Infant Sleep And Its Relation To Cognition and Growth Different tricks work for different babies, find out what works best for your baby

You are almost reaching the edge, and are desperate for some sleep! Your baby won’t sleep, and you find it even harder sharing your story with other parents – it’s as though the heavens dealt you an unfair card. You see, your child is as different from other children as your fingerprint is different from theirs.

In the end, they might reach upon a very different pattern of sleep, and it requires compromise on your side. That said, there are a few hacks to go around this and some things you could try out to see if your little bundle of joy will enter dreamland faster and more easily. 

Infant Sleep and Its Relation with Cognition and Growth
Sleep is very vital to a baby’s physical, emotional and cognitive development

Why Your Baby Needs So Much Sleep

It seemed as though your baby had just caught the Zzz’s, then they suddenly awake! Just when you wanted to catch a quick nap and rest your tired bones. That would be Mufasa’s angry roar in case you missed that!

But why are they constantly asleep, especially during the first few months? You may be surprised to learn that 90-95% of their time in your womb was spent sleeping. Coming out of the womb is something new for them – something they are not accustomed to. What’s more, their body metabolism is quite fast, and that’s why they seem to poop immediately after every meal.

Due to this inactivity, most of their developing body’s activity occurs during sleep cycles. That’s the period when brain development takes place. The right and left brain hemispheres develop their connections mostly during sleep as the fat layer of myelin forms. These brain maturation significantly boosts their physical development as their new environs become their norm.

That was just a recap – sure, you know all the health benefits of sleep for adults. It’s pretty much the same case with kids. You know how moody you get whenever you have to work without taking a proper night’s rest! That’s the same biology taking place when your kid disturbs you all day long because of a lack of baby sleep. You thus want your baby to sleep as often as possible, but not too much, though. We’ll explain this as we continue.

Furthermore, your baby will have a lower chance of obesity if they are a good sleeper at this critical age. This also includes most other health conditions children are prone to. The key is developing a routine: consistency that your child can stick up to. 

Sleep Development for Toddlers

During the first few weeks until around two months, newborns will sleep up to 18 hours a day. This is not consistent, though, as they may wake up after every two hours (+/- thirty minutes) to feed. This happens to be the most stressful phase for most parents.

In the first three months, children spend most of their shut-eye in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, otherwise called the active sleep. This is when most dreams occur. If a consistent schedule is developed, the child will not need nighttime feeding once they have crossed the fourth-month mark.

During this period up to the eleventh month, baby sleep may last anytime from 9-12 hours long while their days consist of frequent two-hour naps. As they grow till they reach two years, daytime naps rapidly decrease as they become more active. The recommended sleep pattern during this period is anywhere between 11-14 hours. By the time your child reaches 6 years, 9 hours of rest are sufficient for them.

Why is My Child Not Sleeping Well?

It would be best if you took it easy at first instead of unduly stressing yourself out. As mentioned earlier, baby sleep differs from one child to another. You might think your baby won’t sleep, but the sleep they are getting is just right.

Moreover, parents themselves become agitated if there is even a small digression in their baby’s sleep routine. or start developing baby sleep regression. Baby sleep regression only signifies a shift in the sleep cycles. Whereas most parents go into panic mode once it begins, there is no cause of alarm. It just requires a little fine-tuning on your schedule. Our well-researched baby sleep tips may come in handy to get your baby and yourself through this phase. Remember, you also need strength, endurance, and stability to give yourself fully to your child. 

However, do be aware if disturbed sleep patterns are accompanied by other visible signs like fever,  discoloring in the poop, colic, or restlessness. In other words, changing sleep patterns is normal only if not accompanied by the tell-tale signs of sicknesses.

Otherwise, your focus should be on creating a safe and consistent environment so your baby seamlessly adapts to their sleep patterns. It would help if you offered the adequate and right support that works for both of you to ensure your sanity and emotional wellness even as you get sufficient repose. 

How to Send your Baby to Deeper Sleep

The cardinal rule is to take it easy. You might try so hard to come up with a tight baby sleep schedule that you get frustrated once your infant fails to keep it. Rather than having your baby fighting sleep all the time, here are a few hacks on how to get a baby to sleep in no time. Find one that works for you and try a different remedy if that one fails you next time.

Having Support – Ask For Help

Caring for a child is not a  one-person job. Mothers need the support of a partner or other family and friends. In fact, A Some have recognized taking care of a newborn as a full-time job and rightfully so. Be prepared to ask for help so you can take time off and unwind. You need to be at your best if you are to keep up with your child’s growing needs.

Create the Right Ambience

If you are here, you are one of the many parents who asked us, “Why won’t my baby sleep?” One good reason we usually give to parents is their inability to form a drill depending on their baby’s sleep cycles. Create a conducive environment to register in the neonate’s brain that it’s time for slumber. Dim the lights at night and shift out unnecessary noise. If possible, put on some baby sleep music using white-noise machines and blackout shades. Change their diapers at night before feeding them, read them a story, or even do a massage.

Whatever pre-nap and bedtime routines you can get to soothe your baby to sleep, do it! Go ahead and create a baby sleep chart that will enable you to keep track of your program.

Swaddling Works Wonders

Swaddling may have previously failed you, but you don’t want to give up on your attempts to sleep, training baby. Due to the change of environment in the first four months, toddlers may startle during sleep as though they realized they were in a free-fall. That scares them, and they may start crying. A quick fix would be to swaddle your kid in the best baby sleep sack.

If you’re wondering when baby can sleep with a blanket, don’t be in a hurry to do this. Babies sleeping with blankets have been linked to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Give them until they are about a year old before you can comfortably allow them to doze off with blankets.

Sticking to Routine is Important

Try as much as possible to keep your child awake during the day to maximize their nighttime rest duration. Once you spot signs of drowsiness, spring to action and lay them down so they can learn to sleep independently. However, disturbing them too much during the day may interfere with their melatonin levels making it harder for them to fall asleep. This means you will have a harder time trying to get them to snooze off. Please don’t overdo it, and also don’t let them oversleep during the day, or otherwise, tables will be turned during the night.

Feeling Safe and Secure

Parents don’t fret and worry too much over your child’s sleep. There is no magic potion or position that will send your baby to dreamland instantaneously.  Maybe by chance, you will hit upon the effective formula to lull the little one to sleep.

It could be a special piece of music, or the crib being rocked in a certain way or having the dog sleeping nearby or sometimes you may have to rock him/her to sleep in your arms. Have patience this time will pass, babies do grow up and become independent creatures. If they bond well and feel secure gradually they will feel safe to fall asleep without much fuss. Relax and enjoy this beautiful time with your baby.

As we said, it’s a matter of trial and error and finding what method suits you best. So, how do you get your baby to sleep? Do you have any special tricks to share with other parents? You’re welcome to share them here!

Author’s bio:
Rachel Burns is an experienced copywriter and photographer with a design diploma. She works with startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and companies from around the world. In addition to writing articles and promotional materials, she enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Image Source: Pixabay

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