What Are The Sleep States Of A Newborn
Babies, like adults, have various stages and depths of sleep. Depending on the stage, the baby may actively move or lie very still. Infant sleep patterns begin forming during the last months of pregnancy?active sleep first, then quiet sleep by about the eighth month. There are two types of sleep:
REM . This is a light sleep when dreams occur and the eyes move rapidly back and forth. Although babies spend about 16 hours each day sleeping, about half of this is in REM sleep. Older children and adults sleep fewer hours and spend much less time in REM sleep.
Non-REM sleep. Non-REM has 4 stages:
Stage 1: drowsiness, eyes droop, may open and close, dozing
Stage 2: light sleep, the baby moves and may startle or jump with sounds
Stage 3: deep sleep, the baby is quiet and does not move
Stage 4: very deep sleep, the baby is quiet and does not move
A baby enters stage 1 at the beginning of the sleep cycle, then moves into stage 2, then 3, then 4, then back to 3, then 2, then to REM. These cycles may occur several times during sleep. Babies may awaken as they pass from deep sleep to light sleep and may have difficulty going back to sleep in the first few months.
What Sleeping Positions Are Best For A Newborn
Research has found a link between sudden infant death syndrome and babies who sleep on their stomach .
Experts now agree that putting a baby to sleep or down for a nap on his or her back is the safest position. Side-sleeping has a higher risk for SIDS than back sleeping. Other reports have found soft surfaces, loose bedding, and overheating with too many blankets also increase the risk for SIDS. When infants are put to sleep on their stomach and they also sleep on soft bedding, the risk for SIDS is even higher. Smoking by the mother is also a risk for SIDS, as are poor prenatal care and prematurity. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics made the “back-to-sleep” recommendation in 1992, the SIDS rate has dropped more than 50%.
Back sleeping also appears to be safer for other reasons. There is no evidence that babies are more likely to vomit or spit up while sleeping on their back. In fact, choking may be more likely in the prone position.
A task force of The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the AAP, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development offer the following recommendations for infant bedding:
The AAP recommends that parents room share but not bed share. The report advises the following:
To prevent overheating, the report recommends that the infant should be lightly clothed for sleep and the room temperature kept comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Avoid overbundling, and check the baby’s skin to make sure it is not hot to the touch.
What If My Child Regularly Has Trouble Falling Asleep
Some children have trouble falling asleep on their own and can lay awake for long periods of time. This can be caused by too much screen time before bed, or caffeine from soda and energy drinks.
- If your child is watching TV or playing video games for long periods of time, try limiting screen time or cutting it out of the bedtime routine.
- Dont allow your child to drink or eat anything with caffeine.
- Try doing relaxing activities before bed such as reading, listening to calming music, or laying in bed with your child talking quietly about their day.
If these reasons arent the cause, talk to your doctor about other ways to help your child learn to fall asleep on their own.
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Set A Bedtime Routine
A study of 405 mothers — with infants between 7 months and 36 months old — showed that babies who followed a nightly bedtime routine went to sleep easier, slept better, and cried out in the middle of the night less often.
Some parents start their baby’s bedtime routine as early as 6 to 8 weeks old. Your baby’s routine can be any combination of regular bedtime activities. The keys to success:
- Play active games during the day and quiet games in the evening. This keeps your baby from getting too excited right before bedtime but gets them tired from the day’s activities.
- Keep activities the same and in the same order, night after night.
- Make every activity calm and peaceful, especially toward the end of the routine.
- Many babies enjoy bathing right before bedtime, which calms them down.
- Save your baby’s favorite activity for last, and do it in their bedroom. This will help them look forward to bedtime and associate their sleep space with things they like to do.
- Make nighttime conditions in your baby’s bedroom consistent. If they wake up in the middle of the night, the sounds and lights in the room should be the same as when they fell asleep. If you need to feed or change your baby during the night, keep the lights low and the talking to a minimum. Too much stimulation can make it hard for them to settle again.
Is 9pm Too Late For Baby Bedtime
Bedtime in newborns is naturally late, usually around 9:00pm or later, but it is important to start moving the bedtime earlier around 6/8 weeks. By 2 months, babys last nap should be ending by 6:30pm. Bedtime should be around 6:30-8:30pm and should occur about 1-2 hours after the last nap ends.
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How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep
If youre having difficulty getting your newborn to sleep at night, then the solution might be starting the bedtime drill 15 minutes earlier every 2 to 3 nights until you settle on a time that works for your little one. Creating a newborn bedtime routine can be challenging, and there may be some trial and error before you find the right bedtime. But this sample bedtime routine may help get your baby on trackand get you both more sleep each night.
What Happens During Baby Sleep
Sleep is important for a baby because of their rapidly developing brain and body. A variety of research studies demonstrate that infant sleep is crucial to both cognitive and physical growth. In fact, newborn infants learn during sleep. Infant sleep is positively associated with improvements in memory, language, executive function, and physical development.
Perhaps surprisingly, sleep might also provide babies an opportunity to develop motor skills. Researchers think the twitching babies do during sleep is more than movements related to dreaming. Sleep twitches could be a result of the infant brain strengthening its circuitry and learning how to control various body parts.
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Bonus Tip: How To Get More Sleep At Night
Another concern parents have is how to increase their hours of sleep at night in between feedings.
Heres my Weaning Night Feedings Guide. This guide walks you step-by-step through weaning off night feeds or reducing babys night feeds
These tips on moving babys bedtime earlier can be used for any age:
- Know your babys ideal bedtime.
- When moving your baby or toddlers bedtime, adjust it by 15-20 minutes every 2-3 days.
- Keep an eye on awake times during the day.
- Get outside during the day to blow off some steam
- Start a Peaceful Nightly Ritual every evening.
How Do I Make Sure My Baby Gets The Right Amount Of Sleep
Overstimulation during the day can cause your baby to either sleep too little or sleep when they should be eating, due to exhaustion. Newborn babies need to be fed frequently to ensure proper development.
If your newborn baby becomes overtired they will become fussy, and harder to settle for sleep. We’ve given age-targeted tips to help avoid overstimulation and improve your baby’s sleep in the sleep schedules below. For more information on how much sleep your baby needs and how long they should be sleeping at a time read How Much Do Newborns Sleep?
Learning your baby’s sleep cycle
While your baby has your nose or eyes, the two of you couldn’t be farther apart when it comes to sleep cycle! The main reason your newborn’s sleep patterns are unpredictable is because of their evolving sleep cycle.
Adults can easily pass from one sleep cycle into the next without completely waking up. Newborns, however, don’t stay in deep sleep for long periods at a time, so they are more susceptible to frequent wake-ups. Our post, Your Baby’s Sleep Cycle, explains more in-depth about how your baby’s sleep cycle is linked to their sleep patterns.
To learn more about the changes to your baby’s sleep cycle and how to cope with sleep regression, read our post 10 Tips to Surviving the 4 Month Sleep Regression.
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Week Old Sleep Schedule / 2 Month Old Sleep Schedule Development And Sleep Patterns
Your newborns sleep patterns: By 8 weeks old/2 months old, many babies are sleeping longer at night and we start to see earlier and earlier bedtimes as your baby lengthens nighttime sleep to 11-12 hours and they nap 3-4 hours during the day, on average. They still need ~14-16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. However, if your baby still has a later bedtime, that isnt too uncommon. Until your baby is sleeping 11-12 hours at night, you really dont want an 8 PM or earlier bedtime else you will have to start your day WAY too early! In addition, your baby may have been eating just 1-2 times a night but once they lengthen their nighttime sleep, this might mean a night feeding creeps back in, temporarily.
Some parents stop swaddling around this age because baby is rolling which can become problematic for sleep. This can lead to more night-waking and shorter naps. In addition, there is commonly an 8-week growth spurt to keep in mind.
Here is what your 8-week-olds schedule may look similar to:
|8 Week Old/2 Month Old Sleep Schedule
|Milk and Diaper Change
Please note: Not all babies, especially breastfed babies, can transition to just two night feedings by this age, especially if they are in bed for 12 hours. Some babies are still getting three night feedings and that would be within averages.
Sleep Myth : Crying It Out Is Bad For Baby
Crying is a common and response to saying good-bye to a loved parent at bedtime. However, learning to fall asleep on ones own is an important skill that you can help your baby learn when she is old enoughat about 4 months.
Most experts and research agree that letting a baby or toddler cry as they go to sleep will not have any long-term damaging effects. A child who is well-loved, nurtured, and responded to during the day will not be hurt by fussing a bit before bed in the evening. And the good news is that the crying at bedtime will probably only go on for a few days before your baby adapts and begins to learn how to put herself to sleep.
But that doesnt mean its an easy choice for parents. Many parenting decisions, and especially this one, involve understanding temperamentnot only your babys, but your own as well. If letting your baby cry herself to sleep is too emotionally painful for you, there are other options. For example, you can go back to check on her every 10 minutes . Or, you can decide on a certain length of crying that you are willing to put up with and if the crying goes beyond that, you will go in to comfort the baby. Another option, if your partner is able to endure more of the crying, is that he or she takes on the bedtime routine. In any case, it is important for the two of you to be in agreement about your bedtime plan. Finding an approach that works for both your baby and your family is important.
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Snoo: The First Bassinet With Safe Swaddlingevery Time
To solve these uncertainties, my team invented the worlds one andonlybassinet that gives babies the many benefits of swaddling…with none of the risks!
SNOO Smart Sleeper is the only baby bed that keeps infants sleeping safely on the back for all naps and nights, thanks to the unique SNOO Sack swaddle, which clips into the bed to prevent rolling. We are proud to say that this makes SNOOthe safest baby bed ever made!
Also, the specially designed SNOO Sack is:
- Ventedto prevent overheating
- Loose in the legsto keep it hip safe
- Zipperedso it cant unravel
SNOO is called a smart sleeper because it delivers the soothing 4th-trimester sensations babies love so much…in just the right doses. SNOO intelligently chooses the exact level of white noise and calming motion that will work best to soothe your childs crying and boost sleep ! And because SNOO moves back and forth, it can also serve as your babys ultra-safe, completely flat swing.
Does Earlier Bedtime For Baby Mean They Sleep Longer
Lets face it: on the really tough days when my baby was taking horrible naps, I seriously questioned whether 4PM was an acceptable bedtime. Im not ashamed to admit that sometimes I thought about it multiple times a week!
So whats the best time for bedtime? Should you be putting your baby down later to try and encourage longer mornings? Whats the best way to get this kid to sleep??
Youll be happy to know that babies who are put to bed earlier tend to sleep better. Quality sleep tends to happen before midnight for most babies so dont be afraid of an earlier bedtime. Find your childs sleep sweet spot, then stick to it for babies younger than 12 weeks, bedtime should be around 9PM to 10PM. Babies older than 12 weeks do best with bedtime around 7PM to 8PM.
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Sleep Myth : Babies Should Sleep Through The Night
Many parents dream of nothing more than getting their baby to sleep through the night. Most babies have the capacity to make it 8 hours or more without a feeding when they are about 4 months and at least 16 pounds. If babies at this age and stage are still waking up in the middle of the night, the problem is usually not the waking upits the getting back to sleep.
Most babies wake up one or more times during the night. As adults, we usually just roll over and go back to sleep. Babies typically wake 2 to 4 times a night. But while some babies cry briefly and then soothe themselves back to sleep, others dont. They have not yet learned how to get themselves back to sleep, so they cry out for help.
The key is helping your baby learn how to get herself to sleep. Creating a soothing routine of lullabies, books, and rocking before bedtime is very important. Then put your baby down in her crib while shes still awake. This gives her the chance to learn what it feels like to fall asleep on her own.
If your child is over one year of age, consider offering him a lovey . Babies will often comfort themselves with these objects, which helps them fall asleep. You may also hear your baby singing or talking to herself before drifting off to sleep. These are all ways babies have of putting themselves to sleep.