Unraveling the Enigma of Baby Sleep: Grasping the Intriguing Realm of Slumber for Infants and Its Distinct Obstacles
Babies who are just born tend to sleep for around 18 hours every day. Although new parents often complain of sleep deprivation, it is usually their own experience rather than the baby’s. This is because newborns require a considerable amount of sleep, ranging from 15 to 18 hours per day. However, the issue lies in the fact that they distribute this sleep into multiple intervals throughout the entire day and night. Fortunately, as the first few months pass, their internal clock begins to function better, allowing them to sleep for more extended periods during the night.
Babies who are just born have a limited duration of being awake, which is around 45 minutes to an hour.
Freshly born infants can only remain contentedly conscious for short periods, typically around an hour or less. Over time, this duration lengthens, and by six months of age, babies can manage two to three hours of wakefulness. However, it is still an abbreviated period of time for the little ones. Should your baby exceed their “happy awake time,” they might become excessively tired and irritable. This state can lead to sleep disruption, hindered growth, and poor temperament. If you wish to improve your baby’s sleep routine, be attentive to both the clock and your infant’s behavior. It is easy to overlook signals of fatigue in newborns, leading them to stay awake for too long. Observe your baby closely to identify when they appear to be worn out and provide them with ample opportunities to rest. More sleep will ultimately result in a contented child. Lastly, newborns are known to be restless and noisy sleepers.
Babies are not silent and still when they sleep, instead they make a variety of noises such as grunting, cooing, moaning, and even crying or nursing. However, these sounds and movements do not necessarily mean the baby is waking up or in need of attention. It’s important to take a moment to observe and listen before picking up the baby. It’s also important to ensure the baby is safe while sleeping by using an anti-roll pillow and dressing them in comfortable clothes and booties. Additionally, babies do not prefer complete silence when sleeping.
Babies are used to a constant flow of sounds while they are still in the womb. This means that many newborns may feel uncomfortable in a completely quiet room. However, loud or sudden noises such as clanging dishes, barking dogs, or television noise can startle and wake a sleeping baby. To prevent this, parents can use white noise, a consistent low humming sound that acts as a barrier against household sounds. Pink noise, a variation of white noise, is even better since it sounds more natural and soothing. Examples of pink noise include sounds like the beating of a heart, waves crashing, or raindrops falling. It’s important to adjust the volume of the noise to ensure it blocks sharp sounds but isn’t too loud for the baby’s ears. Lastly, it’s worth noting that babies do not have their days and nights mixed up, they just think that their parents do.
Many people believe that newborns don’t know the difference between day and night because they were accustomed to a consistent environment in the womb. In reality, babies are new to the concept of day and night and may even view their caretakers as the confused ones. It takes time for a baby’s internal clock to align with a 24-hour schedule. Unlike adults who sleep in one long stretch at night, newborns tend to nap for shorter periods throughout the day and night. This is a normal part of newborn sleep patterns and will gradually develop over the first few months.