When we took the little baby home from the hospital, we should have prepared almost everything-not wet urine, small beds, beautiful bedding, baby bottles, etc. But the doctor did not explain how we would coax the baby to sleep or help us define the concept of true sleep. We went home with the joy of having a newborn, but we were exhausted and turned over in the first few months.
1) Sleep signals of newborns
There is a saying in English called “Sleeping like a baby”, (sleeping like a baby), in our cognition the sleep of an infant is an ideal state. But in fact, this is not the case. To apply this sentence pattern, it should be “sleeping like a baby’s dad”. In fact, the wake-up time of newborns is very limited, and even after 3 months, the longest wake-up time is not more than
2 hours. However, the newborn’s sleep has not formed a regular pattern, so setting a strict work schedule is not necessarily effective. At this time, it is necessary to rely on the baby’s sleep signal to arrange to fall asleep in time.
In the newborn period, the sleep signal is very obvious, and the well-known yawn is particularly easy to observe. As the child ages, the baby’s ability to control his body increases, and many other sleep signals develop. I summarized some common sleep signals according to the dimensions.
However, not all babies’ sleep signals are consistent, so more observation and more experience can better capture the time to coax.
2) The relationship between newborn sleep and feeding
Feeding and sleeping are more closely related at the neonatal stage than at any other stage. It can be said that the driving force of sleep at this stage is feeding-it is difficult for a baby who is not full to sleep well. However, the expression ability of newborns is still very limited, so it is often difficult for us to judge when a baby is hungry and when it is sleepy. Sometimes when you have just fed your baby and your baby has to eat again, it will make you more confused about whether TA is full. Let’s take a look at the common signs of hunger in newborns:
Open your mouth or smacking lips
(fingers, toes, clothes, etc.)
Rooting (foraging reflexes, shaking your head back and forth, looking for nipples with your mouth)
Irritability or crying.
The picture below shows the three stages of hunger signals provided by the Australian government.
In general, crying and irritability means that the baby is already very hungry. Try to arrange for breastfeeding when the baby is not hungry. Because stomach capacity is still limited during the neonatal period, breastfeeding can be done once during the night and before sleep, which can help extend the duration of sleep.
At 0-3 months, if you are breastfeeding, it is highly recommended that you feed on demand. Of course, feeding on demand requires the premise of grasping the child’s hunger signal, otherwise, it can easily be reduced to the weird “feeding by crying”. If you want to breastfeed on time, depending on the average child’s stomach capacity, the feeding interval can be about 2-3 hours. If it is milk powder feeding, you can adopt the mode of feeding on time, and the interval between two meals should not exceed 3 hours.
Whether you eat enough is mainly judged by your baby’s urine and stool volume. You can also check the weight gain situation through a professional medical infant weight scale.
3) The sleep cycle of a newborn
The behavior of the newborn stage can be divided into 6 stages according to the level of consciousness:
Sleep patterns in newborns and even early childhood are actually very different from those in adults.
Let’s take a look at the sleep cycle for adults
Note 1: It is usually easy to be awakened by a sudden sound at this stage. This wakeful reaction actually represents that you entered the REM sleep stage at the wrong time. At this point, you will feel muscle paralysis, and most people react to dreaming of falling.
Note 2: Some people will sweat or even get wet at this stage. This is normal. And if you are awakened at this stage, you will feel very confused and it will take some time to respond.
The sleep cycle of an adult usually lasts 90 minutes. The first sleep cycle usually consists of NREM. After 90 minutes, it will enter the REM phase. The first REM after falling asleep lasts only a few minutes, and then it will enter the next NREM phase. The sooner dawn comes, the longer the duration of REM, so you are likely to be dreaming when you wake up in the morning. If it is chronic sleep deprivation, the first REM phase will occur earlier, such as 30-40 minutes after falling asleep. People with sleep deprivation also experience more third and fourth stages of sleep.
Although the order of the usual sleep cycles is:
But for various reasons, the sleep cycle does not necessarily follow this order every day. On some nights, you may not have the third and fourth stages of sleep at all. If you have a Xiaomi bracelet, you can observe it. Sometimes, although you sleep for 8+ hours at night, it only shows more than an hour of deep sleep. 7 hours, but 4+ hours of deep sleep.
The sleep cycle of a newborn is not as many stages as the sleep cycle of an adult. The sleep cycle of a newborn can be roughly divided into two phases:
Active sleep (similar to REM sleep)
Quiet Sleep (similar to NREM sleep)
Among them, 50% of the sleep is active REM sleep. At this stage of sleep, the baby’s breathing is uneven, he will stretch his arms and legs, he will make a sucking action with his mouth open, and he will even open his eyes and even smile. Out loud. After entering the quiet NREM sleep, they will be almost motionless and their breathing will become very regular.
There are many different sleep cycles for adults and newborns:
》》 The length of the sleep cycle: 60 minutes for babies and 90 minutes for adults. So for young children, about 30 minutes after falling asleep, it begins to switch from light sleep to deep sleep, so it is normal to wake up easily.
》》 The order of the sleep stages is different. Adults enter NREM first after entering sleep, and then 90 minutes before entering REM. The opposite is true for babies, who enter light sleep first and then deep sleep after 20-30 minutes.
》》 The proportion of REM is different. For newborn babies, about 50% of their sleep time is light sleep, while adults have only 20-25% of REM sleep. By the age of 10, only 20% had light sleep.
》》 In 3-4 months, the sleep mode will begin to turn into an adult, and there will be a “stage two-spindle activity” (second stage sleep spindle wave, which can ensure that sleep is protected from external noise). By 6 months At that time, NREM sleep will have stages 1-4 like adults. At the same time, another important part of sleep, “spontaneous K complexes” (sleep K complexes, is used to maintain sleep)
After 60 minutes of sleep, babies usually have a very short awakening period. Some babies may turn around and then go back to sleep, while some babies may experience sleepwalking or night terrors. After this awakening, the baby will return to deep sleep. Sometimes, after the REM sleep, there will be a short awakening. This is different from the awakening described above. This time the awakened baby will be completely awake and hope you can help him fall asleep. This is what we often say “Wake up at night.”
2. Common problems:
1) Irregular sleep
There is also a very big difference between the sleep patterns of infants and adults. Adult sleep is single-phase sleep, that is to say, adults usually only have a period of sleep that lasts about 8 hours. Habits are a cultural arrangement, not a physical one), and babies have polyphasic sleep. In the first 0-3 months, babies sleep every 2-4 hours, regardless of day or night. At 6 months, with a clear circadian rhythm, the baby’s sleep will be like that of an adult. Most of the sleep occurs at night, and more time is spent during the day. Therefore, there is no clear nighttime sleep time at this stage, and 20-24 o’clock may be the beginning of night vision. The duration of sleep during the day, the duration of the small sleep is not fixed.
To deal with this kind of irregular phenomenon, do not need to be overly anxious. There is no need to help your baby to set a strict work schedule as suggested by many popular sleep adjustment books. What we can do is to carefully observe the sleep signal and hunger signal to ensure that the baby is scheduled to fall asleep while feeding.
2) Short sleep
Unlike babies, babies can sleep without feeling when they alternate with the sleep cycle. If you wake up and find that your surroundings are not the same as when you fell asleep, you will wake up. For example, if you are in bed when you are asleep, and you wake up in the middle of the night and find yourself sleeping on the ground without a cover, you will probably wake up immediately-this is biological instinct. So if you fall asleep or cuddling at sleep, you will also want to re-engraving the way you fall asleep when the sleep cycle is alternated to make you fall back to sleep.
The solution is a sensation. In the neonatal period, I recommend “sleep enough, then sleep right”. Whether the way you fall asleep meets your expectations and whether you are “healthy” is not as important as being full. The amount of sleep required at this stage is still relatively large, and it averages around 16 hours (14-22 hours are possible), so when the children themselves can’t sleep long, we need to help them to feel it.
The principle of sensation is to repeat the way of falling asleep, so how to coax how to sleep will be more successful. The time of perception needs to be determined according to ordinary observations. If it is easy to wake up at 30 minutes, then the way to fall asleep at about 25 minutes, such as starting to shoot or even holding it up. It usually takes 5-20 minutes to connect. After receiving the sleep, try to consolidate until the baby enters deep sleep (you can determine whether to enter deep sleep according to the baby’s body reaction, such as the muscles are completely relaxed, raise your arms and then release your hands, the baby’s arms will naturally fall down), and then let go The bed continued to sleep. Sensing may not be successful, so do n’t be discouraged if you do n’t connect it. Find out more about the timing and method of your baby ’s perception.
3) Asleep, wake up in bed
There is a reason to rely on snore during the neonatal period. When a baby is born, she has to face an unfamiliar external world. This external world is not as urgent, warm and moist as the mother’s womb, so it will give the baby a restless, restless feeling. Hugging provides a similar environment to the womb. If you are sleeping while holding your breasts, it must be the best thing for your baby. Hugging and sleeping is a very natural thing. Just like milk sleeping, it will make your baby feel comfortable and comfortable, and you don’t need to deliberately avoid it at the newborn stage. But as your baby gets older, sleeping in bed will lead to more restorative sleep.
At 0-3 months, holding your sleep won’t develop dependence and will not spoil your baby. In order to ensure that the baby can get enough sleep, I recommend that the baby “sleep enough first, then sleep right”. So if you hold your sleep in a situation that doesn’t bother you, you can increase your sleep time, and there is really no need to correct it. If you do n’t eat and sleep, you do n’t need to force it. You can try to get out of bed when you are awake or to sleep in the bed. Because of the immature development of the vestibular sensation in the inner ear of a child, a drop may be felt when the child is put out of bed. At the same time, the baby will enter light sleep and then deep sleep after entering sleep, so if you put out the bed just after falling asleep, the baby will be easily disturbed by the action of putting out the bed and wake up.
Find the right time to put the bed. In order to be as successful as possible, it is best to try putting out of bed after your baby has gone into a deep sleep. The performance of deep sleep We have said before that if the breathing is even and calm, raising the baby’s arm and then releasing it can naturally fall, it means that the baby has entered the deep sleep stage.
Place the bed to avoid noticeable vertical drops. When you put it down, avoid bending down and dropping it down. You can follow the method of drawing the Z in the air and lower it a little until you land safely. At the same time, for convenience, you can also take a harder mat (such as a nursing pillow) under the baby when you are sleeping, and put it with the mat when you put it on the bed.
Put your ass first and then your head. After putting it on the bed, don’t pull your hands immediately. One hand is still under the baby’s body, and the other hand is patted on the baby. During the shooting process, the other hand was slowly pulled out. After pulling out, continue to pat with the other hand for a while to consolidate the effect. Put a towel on your arm when you are sleeping, this will prevent your baby from waking up when you feel the temperature difference when you are out of bed.
4) Not sleeping well and should not be soothed
Many parents often report that babies do not sleep well at the newborn stage, sleep lightly, and it is easy to wake up. It’s especially noticeable in the middle of the night, it will twist constantly, and it seems that it can’t sleep well. And, at certain times of the day (especially at dusk), the baby cries a lot, so how to calm it seems to be useless.
In fact, it is normal for a baby to not sleep well at this stage, for the following reasons:
In light sleep. Babies have lighter sleep than adults and account for a large proportion. And in the middle of the night, it was the lightest night of sleep, so it looked very unsteady. The baby has a lot of movements during light sleep, such as kicking, rolling his eyes, crying, laughing, pouting, etc., but the baby is still in the sleep stage. Therefore, if it is not practical during light sleep, parents do not need too much intervention.
Baby colic. Baby colic is not a disease, and academics call crying of unknown cause Colic. The cause of Baby colic is unknown, and it can cause your baby to cry more than ever, making it difficult to soothe. You can try the aircraft hug, or try feeding, changing the environment and other methods. Any method that might work is worth a try.
Physiological galactorrhea. The baby’s intestinal and esophageal development is still immature, and the stomach capacity is relatively limited, so what we call vomiting often occurs during the newborn period. If you do not slap in time, it may cause flatulence and make your baby sleepless. Therefore, I suggest that whether it is breastfeeding or powdered milk feeding, after each feeding, try to pat (not at night), and usually help the baby to do passive ventilation.
Small tips: 5s soothing method The
5s soothing method was created by the famous American pediatrician Dr. Carp, which has an excellent effect on soothing newborns. Briefly, 5s refers to appease method:
wrap method swaddling
side / prone method
5) day and night confusion
Diurnal confusion is a common problem in newborns. When the baby is still in the mother’s belly, his schedule is closely related to his mother’s schedule. Because the hormone will affect the baby more or less when the mother is pregnant when the mother secretes melatonin, the baby’s work schedule will also be affected. After birth, however, this connection between mother and baby is severed and only exists when breastfeeding in person. In addition, during pregnancy, the mother’s daytime activity may make it easier for the baby to fall asleep. We can imagine ourselves lying on the deck of a sailing ship all day long and sleeping peacefully as the waves go. And at night, when we lay down and rested, we could n’t remember that little guy did n’t have any spare time just like getting up and having a party. This also causes the baby to be awake at night and sleep most of the day.
There is no overnight solution to day and night confusion. However, it is comforting that even without any intervention, in most cases the problem will resolve itself. The day and night confusion can usually be corrected within 8 weeks. When the baby is about 3 months old, the melatonin secretion begins to approach that of an adult. At 5 or 6 months, the circadian rhythm will basically develop. These will allow ta to increase nighttime and reduce daytime sleep.
Although there is no quick way to solve the problem, there are still some steps we can take to help newborn babies change this situation:
When the baby sleeps for a long time during the day, wake him up appropriately. Although we all know that waking a sleeping baby, the baby is angry and the consequences are serious. However, in order for him to distinguish between day and night as quickly as possible, he needs to stay awake during the day to adjust his circadian rhythm to life outside the womb. Therefore, it is best to limit naps during the day to less than 3 hours. Try to keep your baby awake for a little while after each feeding, even if only for a few minutes. This will help ta “reset” the biological clock.
Let your baby get more sun during the day. Note that it is not that the baby is directly exposed to the sun without obstruction, which will sunburn the baby! Instead, let your baby not stay in a dim room during the day, and try to bring him to play in a sunny place at home. Before the day and night confusion is resolved, the room should not be too dark when the baby sleeps during the day, and the room should be darkened with blackout curtains when falling asleep at night. This regular exposure to sunlight and darkness will guide your baby to establish a circadian rhythm correctly.
It makes the day fun and night boring. During the daytime waking hours of the baby, take him to do some stimulating activities, such as playing toys, reading picture books and so on. In contrast, when you wake up at night, try to minimize irritation. When waking up at night, try to keep the dark and quiet environment as much as possible, and just light small night light. After eating milk and changing diapers, let ta fall asleep again.
Sleep deprivation can be said to be a barrier for novice parents. In the first 3 months, parents and babies are still running in, so you may need to adapt to your baby’s sleep rhythm. When possible, parents will also supplement their sleep when the baby is resting during the day, so as to have better energy and physical care for the baby.