Baby’s sleep is essential for his growth and well-being, because rest is restorative and necessary for his good physical development and the maturation of his brain. Indeed, it is during its sleep that the hormones necessary for its growth are secreted in an optimal way.
Sleep differs by age:
In newborns, it consists of short cycles (50/60 min) with falling asleep in restless sleep, which can be interrupted by brief awakenings (from 30 seconds to 1 min). Don’t rush to pick up the baby when he cries! Many times, a newborn baby will go back to sleep on his own if not disturbed. If he continues to cry, he may be hungry or have a wet diaper.
In small children from 1 to 6 months
From 1 to 6 months, the day-night periodicity appears, with longer periods of nighttime sleep and daytime awakening. Restless sleep decreases. The 4-month-old infant becomes more dependent on his environment: day / night alternation, regularity of meals, games, walks, etc.
In children from 6 months to 4 years
From 6 months to 4 years, the daytime sleep time is reduced and regularized: three or four naps per day at 6 months, two between 9 and 12 months, only one around 18 months.
That of the morning disappears. That in the afternoon should be offered earlier because the child shows signs of fatigue, hence the need to adapt the meal time.
Bedtime difficulties can appear: fear of separation, of giving in to sleep, refusal to interrupt games …
In all children
Vigilance drops between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.: the nap must take place during this period.
There are frequent and minor disorders that can be favored by an irregular wake / sleep rhythm such as night terrors (9% of 3-10 year olds), sleepwalking (15% of 3-10 year olds), nightmares, bedwetting , rhythms (the child swings on his side when falling asleep or between two cycles).
It’s nap time !
Contrasts day / night, times of getting up, going to bed, meals: time givers, landmarks synchronizing the child’s life, facilitate the lengthening of daytime awakenings and nocturnal sleep phases.
It is therefore better to favor natural light during the day and, from 4 months, regularize the times of getting up and going to bed. It is beneficial for the child to have structured activities with a specific start and end.
Bedtime guides and little rituals make it easier for the child to fall asleep, with the maternal assistant as well as at home.
Comfort and calm
- Comfortable clothing promotes better sleep for the child.
- White noise promotes better and longer sleep
- Keep the crib clear of blankets and
Institute a bedtime ritual very early:
- song, story, caress, “dodo” sign accompanying a rhyme .
It is essential to discuss the child’s sleep habits with parents.
- Their continuity, especially at the start of the reception, reassures him.
- If he usually falls asleep in or near the adult, offer the bed, staying next to him for the first time, then change slowly, until he feels secure enough to fall asleep on his own. .
Important: do not put the child already asleep in the bed.
- Teach your baby to fall asleep on his own by placing him in bed tired but still awake.
- From 5 months, infants lying asleep wake up more often than those who know how to fall asleep without their parents.
- Slumber Pod is a portable sleep tent for babies. It also makes it so much easier for your baby to go to sleep anywhere. The full blackout tent will ensure your baby has a cozy and dark place to sleep anytime. If you would like to learn more about this cool baby accessory you can read this detailed review of the SlumberPod.
Rest and meals are separated:
- day and night, if we give food to the child who wakes up so that he falls asleep again when he is not hungry, he will get into the habit of calming down only by eating.
Soft toy and pacifier?
The comfortably sized blanket allows the child to soak up a familiar and reassuring scent. It is the transitional object that links him to the mother: she is not there but it is a little of her that he keeps close to him. Around 9 months, avoid putting his pacifier in his mouth but allow him to take it alone, as he already knows how to do during the day.
Sleep and food:
Should a baby be fed every time he cries?
No, except in the first few weeks or months of life when he needs constant nourishment during the day and night.
- Towards the end of the 1 th month your baby will gradually space out meals.
- Around 5 – 6 months: he no longer has to wake up to eat.
Day or night, if you feed a child when he is not hungry, he gets into the habit of being soothed and going back to sleep again by eating.
Sleep and screens
Watch out for passive television!
- Lit in the background, it is as harmful as when the child looks at it: he is constantly cut off in his process of playing and learning.
- It is important that the child plays and sleeps in a calm environment.
Pediatricians recommend for:
- 0-3 years old: no screen,
- 3-6 year olds: from 30 minutes to 1 hour maximum,
- the 4 steps: no screen in the morning, before sleeping, during meals and in the bedroom
Prevent sleep disturbances:
The time and duration of the nap should be appropriate for the child’s age:
- Too frequent, deleted too early, too long, too late, it can lead to a delay in going to bed and waking up at night.
- A Baby sleep time is measured over 24 hours.
- His need for a nap is assessed on his behavior at the end of the afternoon.
- Poor sleep patterns can cause hyperactivity or aggression.
- Disorders can appear in a child who slept well following a change in his family environment: the mother’s return to work, the start of foster care outside the family home, the birth of another child, return from vacation
Talking with parents is important to find together the origin of the disorder and solutions. If they persist, generating discomfort for the other children received, discussing with the nursery nurse makes it possible to assess the situation and reorganize the nap, in conjunction with the parents. A sleep diary can be offered to assess rhythms.