7 Facts About a Sleeping Baby's Habits
Check out 7 facts about your infant's sleep habits!
One of the most difficult transitions new parents have to make is that of getting a good night’s sleep once their baby arrives. Many new parents wonder if their infant will ever sleep through the night.
An infant’s sleep habit can turn a house upside down during those first few weeks or months. But when you take the time to train your baby to develop consistent sleep habits and learn to ‘read’ your baby, good things happen. The following list of ‘sleep facts’ is sure to help get you started on understanding your baby’s sleep habits better:
Hours of sleep
An infant needs 10 to 12 hours of sleep per day during the first year of life. This sleep will likely happen every 3 to 4 hours during the first 8 to 12 weeks of life due to the fact that an infant also needs to eat every 2 to 4 hours during this same period of time.
Babies give clues telling you they are ready to go to sleep. These clues come in two stages. First stage clues: yawning, redness in the eye area (especially under the eyebrows) and rubbing the eyes, ears or head with their hand.
Second stage clues: fussiness, clenching their hands into fists, holding their bodies stiffly and finally…crying and screaming.
Babies can get too tired to sleep. An infant who is sleep-deprived will have a harder time going to sleep than one who slept two to three hours prior.
That’s right, the more sleep an infant gets the better they will sleep. Parents of infants need to develop a pattern of feed, play, sleep.
In the beginning, this pattern will repeat itself every 2-3 hours. As your baby gets older, the pattern will repeat itself every 4-6 hours.
And finally, your baby will learn to get up each morning, take an afternoon nap and be set until bedtime (7 to 9 pm) before starting over the next morning.
You can train your baby to sleep more at night and less during the day. This won’t likely happen right away, but by exposing your baby to natural light during the day (open curtains, fresh air outside, etc.,) it helps develop the natural rhythm in our bodies to sleep at night instead of during the day.
Just the opposite needs to take place when it’s time to sleep. A darkened room, cool, but not cold room temperature, nothing bright and over-stimulating within eyesight and a bit of noise (white noise, they call it). Having things too quiet doesn’t help.
Expect changes in their sleep patterns as they grow and develop. It’s not uncommon for babies to sleep through the night for a while, only to ‘suddenly’ start waking up once or twice a night again. Don’t despair, be patient and things will settle down soon.
Follow the lead
Your baby will take their cue from you. A nervous, edgy, irritable parent will result in a nervous, edgy and irritable baby. Make sure you keep a positive attitude so that the message and positive energy will spread throughout the household.
It will happen
The facts about infants and their sleeping habits are not difficult to discern and even less difficult to see. The key to successfully handling infant sleeping habits is to remain calm, read your baby and be pro-active in making sure your baby gets the sleep they need.
You also need to remember that your infant’s sleep habits will change and grow right along with them. By recognizing these developments and even anticipating them will help you stay on top of things and be ready to tweak your baby’s schedule to keep their sleep habits as consistent as possible.
Do you have any additional facts to add about a baby’s sleep habits? We’d love to hear your feedback on their sleep habits! Watch this video on how an infant’s sleep habits affect development: