Often getting your baby to sleep is one of the hardest things you have to do when you have an infant.
You are coping with feeding your child on demand, going through the night, and snatching a snooze where you can between feeds. And while your baby is struggling to get some shut-eye, you’re desperately trying to keep your eyes open. As a new mom, you often miss the sign of your baby being ready to sleep. And it can lead you to think they can only sleep when you are holding them.
We all need sleep. It’s a necessary function of life. According to Yasova Barbeau, who wrote Sleep Disturbances in Newborns, studies consistently show the importance of sleep in its role for cognitive function and developing memories. Most importantly, sleep enables you to solidify information.
As an adult, a lack of sleep can lead to a lack of attention, problems with learning, and emotional turmoil.
In babies and children, it can have similar detrimental effects. According to the study States of Consciousness in Psychology, it has been associated with poor emotional regulation and a decrease in wellbeing. And when it comes to babies, because they need to spend so much of their time asleep in those early months, it’s essential.
Sleep Cycles In Babies and Newborns: How They Work
One baby can be on a 23-hour cycle and another every 25 hours. So your baby’s first task is to get their circadian rhythm lined up to a 24-hour cycle. They do this in the first three to four months of life.
As their parent, they have to flip to a diurnal cycle or sleep mainly at night. They can do this by 12 – 16 weeks.
Your child will go from needing 16 – 17 hours sleep a day to 14 – 15 hours by the time they reach 16 weeks. Many of you may feel that there is no way your baby feels like they sleep this much!
Why? Because when they are newborns, they usually average a maximum of four hours in one sleep period. That goes up to 8.5 hours. And the bad news is, even at 16 weeks, they may still be doing most of that more extended period of sleeping in the day. Leaving you exhausted!
What Is Sleep?
There are three stages in sleep. The first is quiet sleep, closed eyes, decreased body movements, no eye movement, and breathing normally.
The second stage is active sleep. This is most recognizable with REM (Rapid Eye Movement). In an infant, this is categorized by eye movements and their body and limbs moving. They will also sometimes have irregular breathing.
The third phase is transitional sleep. This can include both active and quiet sleep.
When you look at a baby’s sleeping routine, it can often appear to be haphazard. Particularly if they are going through a feeding and sleeping cycle.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! According to the study Sleep Cycles In Infants by A.H Parmelee newborns are tuned into a circadian rhythm. These are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock.
They run in the background to carry out the essential functions and processes we need to stay healthy and alive. And one of the most important and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle.
So what are the things you can do to help ease the pain of getting your child to dial into a sound sleep pattern for both of you?
Ways To Get Your Baby To Form A More Regular Sleep Habit
Any new mom knows, the process of getting your baby to transition from a nap on you, or any other favorite human, can be a case of trial and error.
However, there are a few things you can do to make this easier for both of you.
*Get your baby’s bed ready for them by putting a hot water bottle down on the mattress for a few minutes. That way when you lay them down, they will think they are still lying on you!
*Baby massage is another way to calm your infant. The best way to do this is rub their arms, belly and Another option is to leave your hand on your baby’s belly. This will also calm them, and enable them to fall into a deep slumber.
At 10 to 12 Baby Lounge we think bedtime stories are one of the best ways to relax and calm your baby and get them to sleep just when you want them to. Why? Because when I was a new mom, it was a technique I used time and again. And it worked! Plus, I got so much enjoyment myself out of telling these stories to my twins.
Here are some tried and tested secrets of how to read a good bedtime story. And how to make sure it works as effectively as possible to lull your child to sleep.
3 Ways To Make Your Bedtime Story Help Baby To Sleep
Several tried and tested methods can make a bedtime story work even better when you read to your newborn or baby.
Use Rhyme And Low Pitch Like A Lullaby
Did you know using a low-pitched voice and calming melodies can transform your child’s mental state? You can make them more relaxed just through the sound and timbre of your voice.
A low-pitch sound is droning and hypnotic. It’s also reminiscent of the sound your baby heard while in your womb. This is because the amniotic fluid they were floating in for all those months acted as a filter to high-pitched frequencies. So all they often heard was a low-pitched rumble. This is why many lullabies are sung softly and in a low key.
10to12 Baby Lounges series of bedtime stories have been created to be read, or listened to, as a lullaby. So you can encourage your child to feel connected and calmed by the sound of your voice. Click here now to learn more.
Get Your Baby Used To the Sound Of Your Voice
Your newborn knows your voice even before they came out of the womb? So what mom-to-be doesn’t talk to her baby bump and promises them the life ahead of them will be full of love, laughter, and fantastic surprise?
When your child is born, they need the comfort of your voice. A baby starts recognizing how its mother sound in the third trimester. Canadian and Chinese researchers discovered in 2003, babies began to even acknowledge speech patterns and language.
Now, after making a traumatic entrance into the world and wrenched away from the comfort and security of mom’s womb, a baby needs to feel secure and calm. You can bring them that security and comfort with your voice by reading them stories. And if you are feeling overwhelmed with the feeding routine, this is the perfect time to get someone else to read to them as well.
Your baby will build a bond with the sound of their voice so they can help you with the sleep routine.
10to12 Baby Lounge series of sleep stories are designed to help your baby have a peaceful and comforting sleep. Click here now to learn more.
Bedtime Stories Lead To Creating Empathy And Compassion in Your Baby and Child
Children start showing a sense of empathy and compassion from the age of one.
They really start to understand the nuances of it aged two years. They have an understanding of how other people are feeling when they don’t feel it themselves.
This is a great reason why you should continue reading bedtime stories to your child once they are past the ‘baby’ stage because of all the added benefits.
According to Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, an associate professor of pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine:
“Children have an opportunity to think about characters, to think about the feelings of those characters. They learn to use words to describe otherwise difficult feelings, and this enables them to better control their behavior when they have challenging feelings like anger or sadness.”
10to12 Baby Lounge series of sleep stories explore themes storylines encouraging acceptance, empathy, and kindness. And they will instill into your baby and child’s subconscious essential values.
They are created to be read as a lullaby. Encouraging your child to feel connected and calmed by the sound of your voice, or the voice of someone they recognize.