You can never start developing sleep habits too early. These sleeping tips will help first-time parents as well as repeat offenders with decreasing their sleep deprivation during those first few months of night wakings.
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? First, You Must Understand A Newborn’s Sleep Pattern
Sleep cycles in newborns differ from those of adults. While there are similarities, babies experience equally divided periods of rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. Typically, newborns experience five stages of sleep.
Teaching Newborns To Sleep At Night – Stage 1: Drowsiness
Similar to adults, drowsiness is the first stage of a newborn’s sleep-wake cycle. Newborns slowly settle and then drift off to sleep.
Teaching Newborns To Sleep At Night – Stage 2: Active Sleep (REM)
During REM sleep, babies twitch and move. Sometimes they jerk their legs and arms. This is called the startle (Moro) reflex. It is an automatic reaction to a noise or sudden motion. Typically, the reflex disappears after three to four months. Infant eyes will move around under closed eyelids reminiscent of REM in older children and adults .
For infants under six months of age, breathing may show signs of irregularity. This condition is referred to as “normal periodic breathing of infancy.” Your infant may stop breathing for 5 to 10 seconds. This is followed by a rapid burst of breathing for another 10 to 15 seconds. Breaths per minute can reach 50-60 during these bursts. Afterward, the normal breathing pattern resumes until the cycle starts again. Skin color should not change during these periods.
This is normal. Your baby will outgrow this period by the middle of the first year.
Teaching Newborns To Sleep At Night – Stage 3: Light Sleep
A regular pattern of breathing characterizes the light sleep stage. Your baby also becomes less active during this time.
Teaching Newborns To Sleep At Night – Stage 4 and 5: Quiet Sleep (NREM)
During NREM sleep, movements cease. The sleep is so deep that waking your baby may be difficult.
Some research contends that human growth hormones are most actively released during this time, a critical component in your child’s development and growth.
At six to eight weeks, babies will be awake more during the day, and their sleeping hours at night will increase. It is vital to let infants sleep as much as they need. By six months, babies still need two to three naps a day.
How do we help babies learn to sleep through the night? We looked around and asked several mothers for their treasured and trusted tips that helped them settle their babies.
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? Yes, Here Are The Top 8 Tried And Tested Tips
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #8 – Drowsy Discipline
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? Do not wait for your baby to fall fully asleep. Settle them in their cribs or bassinets when they are drowsy.
Training infants to fall asleep on their own is the start of developing good sleep hygiene that will follow them through their toddler and childhood years.
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #7 – Teaching Time Difference
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? Circadian rhythms must be honed in babies. Parents are key in helping their babies recognize the cues to fall asleep and awaken.
First, let light and sound in during the day. Your baby will learn this is their wake time. Go outside, and have your visitors in the morning and early afternoon.
As afternoon changes to evening, lessen the stimuli. Dim the lights in the nursery and the area just outside the room.
If your baby wakes up at night, do not turn on the lights. Set them to dim at highest. Try to feed in the dark. Eventually, your baby will fall asleep by themselves at night and develop a regular sleep schedule.
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #6 – Wait It Out
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? Infants frequently stir but settle back to sleep as long as they are not hungry, wet, or fully awake. For the first three or four months, your baby may experience the startle reflex while sleeping. Do not rush into the nursery if you hear your baby cry. Babies should be given the opportunity to self-settle .
If you do settle your baby, do not stay for too long or you will end up with a mix of cooing and crying through the night.
For those that room-share, remember to practice safe co-sleeping. Your baby should be placed in a bassinet or crib at night to decrease the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Some babies prefer swaddling while others do not.
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #5 – Distinctive Day and Night Activities
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? Make daytime activities lively and entertaining. This is the time to practice developmental exercises and skin-to-skin contact with your baby.
Parents should practice quiet, peaceful activities at night especially as it grows closer to bedtime.
This advice goes for feeding as well. Make daytime feeding social and entertaining while nighttime feeding should settle your baby.
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #4 – Observe the Signs
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? Even as newborns, humans already have their own personalities. Babies reveal their own personal signs that they are sleepy and ready to be tucked in for the night.
Babies usually pull or flick at ears, rub eyes, yawn and stretch. Some will lose interest in their toys and surroundings. Be flexible. Just when you think you know your little one, a growth spurt will hit, and sleep will increase for a while.
Commonly, growth spurts occur at around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3, 4, 6 and 9 months. However, babies do not read calendars. So, your little one might be a little bit different.
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #3 – Be Consistent
Babies love routines. Set simple bedtime routines that babies will look forward to as they get older. It can be a warm bath followed by a massage and a bedtime story. Choose a story without the need for actions or vivid storytelling. Do not hesitate to read to a newborn. They have heard your voice since before they were born and find it a source of comfort.
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? Yes, but you must be consistent with your routine even on weekends.
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #2 – Safe and Secure
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night? For babies older than six months, a security object is an excellent way to ease separation anxiety as children begin to recognize the absence of a parent.
For babies younger than six months, do not use a soft toy, pillow, or comforter as it may increase the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night – #1 – Wait On Solids
In the past, it was common to introduce solid foods to young babies to ensure they were full at bedtime. We now know that early introduction of solids can cause more problems such as allergies and gastrointestinal issues. This can lead to an increase in sleepless nights. Do not start your baby on solids until they are at least six months old.
Schedule a feeding just before your baby goes to sleep so you know they are fed and full.
Having a baby changes everyone’s schedule especially the parents’. It is important to realize that despite the best efforts at sleep training, newborns are on their own schedule. Parents should try to nap when their babies are sleeping. Over time, parents will learn what it takes to get their baby to sleep. Your little one will be well on their way to developing good sleep habits.
Can A Newborn Sleep Through The Night, Teaching Newborns To Sleep At Night, Tips To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night Reference:
 Stanford Children’s Hospital; Newborn-Sleep Patterns.
 American Academy of Pediatrics; Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know, Rachel Moon.
 Baby Loves Sleep; Coping with Startle Reflex, June 02, 2017.