By Emma Lawson,
One of the best and the most heart-warming things about being a mother is definitely the time when your beloved child falls asleep and you get to watch them. Nevertheless, to get your newborn to fall asleep is a problem, and no wonder there are so many books, articles, tips, and tricks for young parents to do it. Their tiny stomachs allow them to take only a bit of food at the time, and they will wake up every few hours in need of more food.
The importance of sleep
It cannot be stressed just how important sleeping is for babies. When they sleep, their brains are developing and their memories are being consolidated, and research shows that those who slept better and longer during the night had higher cognitive scores. Basically, when it comes to babies, they absorb everything around them; everything is new, unusual, and important. After an exhausting day of learning, when they go to sleep, their brain finally has time to process all those impressions and new information from the day. So, even when your baby is asleep, it is still learning.
Mommies need sleep as well
When your baby is awake, you are awake as well, and there is only as much that you can do while deprived of sleep. Sadly, some mothers don’t get enough sleep even in pregnancy, when the need to go to the bathroom is interrupting their night sleep, and things get even more difficult when they give birth. Sleep problems with babies mean sleep problems with moms, and these moms are at the greater risk for postpartum depression.
How much can they sleep?
In the first months it is difficult to say exactly how much do they need, since some babies can sleep up to 18 hours per day, while others sleep 10 to 12 hours only. When they are six months old they usually nap twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, and after a year, they nap only once a day but their sleeping habits are more adult-like and better patterned. Between years one and three, they will likely fall asleep early, and rise early as well, but it can change once they get older.
Best ways to put them to sleep
Sadly, there is no universal method for putting your baby to sleep, but parents worldwide have tried practically anything and agree on several things: baby sleeping bags are of great help, because once tightly wrapped, babies have feeling that they are in a womb again and relax more easily. In addition, soft music and even recordings of softened white noise help baby fall asleep faster. Gentle rocking and movement also do wonders, but once your baby gets used to being carried before falling asleep, they will have problems sleeping without it.
It is important for babies to get enough sleep, but mommies need it just as much (or perhaps even more). Getting a hang of sleeping with your newborn is not easy, but the sooner you master falling asleep everywhere, sooner your baby will sleep as well. Calm and relaxed mom means calm and relaxed baby, and you want your baby to be strong and healthy in the years to come.