done so as to make them fall asleep again.
Few authors quote that breastfed babies feel hunger more often than formula-fed babies, because of the fact that comparatively, breast milk tends to travel through your baby’s digestive system more quickly.
One of the important things to be taken care of is bed-sharing, it’s important that your child should share the same room that you are sleeping in, however, co-sleeping is not always encouraged for example: when you are sick.
The following tips are to be kept in mind while co-sleeping in order to prevent the risk of the sudden unexpected death of infants
- Never place the baby between the two adults, rather create a clear space for the baby and place them beside one parent, so as to reduce suffocation.
- Also, tie up your long hair and keep away all the chains or jewelry so as to avoid unnecessary risks, that put the child’s life at risk.
At the bottom of the line, it is evident that, until the child reaches their first birthday, they have got different changes in sleep patterns, therefore the mother has to take obvious steps such as understanding their sleep cycle, following bedtime routines, and focusing on eliminating the factors that prevent her from sleeping through the night, which will eventually make her successful in helping the child to have the adequate sleep and thus the child’s development process is undisturbed too, because lack of sleep may lead to the delayed developmental process.