Sleep in newborns

Many parents find that their newborn's sleep patterns mess up their own sleep routine. It is quite common for infants up to 6 months to experience restlessness and sleep interruptions during the night.

sleep newborns

A newborn usually sleeps all day and only wakes up to eat. This can be a dilemma for new parents. Babies do not have a well-established schedule, they sleep somewhere between 16 - 17 hours a day and they seem to be hungry every few hours. This can disrupt the rest of new parents.

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Do you think why the sleep pattern of a newborn tends to be so different from that of older children or even adults?

Well, in the first 6 months, babies do not consistently produce enough melatonin, especially at night. The presence of light lowers the level of melatonin and helps us wake up in the morning. Conversely, darkness increases melatonin levels, facilitating restful sleep at night. However, the lack of melatonin in babies' bodies interferes with the natural circadian rhythm that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

sleepy baby

Usually, newborns sleep between 8 - 9 hours during the day, then another 8 hours at night. Because their stomachs are small, they have to wake up after about 3 hours for a breastfeeding session or for a bottle feeding.

Just like adults, babies go through different phases of sleep. Half of the time, newborns are in the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, when the dream occurs. Their cycle alternates between REM and non-REM sleep. It can be difficult for babies to fall back to deep sleep after a REM phase. They will wake up and become agitated. This happens less often as they grow.

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Can you change a newborn's sleep patterns?

Try to keep your patience and calm and allow the baby to sleep whenever he wants. Initially, babies will establish their own sleep schedule. Parents may no longer enjoy a long and uninterrupted sleep during the night. However, a cycle of 6-9 hours of sleep per day should be enough to stay in a healthy zone. If insomnia occurs, contact the doctor.

baby cot

As they approach their first birthday, babies begin to sleep uninterrupted for several hours. They slowly adapt to their own circadian rhythm and begin to sleep for longer periods of time.

Why do newborns not sleep through the night?

Babies' stomachs are able to digest small amounts of milk at one meal. This means that they must be nursed or fed once every 2 or 3 hours. Occasionally, some of them can sleep quietly for 4-5 hours without interruption, but this should not worry you.

When does a newborn start to sleep more?

Gradually you will notice visible changes in the sleep of the little baby. Babies do not usually sleep through the night until they are almost 3 months old or until they reach 12-13 kg. Until then, their stomach grows a little in size. However, in reality there are differences between children, so some may wake up more often at night, up to almost 1 year.

baby sleep tips

Establishes healthy sleep habits for newborns

When the baby is ready for sleep, it sends some clues: it rubs its eyes, it cackles, it fidgets or it cries. These symptoms show that he is tired and that he needs to sleep.

To regulate the sleep patterns of the newborn, it is important to create a sleep routine. Experts recommend placing him in the crib before actually falling asleep. If he gets used to sleeping in your arms, it may be difficult for him to fall asleep otherwise. And if he wakes up in the crib, he will automatically cry.

baby sleep tips

Encourage their independence and wait a few seconds when they fuss. This can help him learn to fall asleep on his own again. So don't jump at the first one or gasp. If the crying continues, check on the baby, but avoid turning on the light, playing with him or lifting him from the crib.

If you open the curtains in the morning to allow light to enter the room, you will also help trigger the circadian rhythm. This will increase the production of melatonin and the baby will be able to make the connection between daylight and waking up.

Finally, a quiet and relaxing activity will prepare the baby for sleep. Give him a warm bath, nurse him or read him a book in a calm voice.

It takes time and patience to be able to build a healthy sleep routine for the little one. In the end, you will be able to make it so that the baby and you can enjoy a restful sleep every night.