All expectant parents during pregnancy are prepared for the fact that quiet nights will soon be over. Newborns do not yet have a regular sleep schedule and need to get up frequently to breastfeed and switch. But when do babies start to sleep at night and is it really beneficial for little ones? We show you what the sleep expert advises, and what tricks and products help you sleep through the night.
When do children sleep at night?
Adults can easily sleep for 8 hours without waking up. It takes children a long time to develop. In the first 3 months of the newborn, it is impossible to sleep through the night. Although toddlers sleep an average of 16 to 18 hours a day, they usually only sleep 3 to 4 hours at a time. It is only after about 6 months that the sleep rhythm is slowly established, which is based on the rhythm of the day and night. But even at such a young age, children cannot sleep for 8 hours at a time like adults.
The earliest you should from the age of one Suppose your baby can sleep for 6 to 8 hours. Until the age of 3, it is completely normal, even in this important phase of development, for children to wake up at night, go to bed with their parents, drink or go to the toilet. If you also take into account that babies and toddlers usually go to bed quite early, around 6pm to 8pm, parents must expect to wake up between midnight and 3am at the latest in the first months.
Should children sleep through the night?
The idea of putting the child to bed and getting up together after a quiet night is unfortunately quite unrealistic and undesirable. Under no circumstances should babies be more than 4 hours in the first 4 months sleep during this time, midwives recommend breastfeeding approximately every 3 hours. Most of the time, the little ones also need to be wrapped. Babies who do not wake up on their own unfortunately need to be awakened to gain weight through regular breastfeeding or bottlefeeding.
Parents should also lower their expectations after the first 4-6 months and not get impatient. It is only natural for a baby not to get enough sleep through the night so quickly. As Sibylle Lüpold sleep therapist explains on the kleinstadt.ch blog:
The idea of sleeping is relatively young. The human dream is divided. The hunter-gatherer only slept eight hours at a time, that would be too dangerous. It was only with industrialization and meritocracy that there was pressure to sleep at night in order to be productive again in the morning.
Sibylle Lüpold at kleinstadt.ch
What are the disadvantages of sleeping through the night for babies?
According to the expert, parents should also remember that numerous new sensations, such as changing from parental bed to your own crib, getting used to nursery or other changes, need to be processed – not exactly the best starting point for getting used to a set sleep rhythm. In addition, waking up several times a night also has advantages: if the mother is breastfeeding, milk flow is stimulated by regular night meals. Moreover, it prevents sudden death of an infantbecause the baby protects itself from the risky phases of deep sleep.
How do I make my baby sleep all night?
With a lot of empathy and patience, you can try after 6 months to slowly train your baby to a more regular rhythm. While he won’t get enough sleep at night, you can encourage slow progression in this direction:
- routine: Constant routines during the day and evening keep children safe and therefore a basis for easier falling asleep. Here are more tips for putting your baby to sleep.
- Permanent place to sleep: Do not switch between the cot and the parent’s bed to get the baby used to the sleeping place.
- Don’t play in bed: Just as adults should not watch TV or work on a computer while in bed, babies should only know their crib as a place to sleep.
- Not sleeping 4 hours before going to bed: Babies also need to sleep during the day. However, there should be at least 4 hours between daytime and nighttime sleep.
- Breastfeed or continue to feed with peace of mind: Try to breastfeed as little as possible or feed your baby when he wakes up during the night. Keep the light sources muffled and not distracted by games and noises.
- Milk meal before bedtime: Saturated babies sleep better at night.
- Put your baby to bed tired but awake: In this way, the baby learns to fall asleep on its own.
All of these tips may or may not help. Experience with siblings shows that sleeping needs vary individually. In addition, crying babies have difficulty developing a sleep routine rapidly. In this case, it’s best to talk to your midwife or pediatrician.
There are different methods of training your baby’s sleep rhythm:
The best baby sleeping products
Even if your baby does not sleep all night before the age of one, it is important to make the sleeping environment as comfortable as possible from an early age. While adults need good bedding, babies need a good sleeping bag. It should be warm but still breathable and allow some freedom of movement. You will not go wrong with the best-selling HALO sleeping bag from the USA. Thanks to the zipper, you can quickly change your baby’s diaper at night, keeping sleep interruptions as short as possible. The sleeveless design also prevents overheating. The sleeping bag for babies from 0 to 36 months is available in three sizes:
In addition, children should be provided with aids that they can use on their own to calm down. They can be pacifiers, but also cuddly toys. Stuffed animals are especially good, as they can also make soothing sounds. SNOO Bear even reacts to children’s crying with white noise – quite amazing! You can get the SNOO Bear from the happiest baby for 54.95 euro:
In addition to soothing sounds, the rocking movements also have a calming effect on babies. This is the experience of many parents whose children sleep much better in a car or in a pram than in their own bed. Therefore, a baby crib with automatic weighing can also be a real blessing. The SNOO sleeping bag also reacts to the baby’s crying with gentle movements. This way, the little ones get used to their own bed faster as a place where they can feel safe. When your baby grows out of the crib, they will also be able to move to their crib in their own room more quickly. In addition, you can use the related app to see your baby’s sleeping habits and thus respond to his or her needs in the long run. You can buy SNOO Sleeper for 1295 euros from the happiest child:
The first child is a difficult learning process for any mother. We can’t completely free you from it, but these tips can make your new life easier:
Image Credit: Getty Images / monkeybusinessimages
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