“Help! My baby won’t sleep! ’ is the weary cry of every new parent. We’ve all heard about the sleep deprivation that comes with early parenting, but actually living through it hits us like a ton of bricks. I often fall asleep. Sometimes they go to sleep only at 4am for a long “night sleep”. They need to be woken up regularly, fed and soothed. They take short naps and tend to wake up the moment we put them down, starting the whole cycle from the beginning. All this is quite normal for a 4-month-old baby, but it is important for parents, especially those who are breastfeeding. It is very exhausting for mothers.
But understanding how sleep biology works in the early days of a newborn can help you better meet your newborn’s needs, manage tides and regurgitations, and make the journey a little smoother.
Newborns (0-4 months) sleep a little differently than older babies. They typically sleep and feed all day long, and the two are intricately linked. Eating and sleeping should be on demand. Babies can have vastly different needs from day to day, so looking at the clock or following a feeding and sleeping schedule is not recommended. Instead, we need to observe our babies and educate ourselves about the signals of hunger and fatigue.
What mothers who force their infants on timetables need to know
Two-month-old babies do not have a circadian rhythm, so they have no concept of day or night. We receive melatonin, part of our sleep hormone, in the womb and in breast milk, but we do not produce it ourselves. So it’s not uncommon for newborns to go to bed very late at 2am or 4am and wake up in the “morning” at 11am or 1pm. That’s perfectly fine. You shouldn’t wake your baby up in the morning and set a routine. The circadian rhythm – the body’s internal day and night clock – begins to form after he is two months old, but it really starts to function around he is four months old. At all points, you should follow your baby’s lead and wait for your baby’s body to start falling into a day/night pattern. Of course.
Is your baby too tired?
One of the most important things parents should look for is overwork. It’s actually a sleep bane for babies. You can help your baby fall asleep when observing early sleep cues such as rubbing his eyes, rubbing his ears, pulling his hair, looking a little matted, looking away, or cheering for food early. It is very important to help When these cues are missed, the baby’s body releases the stress hormone cortisol to compensate and wake them up. Experience a rush of 2. In no time, our babies will become hyperactive and eventually grumpy. I’m running late.
Moody is actually a signal of late sleep and a sign of overwork. Now, when they try to sleep, not only does the cortisol in their body make it difficult to fall asleep (leading to enormous sleep resistance), but they also wake up often or early (and grumpy). nap. This cortisol also remains in the body, causing resistance to bedtime and frequent nighttime awakenings. Wake windows are different for different ages. It is important that parents observe early sleep cues and educate themselves on wake windows at all stages to prevent babies from becoming overly tired. It’s only 5-30 minutes, but slowly it’s 30-90 minutes by the 4th month.
Another important phenomenon of the neonatal period is the baby’s need for physical contact with the caregiver. Even if they appear to be in a deep sleep, they often wake up when we put them down. They have survival instincts and wake up when they feel separated from their caregivers. Hold your baby while he naps. This isn’t bad practice, but it’s a biological necessity for babies to grow naturally at some point in their first year of life. If you want your baby to rest well, there’s no way around it. However, there are many practical ways to manage your daily rhythms while effectively “sleep-nurturing” your newborn baby. Long naps are a priority because sleep is so important to your baby’s growth and development. Additionally, incomplete naps lead to excessive fatigue, leading to more sleep disturbances.
Babies seem to need cuddles throughout the daytime nap, but can usually be put to bed during the “night sleep” chunks. Co-sleeping is recommended according to safety standards as it is biologically normal, convenient and healthy for babies. Breastfeeding to put your baby to sleep before or during a nap or night’s sleep is also biologically normal. One of the most useful and powerful tools on the market, breastfeeding induces sleep and babies feel very calm and comfortable at the breast.
Why is my baby noisy?
It’s normal for newborns to have a fussy period in the evening, called “witch time.” Babies often cry during this time. They may be picky about their chests, or feed for short but very frequent feedings, which may cluster feedings. Sometimes this nightly commotion intersects with what some doctors call “colic.” This is an infamous and unexplained phenomenon that causes a baby to cry for her three hours a day, three times a week, for three weeks or more.
There are several theories as to what caused this night’s commotion. Of course, the first scapegoat is breastfeeding, and we often hear the voice around us that “the baby doesn’t have enough milk.” However, this is usually not the case. Babies feed in groups and very often. They may be filling up their little bellies for the night ahead. They may be overstimulated and overly tired from the events of the day. They may remember their mothers being active during this period and want to be hugged, rocked and nurtured in the same way.
Interestingly, anthropologists have found that babies in many traditional societies do not have colic or night fuss. and sleep as needed. Stimulate or wear your baby with rocking with music, taking your baby outdoors, reducing lighting, and an ergonomic baby carrier.
A newborn’s sleep can seem like a dark tunnel with no light at the end. However, understanding the basics of how to avoid overexertion can make a dramatic difference.
(Dalmia is an infant and child sleep expert and co-founder of the support group Gentle Baby Sleep India. Last year, she co-wrote the book Sleeping Like a Baby. [Penguin India])