It is common knowledge that every baby is not created equal, which means some will sleep throughout the night, while others will struggle to remain asleep for more than 2 hours at a time. It is up to the parents to establish good sleep habits for their newborn at birth to ward off sleep problems later on down the road.
How Long do Babies Sleep
Most newborns will sleep up to 17 hours a day, but they will wake up periodically every 2-4 hours for feedings and diaper changes. It is important to note that the baby sleep cycle is unlike adults, since infants tend to spend more time in the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep phase.
During the REM sleep phase, the child is not fully asleep, unlike the Non-REM sleep phase, which is the deep sleep phase. Children are more unlikely to wake up during the Non-REM phase, since they are deeper in sleep.
At the age of 8 weeks, you will notice a slight change in your child’s sleep pattern, because they will begin to sleep less with shorter sleep periods, during the day and longer periods during the nighttime hours. The REM and Non-REM phases will also begin to change, with shorter REM and longer Non-REM.
Recommended Sleep for Children
It is important to teach your child the difference from night and day. Keep him entertained with interactive activities during the day, so he will be ready to sleep, when nighttime comes around. Never allow him to sleep through feedings, because you do not want him to oversleep during the day.
Minimize lights and noise, during nighttime hours, so your child will be able to sleep without being disturbed. Spot the sleepy signs (rubbing eyes, fuzziness, and pulling ears), so you can prepare your child for sleep.
By reading a book or singing a lullaby to your child, before you place him in his crib, will give you some special bonding time, while also allowing him to wind down. Always put your child in his crib, before he falls to sleep, so he becomes comfortable and familiar with the bedtime process.
Baby Will Not Sleep
It is obvious if you allow your child to sleep too much during daylight hours, he will have difficulty sleeping at night. Sleep apnea is classified as pauses in breathing during sleep. There are many factors that play a role in baby sleep apnea including obesity, enlarged tonsils, facial characteristics (cleft palate), and enlarged adenoids.
While most sleep apnea will peak by 3-6 years of age, when the tonsils are at their largest compared to the airway size. This condition will alter your child’s sleeping pattern and mood. If the condition continues or worsens, you may need to make an appointment with an ENT.
Sleep studies are utilized to determine severity of sleep apnea, so your child may be scheduled for an overnight stay at a sleep study institute. A tonsillectomy may also be scheduled, if all other treatments fail.
Signs of Sleep Apnea in Children
- Breathing through the oral cavity, instead of nasal cavity
InnoGear 100 milliliter Aromatherapy humidifier may also help to relieve your child’s stuffy nasal passages.
Sleep Aids for Children
Many parents will turn to sleep aids to help their child sleep throughout the time. You should not take it upon yourself to medicate your child, without the advice of a pediatrician. If you choose to do so regardless of these warnings, uou should be cautious when administering OTC sleep aids to any child.
OZzzz’s Sleep Aid is very popular among parents, because it contains natural ingredients and no GMOs, gluten, or dairy. This is an American manufactured product, which surpasses the GMP guidelines. It consists of melatonin and chamomile, which will help your child fall to sleep naturally.
Cosleeping with Toddler
Every toddler will love to cuddle with their parents, because they feel extremely safe and comfy, when they are lying near them. This is a pattern that your child will become used to and you will have to break him from it at some point. It is never a good idea to co-sleep with toddler, instead you should teach him to fall asleep independently.
Independently falling asleep is a life skill, which everyone must learn at some point, so as a responsible parent, you will want to start as early as the infant phase. This will also help your child become independent and grow into a responsible, independent adolescent and adult.
Babies Sleeping on Stomach
By allowing your infant to sleep on his tummy, will reduce the risk of SIDS, which can be a threat to a baby up to 1 year of age, but most often peaks between 1-4 months. When you see your infant becoming strong enough to roll over, the risk becomes lowered drastically.
To protect your child from SIDS, you should prevent him from sleeping on his back until he turns 1 year old. A firm mattress and fitted sheep should be the only items in your child’s crib, because blankets and stuffed toys can increase the risks of SIDS, as well.
Some studies have shown that children, who are back sleepers will have less ear infections and fevers than other sleep positions.