When it comes to a baby’s sleep here is what every mom you should know! Sleep directly impacts mental and physical development. It is really important for learning for infants. Infants spend 75% of their time in Rapid Eye Movement – this is when the eyes move back and forth really quickly. Neuroscientists tell us that REM makes stronger the neural brain growth involved in learning. Needless to say, you need to know and develop healthy and safe sleeping habits for your baby early; here is what I am going to share today:
1. Sleeping Position
As a mom, you cannot go wrong with the sleeping position of your baby. Here is why, wrong sleeping positions increase the chance of sudden infant death (SIDS) particularly important during the first six months. Pediatrics recommend that healthy infants be placed on their backs for sleep, parents should rotate their heads from side to side, this to avoid your baby having a flat head or what doctors refer to as ‘positional plagiocephaly’.
Babies generally possess startle reflex and jerking movements during their sleep which might actually wake the baby as you try to get that long awaited sleep. Swaddling, the art of snugly wrapping an infant in a blanket for warmth and security, can help the baby stay warm and keep him/her from being disturbed by how own startle. This really helps to calm your baby down in case they are overstimulated and feel something close to the comfort of the womb.
3. Sleep time
Our newborns sleep a lot, like incredibly a lot, which might be a plus for moms. Newborns sleep 16 to 17 hours a day and if you farther break it down this comes to 2 to 4 hours every 2 hours day and night, but by 8 weeks your baby should sleep less during the day. You don’t have to wake a one-month-year old every 3-4 hours unless you are told by the doctor the baby is not gaining enough weight. Breastfeed babies wake more often because they do not get as much volume when they breastfeed because when they are put on the mother’s breast, they feel the mother’s heartbeat warmth which makes them fall asleep. They do not manage to finish that full feed as compared to a bottle fed baby.
4. What could be signs that a baby is sleepy?
If you can quickly spot the signs of tiredness in your baby you will get to settle down your child to sleep before he/she gets grumpy, hard to settle and probably before the baby brings down chaos. Waiting only makes worse the situation and will see you put more effort and force you to put on your invention shoes to settle the suddenly irritable baby. Here are a few of the signs of sleepiness:
• Pulling at ears
• Closing at fists
• Seeking comfort by sucking
5. Is it okay for my baby to sleep in my bed with me?
Experts agree that sleeping near your baby is a good thing to do and may promote the bond between the parent and the baby. But here is one thing; bed-sharing can be really dangerous and risky. The parents might roll over onto the tiny baby, or worse still, get suffocated in the bedding and this just increases the chances for SIDS. Instead it advisable to room-share where your baby sleeps in the same room space but in a crib or a sleeper attached to the side of your bed so that the babies are within your reach.
Today’s guest post was contributed by Sophia Nguyen, the founder of Healthy Baby Happy Earth.