Sleep seems like a rare thing for new parents. Babies wake and need to eat so often, it can feel like they never sleep – which of course, means you don’t sleep either. After days and days of getting only a few hours of sleep here and there, it can really start to take a toll on your physical and mental well being.
Babies’ sleep patterns seem so erratic, but there is a way to understand their needs a bit better so you can help them to get better sleep so you can get some much-needed rest. With a few tips and tricks, you can improve not only the quality of your family’s sleep but you may even find that you all start getting more sleep altogether.
1. Understand Sleep Cycles
For both babies and adults, there are interruptions in sleep when we change between light (REM) and deep (Non-REM) sleep phases. Adults may not always notice these since we are pros at putting ourselves back to sleep. However, babies need a bit of help when they wake in the middle of the night. We will talk more about this in a bit.
Another big difference is the length between sleep cycles for adults and babies. Adult sleep cycles average about 90 minutes between phases, but babies’ are much shorter, ranging between 45-60 minutes depending on their age. So, not only do they need to eat about every two hours during the night but they are also waking between sleep cycles and unable to put themselves back to sleep again.