Sleep Cycles And Sleeping Environment
At Mizzie, we know how important sleep is for the growth and development of baby. Everything that bubs learn during their waking hours is processed during sleep time and stored in their brain ready to use when the time comes. We can help our babies get the most out of their sleep time by understanding a few things about how they sleep.
Did you know that our sleep is cyclic? As adults, we typically cycle through a sleep pattern every 90 minutes, where we have periods of REM (rapid eye movement) and deep sleep. Adults continue this cycle 4-5times a night to get us through our usual 6-8 hours sleep a night. Babies too have a similar sleep cycle pattern, however their cycles are much briefer and go for much longer. A newborn baby will sleep for 14-15 hours a day with their sleep cycles only going fo 30-50 minutes per cycle. So, what does all this mean exactly?
As your baby goes through each cycle, you may notice things like their eyes moving (although closed) or their fingers twitching and rapid breathing. This is commonly a dream state where bub is processing and storing the information they are learning when awake. Following this is deep sleep or non-REM sleep where temperature drops, the heart rate slows, muscles relax allowing babies body to repair and grow tissue. Both REM and NREM states are imperative for baby to function and grow, so we as parents need to do our best to ensure these cycles are not interrupted.
Happiness will be your babies’ number one indicator that they are sleeping well. If you suspect they aren’t making it the whole way through their sleep cycles, you may find bub to be grizzly and fussy. Bub may also have shorter naps than expected, with trouble falling asleep and napping unexpectedly. If you are finding your little one to be over tired and struggling to sleep, you can try cuddling and rocking, or settling them down with a massage or bath prior to sleep time.
Another great way to support bub's sleep schedule is to guide them with a great environment for sleep. They are safest in their bassinet or crib and if possible, the room should have light blocking curtains and some sort of white noise.
As babies sleep cycles are short and light, excess light or outside noise can easily wake them. The aim is to make their sleeping environment as ‘womb like’ as possible. You can swaddle bub for comfort and be mindful of the room temperature. If you recognise your baby’s signs of tiredness, you can get them ready and into bed before they start crying to let you know what they need.
Some babies really struggle with sleep routines, which prove to be super frustrating for parents as constant crying from lack of sleep is not only draining for bub, but mum and dad both suffer. This is when its really important to ask for help from friends and family and don't be afraid to explore different sleeping options for you in a safe way.
Whichever your methods, don’t beat yourself up and don’t force yourself or baby to follow a set of rules that weren’t made with you two in mind. Bub will eventually figure out his own cycles and with your help this can be done with minimal fuss, allowing the entire household a good night sleep.
Part of a good bedtime routine for babies can include ensuring they are fed, bathed and relaxed ready for bed. When bub is all rugged up and ready for cuddles is the best time to spend some quiet time together reading “Mizzie likes to help Bella-Boo at the Beach or Be Active”. Even as a newborn baby, the practice of bedtime reading sets up great habits and builds on routines that are good for not only babies body clock but for their social development and mood regulation.
Our "Interactive Mizzie Likes To Help Bella-Boo Touch & Feel Books" are the perfect little companion to your playtime exploring bedtime storytime or even just a chilled out Sunday afternoon!
These beautiful books come in two titles, 'At The Beach' and 'Be Active', and help your little one have a sensory blast while learning a special lesson!
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