Discover the Sleeping Science for Infants and learn key takeaways to help your little one get the rest they need. Our comprehensive guide covers sleep patterns, regressions, night wakes, and healthy sleep habits.
Sleep is crucial for the growth and development of infants. However, there are many misconceptions about infant sleep that can cause anxiety and stress for parents. In this blog post, we will explore the science of sleeping for infants and provide key takeaways for parents to help their little ones get the rest they need.
Infant Sleep Patterns
The amount of sleep that infants need varies depending on their age. Newborns typically sleep much of the time, but their sleep is in very short segments. As a baby grows, the total amount of sleep slowly decreases, but the length of nighttime sleep increases. Generally, newborns sleep about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and about 8 hours at night. However, they may not sleep more than 1 to 2 hours at a time.
Most babies don’t start sleeping through the night (6 to 8 hours) without waking until they are about 3 months old or until they weigh 12 to 13 pounds. About two-thirds of babies are able to sleep through the night on a regular basis by the age of 6 months.
It’s important to note that babies have different sleep cycles than adults. Babies spend much less time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (which is dream time sleep) and the cycles are shorter.
Sleep Regressions and Night Wakes
One common misconception about infant sleep is the idea of “sleep regressions.” However, according to experts in the field of sleeping science for infants, sleep regressions aren’t real. Night wakes are normal and even protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Additionally, 12 hours of sleep isn’t a gold standard.
Night wakes are a normal part of infant development and can even have benefits. For example, night wakes can help protect against SIDS by preventing infants from entering too deep a state of sleep.
Creating Healthy Sleep Habits
Recognizing signs of sleep readiness is key to helping infants develop healthy sleep habits. Signs that a baby is ready for sleep may include rubbing their eyes, yawning, looking away, or fussing.
Surprisingly, not all babies know how to put themselves to sleep or go back to sleep if they are awakened in the night. When it’s time for bed, many parents want to rock or breastfeed their baby to help them fall asleep. While creating a bedtime routine is a good idea, it’s important not to let your baby fall asleep in your arms.
Instead, try putting your baby down in their crib while they are drowsy but still awake. This will help them learn how to fall asleep on their own. It may take some time and patience, but it’s an important skill for infants to develop.
In conclusion, understanding the science of sleeping for infants is crucial for parents. By recognizing common misconceptions about infant sleep and learning about healthy sleep habits, parents can help their little ones get the rest they need for growth and development.
- Infant sleep patterns change over time
- Sleep regressions aren’t real
- Night wakes are normal and can have benefits
- Recognizing signs of sleep readiness can help create healthy sleep habits
- Helping infants learn how to fall asleep on their own is important
By keeping these points in mind and following the latest research in sleeping science for infants, parents can help their little ones get the rest they need to grow and thrive.
Learn More: Baby Sleep Miracle