Understand the baby's sleep rhythms!

Published : 08-08-2018 14:46:24
Categories : baby-sleep

Understand the baby's sleep rhythms!

What are baby's sleep patterns?

One of the main concerns of parents is and remains their baby's sleep. And it's perfectly normal! A newborn sleeps, on average, up to 16 hours a day, or much longer for some. Each baby has a "sleeper" profile that is unique to him and that corresponds to his own biological clock. Gradually, you will get to know his sleep pattern and his needs. To help you, we will go over the different cycles of baby's sleep from birth until his first year!

Sleep between 0 and 3 months

It is important to understand that, from birth, a newborn sleeps according to his own needs. Indeed, a newborn baby does not know the difference between day and night! He can sleep, on average, 16/17 hours or 20 hours per day to satisfy his biological clock. We describe this type of rhythm as "ultradian", that is to say that newborn babies wake every few hours whether it is day or night, and not according to the day/night cycle. He usually wakes up to drink, but some newborn babies wake up more often than others. Indeed, your child's sleeper profile can occur from the first few weeks! After his first month, a baby can stay awake for up to 2 or 3 hours without interruption. During this period, a baby's sleep pattern is divided into 2 distinct cycles:

  • A sleep phase called "restless": As its name indicates, your baby sleeps but continues to move. He can smile, blink, flap his arms and feet, and it's perfectly normal. During this period, a baby's brain is in full swing because sleep helps neural circuit development. For adults, this period will correspond to the REM sleep, that is to say the period of dream!
  • A sleep phase called "calm": Again, it is all there in the title. Your baby sleeps but does not move. This period is very useful for physical recovery. It is also at this time that your baby begins to grow by promoting the secretion of growth hormone. Later, this phase will correspond to the deep sleep of the adult.

Sleep between 3 and 6 months

It's around 3 months that your baby starts to sleep through the night. Indeed, he is heavy enough to power up his energy reserves and sleep 5 to 6 hours in a row during the night. But do not worry if your baby is still drinking at night. He knows what he needs and grows at his own pace! Gradually, the number of hours of sleep per day decreases. The average is between 14 and 16 hours. It is also at this age that his biological clock just begins to adapt to the day/night cycle. A baby becomes more and more predictable and begins to regulate himself both biologically and psychologically. It is also around 5/6 months that it is possible to consider incorporating a bedtime routine! However, let him sleep at any time if he feels the need or you see he is tired!

Sleep between 6 and 12 months

After 6 months, the number of hours of sleep decreases again and a baby can get to sleep between 10 and 12 hours per night. He usually takes three naps: the first one in the morning, the second one in the early afternoon and the last one at the end of the day. Yet it is possible that he wakes up again at night between two sleep phases. It is also at this age that a baby begins to be able to go back to sleep alone. But if your baby keeps crying, please go to his room to comfort him and help him get back to a soothing sleep. At around 8 months, it is normal to see a period of regression. A baby wakes up more often at night, it's "the separation anxiety". This is an almost mandatory step for all babies as it helps them grow! A baby wakes up and does not feel your presence anymore: he needs a gesture, a hug or to hear just your voice to calm down and go back to sleep.

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