Every parent has a different nighttime story to tell once the baby is home. Lucky are the ones with babies who sleep well at night and are wide awake in the daytime. Our little ones sleeping at night is truly ideal, but for most of us, this is wishful thinking.
A peaceful sleep at night is every mom’s dream. But why do babies tend to fight sleep? Is there a need to train our little ones, or do they naturally transition in time?
The wonderful thing about being a mom is that we have an emotional, psychological, and physical impact on our child from the moment of conception. They listen to us while they are in the womb, and they know our scent.
During its intra-uterine life, the development of its sense of smell predominates a fetus. It is how they connect to your unique scent. The odor of your amniotic fluid helps your baby recognize you and feel secure and comfortable.
The emotional bond makes your little one long for your closeness. Moreover, they will look for your unique scent even during sleep.
Apart from this, the voice, heartbeat, and touch of a mother are their haven. Separation, no matter how fleeting, can disrupt them from slumber.
Sometimes sleep problems arise from an illness. Sick babies tend to feel irritated and fussy while enduring fevers, colds, or a cough. Of course, you cannot expect your child to be happy at this time, but it affects the way they behave during bedtime.
Babies need plenty of sleep to help in healing. So, if their nose is congested, feeding and sleeping can be a big problem. Fever can also cause babies to cry. Worse, it can cause seizures, rashes, or diarrhea.
You should consult your doctor and provide medication immediately to help ease your child’s illness. However, they might need to snuggle throughout the night for a while. They need to feel the warmth of their love and affection to recuperate faster.
A painful experience most infants go through is teething. Parents resort to medicines and teething toys to treat the pain. Rubbing can help lessen the gum ache too, but this is something that can cause your little one to wake up in the middle of the night and cry for help.
Their gums usually become tender and swollen at this period. But the pain usually goes away once the tooth appears. However, while it hasn’t, your child might experience sleepless nights.
Catnapping, in general, is a period of sleep that can be as short as 30 minutes. It can cause babies to feel tired and fussy since the length of their sleep is not enough for them to rest.
When our little ones catnap, they usually find it difficult to go back to sleep once awakened. It thus becomes difficult for parents to predict their sleep cycle. Not knowing when your baby will sleep and wake up can be a dilemma, especially if the baby becomes inconsolable while the parents become exhausted.
To avoid catnapping during their tender months, you will need to look for cues to know when to put your baby to sleep. Sucking fingers and yawning can be a sign, and you need to lull them to sleep so they can be well-rested.
Often, catnaps can disrupt bedtime rest. Thus, you need to prepare the sleeping space to avoid interrupting your little ones when they doze off. Check the temperature, dim the lights, and prevent noise. A cozy bed will likewise be a big help.
If ever your kiddo suddenly wakes up, try to pat them back to sleep. Enough rest will avoid a fussy tot. It will then be easier for you to schedule when to put your infant to nap to keep them awake in the morning and asleep at night.
It is essential to know how much sleeping time babies need in every stage of their development. Sleeping patterns will help you determine whether your little one gets enough sleep based on their age. By following this guide, you can respond to your babies’ needs by following their lead.
Newborns – They sleep for around eight (8) to nine (9) hours during daytime and night, which is roughly sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) hours a day.
From three (3) months, you can already create a routine to practice your baby for a longer sleeping time at night. Cuddling and playing during the daytime can make newborns feel tired and sleepy.
Their sleeping time varies since most infants this age get hungry almost every two (2) hours. Feeding time affects sleeping time too. Hence, if your baby sleeps hungry, you can be sure that he might wake up earlier than his usual naptime.
Twelve (12) months old – Two (2) to three (3) hours of nap during the day, and twelve (12) to sixteen (16) hours during the night.
To start a healthy sleeping routine, you might need to establish a schedule based on recommended hours of sleep. If your routine works, you may notice your baby falling asleep at the same time each day.
It indicates that your baby will naturally feel drowsy whenever the sleepy hour arrives, and you will have to grab this chance to lull them to sleep.
Sleep, Time, and Love
Tripping over toys, singing lullabies, food prep, vaccines due – all of these, along with the sleepless nights – can be very exhausting, and it might affect your mental condition.
Regardless of all the hardships, mom, you are doing great!
Motherhood will require most of your time. These sleepless nights can cause stress that won’t fade even when you take a nap or have a free day.
Time flies, as they say, and it’s the truth. Loving the things you do, no matter how hard, will give you fewer things to stress about and fewer moments to regret in the years to come.Your baby will be little only for some time. They will grow, and growing will not wait, but full nights of sleep will come soon – that is until you start to lose sleep worrying about what your teen or young adult is up to!
So, love the little things you were lucky to experience with your baby. Having a little person that will choose you all the time, even if it’s just because of waking up in the middle of the night, is a blessing.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.