How do Babies Sleep
How does your baby sleep?
Let’s discover the wonderful and challenging world of sleep
How do babies sleep
Facts about your baby and how they sleep.
When we think about sleep, I mean really think about sleep, the images, and thoughts it conjures up, We can see how we have become accustomed to believe we have to teach our little ones to sleep and self soothe in order for us to get a decent nights sleep.
This is a relatively new idea that we have taken onboard as our truth. This truth we see requires us to disconnect from our children in order for them to learn independence. Just seeing that written sounds crazy, right? It kinda is!!
How many of us have reflected on our childhood and remembered times when we were desperate for connection, for our parents to just “hear” us.
I know I have had those moments.
Sleep and parenting work together as a relationship of connection and communication, and this can begin from the moment your newborn baby arrives home.
You cannot control sleep, no matter how hard you try.
Sleep is not a conscious action, you cannot coax, force or make someone fall asleep if they just don’t need to sleep.
What is under your control is setting healthy habits and sleep associations that support your lifestyle. You may feel that this is not helping, when your baby wakes several times or your toddler comes in to tell you their life story for the 7th time that night! But trust me, with your consitency, the foundations and habits are being conditioned within their DNA and they will fall in to place. For some this happens earlier than for others.
You literally cannot compare how your baby sleeps with your best friends baby, I can guarantee that the conditions will be totally different and will not 100% match. Rather take your time, take a moment of reflection and ask yourself “is there anything going on that I could change to make sleep easier to achieve?”
Ideas to consider
Does your little one have colic, reflux or allergies which may make sleep harder, as your little one could be uncomfortable
Are they hungry?
Are they cold, hot?
Are they missing you?
Is it developmental
Is it physical
Is there something hindering a healthy sleep environment?
Babies and toddlers wake at night, and this is normal, common, and protective.
Short sleep cycles, more time in REM sleep,(easy to wake) the need for frequent feeds, and the need for touch and connection are some of the many reasons little ones wake at night.
Sleeping lightly is biologically protective for babies, it enables them to alert parents to any dangers, or immediate needs.
Sleep is not linear.
Sleep will go up and down during the first few years in response to other areas of development or outside factors. Know that if your little one has been sleeping in a certain way consistently for a few months and they suddenly blip, this is most likely developmental (unless you know of a particular trigger that has happened just before the sleep blip)
Supporting your baby to fall asleep is biologically normal.
This includes nursing, rocking, and holding to sleep. Little ones are hard wired to need touch, closeness, and connection to feel safe and secure enough to sleep well. Use these tools if they work for you.
You can change them when they no longer do. You can change anything if it no longer works for either of you, and you can do this gently and respectfully.
Humans are also social sleepers so the need to stay connected to you at night is evolutionarily hardwired, plus babies learn responses and actions just by being close with you.
Babies and young children cannot self-soothe
To self-soothe, requires you to be able to consciously regulate or control your emotions. This is a skill that develops naturally over time though positive associations and connections with close caregivers
Babies do not have the necessary brain development to regulate their emotional state, this usually occurs during the late preschool years and continues developing throughout childhood and into adulthood.
Finally There will be many factors that affect how tired you are as a parent not solely down to the way your baby sleeps.
You can try to work on your mindset to reverse negative thoughts and associations. Take care of yourselves to enable you to parent to your very best.
To support and nurture with love certainly takes away parental guilt and allows you to work in sync with your inner maternal instinct.
Yes there will be times when you question yourself, that will always be. But I know one thing for certain you made your way to this blog because you care and want to do the best you can and I’m also pretty sure, you already are!
I hope I have taken a little pressure off with this blog, but if you feel like you need further help you can view your options via my website.
Baby & You sleep
Holistic sleep coach
Baby wellbeing practitioner