Does your baby sleep throughout the night? Do they cry or make tantrums often in the middle of their sleep? If so, that is just fine. There are reasons behind such behaviours and you may just want to know more on hassle free baby sleep at night.
This is specially for all the new mothers, single mothers and even single dads, who are struggling to fix a perfect night’s sleep for your baby. It is so very hard, and yes, I do understand that frustration.
Sleep is such an essential factor of good health, Whether it is a new born, or toddler, or teenager, or even adult, the individual needs sleep.
Is your baby having a sound ZZZ’s?
You never know! Or maybe you do not know how to find out whether the child is having optimum sleep or not.
To give you an idea, I will share a few facts:
On the whole, a new born baby will need almost the whole day to sleep. This will happen up to when the child is 3 months old.
From 4 months to just about a year, the baby will need at least 15 hours of sleep.
A baby will or may not sleep this many hours at a stretch. But on the whole, in 24 hours they should get the above mentioned hours, to achieve a healthy body.
Research Facts on Baby Sleep
If your baby is not sleeping at night, there may be few reason behind it and these are some of them:
#1 Less Sleep means bad toddler behaviour
At the Tel Aviv University, it was found that infants who get less sleep during their early stages of birth have reported to have behaviour problems during toddler stage.
Some of the common trappings that will bother a toddler are restlessness and tantrums.
As these toddlers grow older, then end to also have a lot of trouble to listen and focus to an instruction.
Plus, these children suffer from concentration problems at school. This is something that will pop up when they are about 3-4 years of age.
Researchers doubt that this is genetic, but this is still under thought only.
Such a doubt came by, because not all babies who wake up in their sleep, tend to suffer such problems.
But some do get affected, and that has to still be looked upon.
#2 Nicotine and Breast Milk: A Wrong Combination for babies
This was a research done at the Moneil Chemical Senses Center and this will be warning to all mothers who take nicotine on a daily basis.
The research showed that mothers how breastfeed their children and also smoked at the same time, would have adverse effects on the baby.
It has been noticed that nicotine does pass on its effects on the baby through the breast milk.
Not only does it affect the infant development, but it also adversely affects the child’s sleep.
The research also showed that even if mother stopped using cigarettes or nicotine during their pregnancy period, if they have resumed using the same after delivery of the child- the situation will continue.
The problem was that the nicotine did not allow the child get long naps, instead they has small, disturbed sessions of sleep.
#3 Mommy Mood Affects Baby Sleep
If your baby does not sleep at night, no mother can also sleep: A common situation that every new mom faces.
The research at the University of Michigan Health System showed that babies may not sleep during the first few months of birth, and that can have a bad take on their development patterns.
A term called circadian rhythms is what determines how stable a child is when they sleep.
The more sound sleep, the better mental and physical and mental development can be witnessed.
Now, a reason for this disturbed sleep could be mood of the mother.
At the time of pregnancy, if she faced depression, then this could alter the sleep cycle of the baby.
That may have left mothers with sleepless nights and in turn- this trait gets passed on to the baby while it is in the womb.
#4 Inactivity could be a reason
At the Michigan University, the research showed that if a baby is inactive- this can have a negative effect on the baby’s sleep.
So, more activity will mean a sound sleep for the baby!
For this, it is necessary that parents find solution and methods to keep them active, and burn off their energy. This will tire them out a bit and that will help children go to sleep in a fuss free manner.
Another reason that was noticed was that, if a child naps during the whole day, then they tend to be fresh and feel no need of sleep during the night.
The study took many babies into consideration. The babies who were given a systematic routine of sleep, used to sleep better at night.
During the day, they were given shorter hours of sleep and small types of exercises and play time activities were brought in to reduce their day time sleep hours.
# 5 sleep sacks and baby sleep
At the CNRS , they had found that the clothing that a baby wears while sleeping may affect their sleep.
For the experiment, babies were taken into two groups.
One was a group of babies wearing sleep sacks and another group wore baby body suits.
Research pointed out that the babies who slept in body suits could sleep better and experienced less disturbances for the whole night.
Now taking the babies who used baby sacks, it was they who had a lot of trouble sleeping.
They were not able to wriggle their fingers and toes, and they could not experience the sense of touch.
That may them uncomfortable and this was a reason for disturbed sleep.
The experiment proved that self touching was very important for sound sleep.
This could be another reason why babies love to sleep when they cuddle in their mother’s arms.
The touch brings warmth and love into their mind. The safety factor and in the case of baby sacks – they lose the freedom- which becomes an unpleasant affair.
Self touching is an inborn method to reduce stress levels in babies.
#6 Nothing Too Serious to Worry
For a recent study at the Mc Gill University , the researchers stated that if a child does not sleep at night, it need not be considered as a big problem. Take it easy, and try figuring out the sleep pattern of the child.
The study showed that most babies do not sleep at a full stretch through the night.
Long back there was a study that if a baby never slept for more than eight consecutive hours, then it may cause a lot of problems for their psychomotor and even the mental development.
But this study showed that sleep does not have any solid connection with the mental and physical movement of the baby.
Also, they pointed out that mood changes in mothers after giving birth had no relation with each other.
The plus point that mothers should note is that: When a baby does not sleep for eight consecutive hours, they tend to stay hungry and feed more on breast milk.
This is supposed to be beneficial for both the mother and the baby.
#7 Solid Foods Could Help
Most often new born are given breast milk and for those babies who cannot get breast milk, they are given baby feed formulas.
But it has been that the breast milk is not heavy and can be easily digestible for the baby, which is good.
At the King’s College London, a group of enthusiastic researchers found that hunger could be another reason for a baby to experience a disturbed sleep.
So, when the babies are introduced to solids after six months along with breast milk, then they tend to sleep well.
This does not have negative effects on the digestion or bowel movements of the baby.
But, they sleep better, and that in turn will help mothers take rest better.
These are seven solid researches that can give every parent an idea of sleep and how a baby gets affected in various scenarios.
Common Tips for Parents to Keep in Mind while putting a baby to sleep:
- Ensure that they are in comfortable clothing. Nothing too tight.
- The temperature in the room should be close to their body temperature and that ensures that a smooth sleep takes place.
- You need not cuddle the child during the entire sleep time.
- Instead, be with them, allow them to lie down, and slowly drift off into sleep.
- A bit of crying is fine, just your touch will soothe them in a special way.
- Feed them well, at least 30 minutes before bed time.
- Keep a strict schedule for the baby. This should include play time, bath time, and even sleep time.
- Follow it regularly, so that the baby body gets accustomed to this schedule.
Hoping these tips will help every parent. If you need, you can take a look at our varied Parenting articles collection.