Baby sleep science: A complete guide for new parents

The science of baby sleep is a little bit complex to understand, but those who take the time to learn it can really apply it to help improve sleep quality for their little ones. It is an essential factor for a baby’s mind to mature and increase learning capacity and memory. It also helps the baby’s brain to preserve the present memories while making new memories at the same time.

It’s common for babies to have sleep problems, and babies often wake up at night, which eventually disturbs the parents’ sleep. We have listed some tips provided by a sleep consultant which should help new parents understand new ways to improve their baby’s sleeping habits:

Baby sleep patterns

When your baby is three months old, they will start sleeping for a more extended period at night, which should allow you to get more sleep. Baby sleep patterns start developing at the age of six weeks. Babies develop more regular sleep-wake cycles over time as they age, especially  between the ages of 3 to 6 months old.

Teach your babies to sleep by themselves

You don’t have to get your baby addicted to their bedtime story to sleep effectively. If your cant learn to fall asleep by themselves, it will undoubtedly disturb your sleeping hours as well. Put your baby in their cot/bassinet when they start displaying their sleepy signs, but before they are fully asleep. This will drastically help them develop their own capacity to fall asleep while giving you a better chance of success with the process.

Sleeping hours

At 3 months of age babies can sleep from 13 to 15 hours a day. That said, every baby is not the same in terms of sleeping hours. Some babies need less sleep while others require more. Some might even say its genetic and to look to the parents sleep habits as a reason for the sleep behaviours in their babies – particularly how did the parents sleep when they were babies themselves.

Baby Naps

At 3 months of age your baby needs a nap 2 to 4 times a day. If you try to cut back on their naps, there is no guarantee that they won’t wake up in the middle of the night. The reason is that your baby can become overtired if they dont get their sufficient naps during the day which leads to a more frequent waking and sleep disturbance.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

Once your baby starts developing physically, it may eventually change your baby’s sleep patterns as well. For example, if a baby learns to roll over/to stand up, it can temporarily disturb their sleep pattern. This is also referred to as a “leap” where your baby’s brain has had a significant advancement in development. In other words, new parents should not get worried about these changing habits. Just keep following the previous sleep routine of the baby, they will get back to routine soon enough.

Read your baby’s cues

Some parents are extra cautious while taking care of their babies. With that, they end up disrupting their baby’s sleep because they are so sensitive about their baby’s sleep. They should let their baby go back to sleep on their own (self settle) when they start waking up a bit. Don’t rush to pick them up and start soothing them, rather see if your baby can self soothe. Finally, try to make the baby’s surrounding environment calm. According to some research studies, babies react more to their mother’s voice than a regular alarm. So if they hear their mother talk, there are higher chances that they may wake up. So, just try to be a bit more careful while your baby is asleep!

Educate Yourself

Babies are a precious and delicate gift for any parent. Parents should be more understanding towards their babies rather than being sensitive towards them. Understanding that they have emotions and that is to be respected – even if they can’t express themselves or talk yet. Your baby will understand much more than you think. Baby sleep science is a subject which is being studied all over the world. It worth performing some more research to get to know more about your baby’s sleep. This knowledge will serve you well during this initial period and help explain some of the responses from your baby which can only be a good thing right?