Baby Sleep Is Different To Adults
It is just so difficult as a new parent to have to deal with a baby that will not settle when you know they’re ready to sleep. The hardest thing is that over the first three to six months, babies naturally sleep lighter and for shorter periods – just when as a new mother you need any breaks that you can get.
I remember with my first baby that I used to get so exasperated and even get cross and yell at my poor little three month old when he wouldn’t sleep. But along the way I learned a lot more and made a conscious decision to be more patient to give more of myself the second time round.
Some parents are just blessed with easy babies. But every baby has a different sleep personality and you can’t expect your bub to behave like any other. Careful observation is the key. Watch your newborn’s behavior after a feed. Look for patterns so that you know what to expect. Some newborns suffer a lot from wind and it’s worth taking note to see if there is a regular pattern. Once you have a better understanding of what is stopping your baby from settling easily, you stand a chance to respond more effectively.
Babies Take Longer To Fall Asleep
It is worth knowing that newborn babies take longer to fall into a deep sleep. If they fall asleep on the breast or at the bottle and you attempt to put them down, it is no surprising that they wake up the moment you put them in the crib because they are still in “active sleep” mode and still quite aware.
This is one reason why many experts recommend not putting your baby to sleep when they are still in a sucking mode. Some suggest that you stop feeding if you see your baby drifting off. Even from the early months it is good to try to get into a regular and consistent routine for sleep time. Changing a diaper then burping your baby might be two activities to signal that it is bedtime. As you burp your baby it is a good opportunity gradually change your back rubbing to more of a caress as you place your little one in their crib.
Make a point of observing your little one as they fall asleep and over time you will learn to recognize specific movements that signal light sleep as compared to sound sleep. It can take up to twenty minutes for a newborn baby to fall into a sound sleep, but in later months infants will fall asleep more quickly.
Newborns Are Not Heavy Sleepers
Also, newborns don’t fall into a deep sleep like adults do. That’s a fact. They need to protect themselves from becoming hungry, getting too hot or cold or from a discomfort that may threaten their well being. A little baby’s sleep cycle lasts only about an hour and during a lengthy sleep if you watched, you would notice that each hour or so your baby going through a cycle of more shallow sleep where he is quite active with twitches and little movements. This is the period that even the slightest external noise may waken him fully.
Where A Baby Monitor Could Help
Infants’ sleep cycles mean that your little one may wake up after about an hour when you are expecting them to be sleeping soundly. But in actual fact it may just be the “light” part of their sleep cycle. This is where the use of a baby monitor would help. You are able to observe by your baby’s movements from outside the room with a video monitor and see whether she is comfortable and may fall back to sleep or if in fact something is causing her distress. If there is nothing obviously wrong, you may be able to assist your little one return to sleep by either keeping everything in the house really quiet or on the other hand possibly tiptoe in and just offer a silent yet soothing hand.
The two most popular video baby monitors are the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor and the Summer Infant BabyTouch. You can read an in depth review of each model and even compare features side by side on other pages of this site.
Here is one little baby too excited for bed any time soon!
Objective observation is a good habit to foster. In the end however, patience is the key.