All ages need to get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep will affect people’s mental health and physical health. Especially babies, babies need lots of sleep. Because sleep is essential for babies’ normal brain and body development. A restless baby’s sleep can affect his growth. Some new parents may not know how to help a newborn sleep at night. This article will offer some valuable suggestions, as below for references.
Caring for a newborn baby is not easy. In addition to regular breastfeeding, sometimes parents have to get up to soothe a crying baby from falling asleep again in the middle of the night. Some newborns won't sleep despite parents’ coaxing. Some babies sleep too long, resulting in a lack of time to drink milk.
1. sleeping time for newborn babies
According to the National sleep foundation, newborns should sleep 14 to 17 hours a day, and some may sleep up to 18 to 19 hours per day. Babies will wake up every few hours during this time to drink. Breastfeeding babies are awake more often, about 8 to 12 times a day. Some mothers who choose formula milk need to feed their babies about every 3 to 4 hours. It is recommended to wake up and feed the baby every 3-4 hours until his weight increases to normal. In addition, newborns are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night, and after 2 to 3 months of age, babies can start sleeping for 5 to 6 hours continuously. But this varies from baby to baby. Some babies only can sleep through the night after 6 months.
2. What is the sleep cycle?
All adults and children have sleep cycles. Each sleep cycle contains different sleep stages. We move sequentially from sleepy to light sleep, deep sleep, deeper sleep, and finally restless sleep, cycling again if necessary.
The infant’s sleep cycle varies from 20 to 60 minutes. And the adult cycle is about 90 minutes.
Some babies do not easily move from one sleep cycle to the next. Parents may need to soothe the baby and help him back to sleep.
3. common sleep problems of babies that parents may encounter
- irregular sleep
A significant difference exists between an infant and an adult’s sleep patterns. Adult sleep is monophasic sleep, which means that adults can have a period of sleep that lasts about 8 hours. And infants are polyphasic sleepers. They usually sleep every 2-4 hours for the first 0-3 months, regardless of day or night. By 6 months of age, babies can sleep like adults. They sleep most of the night and have more awake time during the day.
- need to be cuddled to sleep
There is a reason why newborns rely on cuddling. The external world is not familiar. The mother's womb is warm and safe. So newborns may feel anxious after birth. Cuddling provides a similar environment that is like the womb to the baby. Falling asleep while cuddling or feeding can be your baby's best thing in the world. Cuddling is a natural thing. It makes your baby feel comfortable and at ease. But cuddling also creates dependencies. Babies may not fall asleep easily once parents stop cuddling them. So it is better to let your baby learn to sleep in the crib independently.
- wake frequently at night
Newborns sleep lightly and wake up frequently and easily at night. It is usual for newborns to have trouble sleeping at this stage. There are several reasons below:
- in the light sleep stage
Infants have a lighter sleep than adults. When babies are in light sleep, they will roll their eyes, cry, etc.
- Moro reflex
The Moro reflex is natural. It will disappear at around 4 months of age of babies. And for some babies, it may last until 5 months of age. The Moro reflex can cause babies to wake up suddenly during the newborn stage. So swaddling is recommended for newborns. Swaddling can help calm and soothe your baby.
The cause of colic is unknown. And it can cause your baby to cry a lot and be difficult to calm down. Parents can try airplane cuddling, breastfeeding, changing the environment, etc., when the baby can not stop crying.
4. sleep and SIDS
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby under one-year-old. The cause of SID is still unknown. SIDS usually occurs in the baby’s sleep. To help prevent SIDS, many medical associations have made the following recommendations.
- Let your baby sleep on his back.
- Avoid soft mattresses, bedding,and pillows.
- Do not let your baby smoke passive smoking.
- Do not let your baby be overheated.
- Put your baby to sleep alone in his crib.
- Use a sleep sack.
5. How to help newborn sleep at night?
5.1 make a relatively quiet sleep environment
A too noisy environment is complicated for babies to sleep well. Every baby is sensitive to the tiny changes in the outside voice. Sometimes, the noise can awake them.
5.2 play some smooth music
It is also not suitable for babies to sleep in complete silence. Playing some soft music during sleep will be better. It can help babies to relax, smooth their moods, and sleep better. Soft music is like the sounds of nature, including the ocean, birds, wind, water, rain, etc.
5.3 control the time of naps during the daytime
Babies always need to have some naps during the daytime. But sleeping too much during the day is also not healthy. And the length of naps also can affect the quality of their nighttime sleep. No matter what age a baby is, 1 month old, 2 month old, 3 month old, etc., everyone needs a nap schedule.
5.4 swaddle the baby
Swaddling babies during sleep is a traditional and effective way to sleep better. People usually used blankets or quilts to swaddle babies before. But it is not convenient and has some potential risks. Newborn babies are too small to throw back the covers by themselves. And it may cause the risk of overheating and suffocation. On the other hand, toddlers may kick off the covers when they are hot, which is easy to cause them to catch a cold.
After sleep sacks had been invented, parents could use sleep sacks for their babies. For more details, please kindly check the below benefits of a typical high-quality swaddling sleep sack in Kaiya Angel.
- ARMS UP Position
These kinds of sleep sacks can help your baby sleep in a natural arms-up sleeping position, which is convenient for him to have a more restful sleep.
- Soft Fabric
All sleep sacks are made of ultra-soft, sustainable, ultra-comfortable fabrics without static electricity and chemicals, including organic cotton, bamboo fiber, etc. Natural, gentle fabrics are friendly to babies’ sensitive skin and can help them to sleep comfortably and safely.
- Relaxed Design
Babies like squirming, no matter awake or asleep. This relaxed, baby-friendly design gives babies plenty of room to move freely and feel more comfortable at night.
- Suitable TOG degrees
The TOG degree of these sleep sacks is suitable for babies to wear. It will not be too heavy or not too light. Babies can get good warm-keeping. It also can stabilize babies’ body temperature intelligently and prevent them from catching a cold in an air-conditioned room. It also has no risk of overheating. A comfortable feeling helps babies to have a better sleep.
- Competitive Prices
Price is always one of the most important considerations for consumers in shopping. This is a highly cost-effective baby product for most people. It has a competitive, affordable price that most people can afford it.
- Special Details
Every zip has a zipper protector at the top to protect the baby from scratching or causing discomfort to affect his sleep quality.
Two-way zippers are easy for diaper changing, even in the middle of the night.
Kaiya Angel also provides a unique customized service. People can embroider the baby’s name on the sleep sack to make it unique. That is a good gift choice.
5.5 Give the baby a favorite toy
Parents can try to give their babies some typical toys as their preferences. These things often can help them fall asleep easier and sleep tighter.
For more information about baby sleep, please kindly check Kaiya Angel's Blog.