Sleep of newborns differs from sleep of adults in many indicators, both quantitative and qualitative. In the first few weeks of life, the baby sleeps on average about 16 hours a day. At this stage, the rhythm of sleep - wakefulness is irregular and individual.
During pregnancy, when the mother lives an active life, the baby seems to be lulled by the routine sounds of her activity and sleeps peacefully, but when the woman decided to lie down, the baby begins to stay awake. Instinctive motivations such as hunger and thirst prevail over a child’s sleep. The need for frequent meals arises due to the intensive growth rate of the baby. The biological rhythm of sleep and wakefulness of an infant is 3-4 hours and is associated with a cycle of satiety. As a rule, children who are in artificial feeding can sleep for a longer period than babies who are breast-fed (the latter sometimes require up to 12 feedings per day). Initial adaptation to short baby sleep periods can be very unpleasant for young parents.
How to prolong a newborn’s sleep?
In the first weeks of life, parents can do little to make their baby's sleep more regular. But it is important to remember that you should avoid lying on your stomach while you sleep. Sleeping on your back significantly reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There should not be any objects in the cradle that could interfere with the breathing of the newborn, for example, toys, pillows, lace. Even bed bumpers should be avoided. The baby’s bed should not be too soft, and the blanket should not extend further than the chest line, leaving the baby’s head open.
As they grow older, the infant’s sleep gradually strives to synchronize with the external environment, moving in the direction of longer wakefulness during the day and a better sleep at night. Fundamental, in this sense, is the activity of the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus in response to a series of external stimuli. This physiological adaptation process can be somewhat accelerated if at night you allow your child to sleep in a dark, quiet environment. Stimuli to wakefulness will be reduced if you even carry out a diaper change in the soft light of a night lamp. Ignore the childish provocations to play in the middle of the night. You can create your own ritual of falling asleep - with lullabies and fairy tales. Music in the background, while the baby is about to fall asleep, will help you treat yourself to a restorative sleep, which is also very important for a young mother.