A baby undergoes a lot of changes in the first year and learns many new activities. The infant sleep patterns also keep changing throughout this year. Parents struggle to understand how to make baby sleep!
Many new parents fail to comprehend the newborn sleep pattern. They become exhausted and want to know how to get baby to sleep. They also wonder, “when will my baby sleep through the night”?
Learning basic infant sleep patterns from their birth until the first 12 months can help parents understand how much sleep their baby needs and also introduce a few sleeping habits to help the baby sleep better. Read on if you want to know how to put a baby to sleep quickly as well.
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How The Sleeping Patterns Of Babies Differ From Adults?
Infants have a different sleeping pattern than adults. The infant sleep pattern includes short naps and active sleeping. Most of the babies do not sleep through the night in the first few months as they wake up frequently to be fed. Babies move their limbs, twitch and flutter their eyelids in their sleep. On the other hand, adults sleep quietly with deep breathing. A baby sleep cycle is usually 40 minutes long compared to a 90 minutes long sleep cycle of an adult. So, this explains the concern of many new parents who keep on wondering how to put a baby to sleep.
Sleeping Patterns Of A Baby From Birth to 12 months
Babies are light-sleepers. Although they need around 16 hours of sleep daily, they have difficulty going back to sleep once awaken. Many parents are worried about their baby not sleeping in the first few months, as they wake up frequently. Parents are also sometimes clueless about how to get a baby to sleep once they have woken up.
The infant sleep pattern develops from the last months of pregnancy and keeps on changing until 8 months after birth. So let us know how a baby sleep pattern can vary in different stages of the first year of their lives.
Birth to three months –
In the first three months, newborn sleep around 15 hours daily. They spend most of their time in active sleep and take many short naps. So, they can wake up easily to be fed. Also, a newborn sleep longer in the day and wake up frequently at night as they are unfamiliar to the day-night rhythm. To help baby sleep for longer at night, parents can let the baby get used to natural daylight when awake by keeping them active and put them to sleep in a dark room at night.
Three to six months –
Being a new parent, you may keep worrying about how to get baby to sleep in the first three months. Your worries will lessen as your baby grows. After three months, the infant sleep pattern has lesser active sleep and smaller daytime naps of around 2 hours long. At around 4 months of age, your baby may start skipping nap times and may not sleep properly at night. This is called sleep regression. They would still need around 14 hours of sleep and have longer periods of quiet sleep. However, they can keep waking up in the night. A night time massage can help solve this problem
Six to twelve months –
Parents wondering “when will my baby sleep through the night” may find some relief when their baby turns six months old. Infant sleep patterns are similar to adults, at this age. A six to twelve-month-old will take two daytime naps and may sleep longer at night. They will need around 11 to 13 hours of sleep. You may see your baby not sleeping so much during the day as before. As babies at this age require less feeding at night, they will not wake up frequently, unless they get scared. If you are worried about how to put a baby to sleep after they have woken up at night, you can introduce regular daytime and night routines to help baby sleep.
How Can You Help Your Baby Sleep Better And Peacefully?
Almost all new parents are worried about how to make baby sleep better. The baby sleep pattern can differ for each baby. Parents wondering how to get baby to sleep longer can introduce some bedtime routines.
Many parents rock the baby in their arms or breastfeed during bedtime to help baby sleep. This can be a good routine, but sometimes the babies cannot fall asleep by themselves. Therefore parents trying to know how to put a baby to sleep have to make the baby learn to put themselves to sleep. It is advised rock the baby until they are sleepy and then lay them on the bed to let them fall asleep on their own.
You can also help baby sleep by singing soothing songs or putting on a soft music. A good night time massage can also help your baby sleep better. Target their neck, chest, back, arms, legs and the soles of their feet. Gently massaging behind their ears can also help relax them. Avoid using any oily or sticky formulations. Using a baby cream or baby ointment would be more recommendable. Using a product with a mild lavender fragrance can help soothe and relax your baby for improved sleep.
Swaddling the baby can also help baby sleep for long hours. Babies can wake up suddenly with a jerk and that can make them upset. Wrapping a soft cloth tightly around your baby will make them secure and snug.
If you are wondering how to get baby to sleep while travelling, baby sleeping bags come to the rescue. Swaddling while travelling can be difficult, the baby sleeping bags can serve the purpose. Baby sleeping bags can prevent the baby from being cranky and upset due to the change in their sleeping routine. Parents are advised to travel with baby sleeping bags whether they are travelling overnight or for a short time to help the baby sleep well or take quiet naps.
How To Make Baby Sleep Through The Night?
Parents of a newborn often struggle with the thought, “when will my baby sleep through the night?” A baby waking up frequently in the night can be exhausting for the parents. Some sleeping habits can help baby sleep through the night.
If you think your baby not sleeping at night due to their long daytime naps, you can try to keep them active during the day by playing with them. Making the daytime naps shorter will help baby sleep through the night.
Another solution to the question of how to make baby sleep is to have a pre-sleep routine like drawing the blinds and having a white noise to cancel all the noises around the house.
New parents should understand the sleep patterns of their babies very well. It is not advised to overtire the babies during the day to help them sleep through the night, as it can make them fussy and upset. So the parents should always include bedtime routines based on their baby's need.