Teach Your Child to Sleep Through the Night
It's natural for a baby to sleep fairly lightly in the first months of life. However, there are things you can do to help him sleep better. Find out what they are by reading this article
Would you like to teach your child to sleep? It’s not realistic to expect a baby to sleep through the night. A baby who wakes up several times a night is absolutely normal. Many parents would like their child to sleep through the night, but not even adults do this.
The sleep cycle of adults doesn’t allow them to sleep through the night either, but after waking they go back to sleep. A baby can spend 17 hours a day sleeping, which includes periods when they wake up. There’s not much you can teach them about sleeping well. They are great at sleeping!
What Should We Know About How Children Sleep?
This is a natural process in all humans. In the brains of newborns, the sleep cycles last from 2 to 3 hours. The point is, that once awake, it’s difficult for them to get back to sleep and they cry.
In the 9 months that they have been in the uterus, they spent a good part of the time asleep. They alternated this with getting nutrition by way of the umbilical cord. When they woke up, they heard the heartbeat and their mother’s voice and fell asleep again. When they are born, they literally wake up.
Newborns wake up, cry, eat, and then go back to sleep. This is the way they spend their day. If babies are breastfeeding, at about 20 minutes, the milk is digested. If they are drinking formula, it will take 2 hours to be digested. Afterwards, they wake up again and the cycle begins again.
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My Baby Used to Sleep, But Doesn’t Anymore
In the first two months of a baby’s life, sleep tends to be peaceful, but after the third or fourth month it becomes lighter. It’s when the baby wakes up more times in the night. Many mothers blame themselves for failing to teach their babies to sleep well. Actually this pattern of sleep is normal in all babies that are maturing in their sleep cycles.
At 8 months of age, a baby’s sleep has gotten to all of the phases (the four phases of slow sleep and the one phase of rapid sleep.) At 3 years of age, sleep is like an adult’s, except that it’s still not for the long periods of time that adults sleep. It’s not until 5 or 6 years old that a child has overcome all of the difficulties in sleeping through the night.
How do you get them to sleep through the night?
It’s normal that parents ask if they are doing alright, if something abnormal is occurring if their baby isn’t sleeping and instead is crying. However, an atmosphere charged with worry, anxiety and tension is the worst situation for encouraging a baby to make it through the night without waking up.
There are the Feber and the Estivill methods that recommend allowing the child to cry until he calms down. As a result, after so much crying, after awhile, he’ll sleep from fatigue because of waiting for someone to tend to him. You’ll need to decide if this idea is for you and your child.
According to Dr. Rosa Jove, author of Sleeping Without Tears, allowing a child to cry causes emotional shock. It alters the hormones that regulate emotions and it teaches the baby the it doesn’t make sense to fuss because his mother isn’t going to answer his call.
The pediatrician, Carlos González is the author of books such as Kiss Me A lot. How to Raise Your Children With Love. He explains that when a baby wakes up and cries for his mother he’s hoping that she will come get him. If his mother does, he learns to have answers to his requests.
Nevertheless, he tells parents to limit contact with their children and not feel compelled to console them, since this spoils them. It’s completely normal for children to wake up during the night and want to be tended to fall back asleep.
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How to Help Your Child
After many times waking up during the night, you’re tired. Therefore, you want something to help you and your little one. We know that it’s not easy to stay calm. But, if you are in agreement with ethical child rearing, you know that allowing a baby to cry is not an option.
The basic recommendation is to have patience until your baby matures and regulates his cycles. Even though they tell you a certain method functioned for a particular baby, that baby isn’t necessarily the same as your child. The daily life you have with your baby will help you discover what functions for both of you.
However, establishing some routines helps to bring about the peacefulness that your child needs before going to sleep. Among these are:
• Give a bath before going to sleep
• Avoid toys and bright mobiles in the crib or the bed since they keep her awake.
• If the child is over 2 years old and now watches television or plays with a tablet, use shouldn’t exceed one hour a day.
• When a baby feels very tired, it can be difficult to get to sleep. Due to this, a nap is a valuable recourse.
• If she doesn’t like the dark or is afraid of the dark, leave a dim light on.
• Avoid upset, and even less with reprimands or punishment of going to sleep. Associating it with punishment is not a good idea.
• Have a ritual for going to bed. You can sing a lullaby, read a story, or talk a bit.
The style and methods of child rearing that a mother chooses for her child is her decision. Nevertheless, we insist that it’s important to respect the cycles and idiosyncrasies of each child. At the same time, it’s necessary to understand that the formula that works for one baby doesn’t necessarily help another one.
Your baby will not always be a baby. The nights of fatigue for parents are part of seeing a baby mature and grow. Have patience, very soon he will not be a baby. What is a problem today will be behind you tomorrow. In the future you’ll have time to rest more.