Sleep is an essential element for the growth and wellbeing of a child. For a baby, sleep represents comfort, relaxation and it also helps replenish their energies for an active day. Babies that cannot sleep properly at night will be irritable and fussy during the daytime. The issue of sleeping for babies becomes very important because parents will have to deal with their personal life and work as well as miss out on their own sleep to pacify a crying baby at night. Often it can be exasperating for new parents but it is important to remember that you can use several simple ways to coax your baby towards sleep. At the same time it is crucial to have a positive and calm attitude yourself; because you are not alone and all parents experience problems with their baby’s sleep.
Why Do Babies Need More Sleep?
Even the most active newborn babies on average sleep around 16 hours a day, as they grow the time duration lessens up to 13-14 hours. Babies require sleep to recuperate their energy which has been expended during the day; this is because their primary diet is milk, which is digested quickly. Complete 8 hours sleep at night is very important for the growth and rejuvenation of the baby’s energies. In early stages of their life, babies need rest for their bodies to grow and regenerate lost cells. Babies who get adequate sleep behave better during the day and are less likely to have eating or sleeping disorders as they grow older. Frequent naps during the day are also very normal for babies, however, in order to have a proper sleeping routine for the night make sure the nap times are consistent.
Signs that your Baby Sleeps Less
By following the required sleep durations for babies of different ages you will be able to identify whether your child is getting enough sleep or not. In case your child does not sleep well, the signs of this will be clearly exhibited during the day. The baby will be restless and might cry a lot, it may not be very active and might not respond to stimulating objects. Similarly, frequent yawning, rubbing of the eyes, and fluttering eyelids are other signs that your baby is sleep deprived. Additionally, your child might be too sensitive or attached to you during the day if they haven’t slept well. It is also possible that the baby becomes more active and less inclined to sleep at night, which can also signal a change in sleeping patterns.
Parents can face difficulties in feeding their child as well. Children that do not sleep well tend to eat less and wake up more frequently during the night because their body is still hungry and requires nourishment. For babies, disruptions in sleep might mean a bad, cranky or peevish mood during the day. The negative moods can also have a cyclical affect by contributing to more sleeplessness; hence, it is vital to ensure your child gets adequate sleep. A fitful and restless sleep means that when the baby is finally tired enough to fall asleep, he/she will sleep deeply and it will be harder for the parents to wake them up; this can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), breathing difficulties and sleep apnea.
How to Make Your Baby Sleep Better
Parents should be actively involved in creating a routine for the baby’s sleep by using either external stimulus like rocking, nursing, singing, patting or using a pacifier; or by allowing the baby to sleep on its own. If the child cannot sleep alone easily and this technique is exacerbating issues then you can opt for co-sleeping by keeping the baby’s crib in your room. Security and the feeling of attachment are very important for children, often body warmth alone allows them to sleep instantly.
The environment in which your baby sleeps should be designed to maximize comfort. For instance, there shouldn’t be any loud or disturbing noises in the room. The temperature of the room should be set to a comfortable level, while the lights should be dim or off entirely. Using a systematic pre-sleep routine like a massage, soothing lullaby in the background will signal your child that it is time for bed. Your steps and effort to ensure your baby sleeps properly will reflect in his/her positive and energetic attitude during the day.