When it comes to the developmental needs of your child, sleep is at the top of the list next to nutrition. From the time you bring your newborn home to when he or she turns a year old, their sleep needs will change drastically—and these needs will change even more as they enter into toddlerhood. However, understanding your baby’s needs and how they communicate tiredness can help both you and your little one get better rest and get sleep through the night much faster.
How Infant Sleep Cycles Differ from Adult’s
Your baby goes through a multitude of changes as they grow, including the way that they rest. When you first bring your baby home they do not experience the four sleep cycles that adults do.
A typical adult goes through four different stages of sleep, all of which are important to rest and recovery—NREM 1, NREM 2, NREM 3, and REM. Research has found that newborn babies typically only experience two stages of sleep during the night until about three months old. Until then, sleep cycles are evenly split between NREM and REM.
It’s important to understand these changes as your baby grows and develops, especially if you intend to introduce sleep training into your routine. Just like you, your baby can experience deeper stages of sleep. Parents can use this to their advantage when trying to help their baby learn to self soothe or to stay asleep longer.
Remember that no two baby’s sleep schedules look the same and if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet—there’s no need for worry.
How Developmental Milestones Affect Sleep
Lots of different things can affect the way that your child is sleeping and either keeping them from falling or staying asleep, regardless of a typical sleep cycle. Things like starting to crawl, teething, growing pains, beginning to eat solids, and many other things can distract your baby from a good night’s rest.
As your child gets older, they will also start to dream. Sleep experts believe that most children begin to start dreaming around age two. While this can open the realm to your child’s imagination, it can also bring about night terrors or nightmares which can be a scary experience for your child. If your child begins to experience either of these, simply comfort them and reassure them until they are comfortable to go back to sleep.
About Sleep Shop
The Sleep Shop is led by Melissa, a mother of four, and is a member of the International Association of Professional Sleep Consultants.
We offer one-one-one unlimited consulting, sleep classes with our founder, phone consultations, 1-week jumpstarts, infant sleep guides, 2 weeks of consulting, toddler nap guides, toddler sleep guides, toddler total resets, and “the toddler tune-up”.
We offer sleep consulting services in all of Los Angeles including Downtown L.A., Santa Monica, Malibu, South Bay, Pacific Palisades, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Beverly Hills, Century City, and the Greater Los Angeles area.
Contact us today to learn more.