If your baby’s sleep patterns are quite erratic for a while, this is completely normal. While she’s three to 12 months old, don’t be surprised if she wakes several times during the night and requires attention before she can go back to sleep.
The truth is that newborns do not have the same cycles as adults and must be guided or trained to connect their individual sleep cycles so that they can sleep for longer periods during the night. If you’re frustrated and wondering how to help your baby connect to sleep cycles at night, read on!
Reading: How to connect baby sleep cycles
If you’re frustrated and wondering how to help your baby connect to sleep cycles at night, read on!
baby sleep cycles: basic concepts
Adults may combine several sleep cycles and in some cases sleep through the night (8 hours or more) before fully waking up. however, children do not have the sleeping capacity to do this until they are mature. and this process is sometimes called sleep connecting cycles in which multiple bursts of sleep can be combined to create an overall longer sleep period.
- Babies are not born with the ability to sleep for long periods of time. a typical burst or cycle of sleep can last 40 to 60 minutes for some babies, after which they will wake up and need comfort before they can go back to sleep.
- Until your baby is 12 months old, their sleep patterns will constantly evolve until they eventually reproduce a “normal” pattern that matches that of their parents.
- From 0 to 3 months of age, your child may seem to have consistent sleep patterns or even sleep for very long periods at night. This is due in part to your child’s overwhelming need for sleep and the constant depletion of energy caused by your child’s daily activities during the first few months. however, there will come a point where this rhythm will be lost and they will naturally wake up more during the night (often referred to as sleep regression).
- At this point, it will take some skill and conscious effort on your baby’s part to fall asleep after waking up in their cribs during the night. At first, they will scream for help, but over time you can teach them to calm down or self-soothe.
what is self-calming/settle?
The best tool you have for connecting your baby’s sleep cycles is to promote self-soothing through various tactics that promote sleep independence. It is normal for your child to seek support from her if she wakes up suddenly at night, but if she becomes too dependent on her help, it can be detrimental to your baby’s health.
It is recommended to encourage your baby to reposition by postponing the introduction of methods to calm the parents, such as feeding, shaking or rocking, and removing them completely when the time is right.
The best tool you have for connecting your baby’s sleep cycles is to promote self-soothing through various tactics that promote sleep independence
how to help your baby connect the sleep cycles during the night
A pause in your baby’s sleep can sometimes cause distress and crying. they may wake up at the end of a sleep cycle and feel scared and insecure. however, by giving your son everything he needs to be comfortable at night and avoiding the comfort you give him when he just woke up, you can encourage him to improve her self-establishment.
start small with sleep cycle training
First, try to connect only two sleep cycles together so as not to intervene every 40-60 minutes. Once achieved, this is a good foundation to build on. expecting her baby to sleep for several hours at a time when she has just started to sleep train him is unrealistic.
phasing out calming techniques
Babies will develop a confidence in various soothing techniques to feel comfortable and secure when trying to sleep. for example, you can rock or push your baby to sleep when he has woken up and is distressed during the night. While this is necessary when your baby is young, being too generous with this type of comfort can slow down your baby’s progress when it comes to becoming a strong, independent sleeper.
phasing out soothing techniques is a great way to encourage your baby to be self-sufficient. when they know help isn’t coming, they’re more likely to to settle down to sleep.
The right environment can really help your baby develop a consistent sleep pattern. Consistent activities, as well as the right room environment, can give your little one the support she needs to reposition herself when she wakes up at night .
In terms of making sure your bedrooms are adequate for a good night’s sleep, consider doing the following as part of your nightly checklist.
- turn off electronic devices, including phones, tablets, and televisions
- close the windows in your baby’s room so less noise gets in
- put a notice on the front door to prevent people from ringing the bell or banging on the door.
- make sure everyone in the house knows your baby is sleeping.
- create blackout periods in your home where people keep their voices low.
- use blackout curtains to block out light
- dress appropriately
Also, it doesn’t matter what exactly you do each night when it comes to your baby’s bedtime routine, as long as there’s a fair amount of consistency involved. Using the same calming technique, starting bedtime at the same time, following the same sequence, and accommodating your child’s preferences can make a big difference.
Some ideas to consider adding to your child’s nightly routine include:
- take a bath
- change into comfortable nightwear
- play white noise
- read a bedtime story
- sing a lullaby
For more information on this topic, check out our popular blog post: How to Help My Baby Sleep: The Perfect Nighttime Routine
Consistent activities, as well as the right room environment, can give your little one the support he needs to resettle himself when he wakes up at night and sleeps for longer periods of time.
be strategic with naps
Keep in mind that newborns sleep about 18 hours a day, but often only 2-3 hours at a time. Monitoring your baby’s overall sleepiness levels is important when you’re learning to connect your baby’s sleep cycles at night.
If they are too tired or not tired enough, they will not be in a good state when it comes to giving them a chance to calm down and connect their separate sleep cycles at night.
The right amount of sleep (created through a strategic schedule of daytime naps) is the best starting point for training your little one to sleep better at night.
It’s completely normal for newborn babies to wake up during the night, and it’s no use trying to avoid this reality altogether.
Until they are older than 12 months and even for some time after that, in some cases, you may experience erratic or random sleep patterns. however, rest assured that if you follow general best practices when it comes to bedtime routines, you will eventually develop a strong circadian rhythm.