Some babies sleep well from day one, some are light sleepers and seem to prefer being active more. One thing for sure, it is not a natural, innate ability for babies to fall asleep on their own.
We have compiled eight fascinating facts about baby sleep every new parent should know:
- Babies are not born to fall asleep on their own, let alone sleep through the night. They need to be parented to sleep, not just put to sleep. Some babies can be put down while drowsy yet still awake while others need parental help by being rocked or nursed to sleep.
- Babies have a shorter sleep cycle and usually start stirring an hour after they go to sleep. Some need help getting back to sleep while the rest may self-soothe themselves back into a deep sleep. Help your baby by laying a hand on your baby’s back, patting him lightly or singing a lullaby.
- Let your baby enjoy plenty of daylight and avoid strong lights at night to distinguish between day and night. This will also help to regulate the production of melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone naturally released by our bodies.
- Babies’ light sleep actually has significance. In the first few months, it allows hunger to wake baby up and get the sustenance she needs.
- Your baby’s sleep habits are more a reflection of your baby’s temperament rather than your style of nighttime parenting. It’s not your fault baby wakes up.
- There’ no use trying to deprive your baby of sleep during daytime to make him sleep better at night. A well-rested baby falls asleep more easily and better at night than a baby who isn’t.
- There’s no proof that adding rice cereal to a bedtime bottle can help baby sleep through the night. In fact, doing this too early can be unsafe. Babies might not be able to digest rice cereal before 4 months of age.
- Painful stimuli such as colds and teething pain as well as major developmental milestones can keep babies awake, even after they have achieved adult-like sleep patterns. Between one and two years of age, other causes of nightwaking include separation anxiety and nightmares.
Source: askdrsears.com and parents.com