Full term newborn babies sleep up to 16 to 20 hours a day and cannot seem to differentiate between day and night. A premature baby on the other hand would sleep anywhere between 20 to 22 hours. But the flip side about baby sleep is that they don't sleep for all those hours at a stretch. Babies have a 40 minutes sleep cycle and spend most of it in REM sleep or Rapid Eye Movement. In a REM sleep a baby will suck, grimace, smile and occasionally twitch their fingers and toes. They wake up every 3 to 5 hours for a feed. This cycle also continues in the night. A fragmented sleep in the night is bothersome for parents and also doesn't really help baby too much.
A good night's sleep is important not only for adults but for kids too, as the expert suggests that an essential brain development occurs when your baby sleeps.
According to baby sleep expert, Jo Tantum, babies don't just sleep through the night so it is necessary to take care of few things in night so that your baby can have brighter mornings, reports femalefirst.co.uk. Here's what you can do to put your baby to sleep:
Set the scene: Try to set a scene that is appropriate for bedtime such as ensuring that lights are switched off or dimmed and that the room is neither too cold nor too hot. Creating a tranquil environment will help baby understand when it is time for sleep. Know more on how to sleep like a baby.
Routine is key: Routine will help your little one to know when it is night-time. By doing the same things before bedtime such as giving your baby a bath, cuddle, lullaby, and fresh nappy, your baby will begin to associate these activities with sleep.
Keep to a schedule: As with establishing a sleep routine, the daily cycle is also important. By having 'active times' and 'quiet times' your baby will become familiar with when it is time to play and when it is time for sleep.
Distinguish between night and day: Ensure that your baby's environment is different between night and day so that your little one recognises that light means it is time for play and that dark is time for sleep. Also try to be quieter and less interesting when it is night time so your little one understands that it is not playtime.
Try co-sleeping: If your baby is having sleep problems, and you think its too early for your baby to self-soothe try co-sleeping. Co-sleeping makes the baby feel secure and warm snuggling to a parent and helps lull to a good night's sleep.
Swaddle your baby: To mimic the feeling of the womb, it helps if you swaddle your baby. Wrap him up in a blanket or a warm swaddle cloth to help put your baby to sleep. But don't tie up too tightly. Know how to manage your newborn well.
Avoid distractions: Just before you plan to put your baby to sleep, try and avoid distractions like musical toys, mobile phones, games, television or even presence of guests. All this come in the way of sleep and can disrupt a good night's sleep by delaying sleep or by keeping your baby active and refusing to go to bed.
Soothe your crying baby: If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night crying, try to gauge the cause and help to settle your baby to sleep. Is it a hunger pang, or a call for a change of diaper, a cry for colic, pain in the abdomen. Figure out and treat accordingly. Know how to deal with your baby's colic.
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