Did you know that a 2012 study (source: Chung et al, 2012) has proven that the Internet contains much information about infant sleep safety that is inconsistent with the recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics?
Sometimes it can be challenging to distinguish the myths and scientific facts, and it takes time to do the research to make sure a piece of advice has scientific roots. To make your life easier, Little Sleeper Team does all the work for you and all the information and advice you hear from Little Sleeper is 100% scientific. Now, enjoy the most critical 5 facts about baby sleep:
It is very important that infants, babies and young children take enough sleep which is very critical for their physical and mental development. The total amount of sleep they should take a day decreases as babies grow up. However, it is still important to pay attention to whether they sleep enough or not, even though they are as big as 4 or 5 years old.
For example, a newborn baby should be sleeping for 16-18 hours a day, 8-10 hours at night and 7-8 hours during the day sleep. As newborns cannot distinguish day and night, almost half of daily sleep takes place during the day. On the other hand, 14-15.5 hours total sleep is ok for a 5 months old baby and only 3-4.5 hours of that is happening during the day and big amount of her/his sleep takes place during the night (around 10-11 hours). As the baby gets bigger, most of her/his sleep shifts from day to night.
Although total sleep hours, nap times and night sleep change from month to month, the importance of sleep doesn’t change and it is strongly advised to parents to track sleep schedules. Although it may seem difficult to track the sleep times accurately, parents can track their babies’ schedule very easily with Little Sleeper sleep calculator.
It is very interesting that there is a big difference between Eastern and Western approach towards co-sleeping. For eastern parents co-sleeping is the natural process while raising a child. However, western parent approach co-sleeping as a bad habit they should prevent doing.
If you are co-sleeping with your little one, that is totally normal and this is a very personal decision. Every family has their own reasons to co-sleep or not and both are totally ok.
2011 American Academy of Pediatrics article proves that that co-sleeping during the toddler years does not negatively affect development by the age of 5. It’s important to note that researchers also found no developmental benefit to children from co-sleeping.
(Source: Barajas, R.G., Martin, A., Brooks-Gunn, J. & Hale, L., 2011)
Having said that, please pay attention to the infant or baby safety if you are co-sleeping and make sure you take all the precautions. Find more details about safety in the next post here.
Every new parent has probably heard about sleep training, even if they do it or not. Do you exactly know what sleep training is? Should sleep training include crying?
Some resources define sleep training as a process to teach baby to fall asleep on their own and sleep through the night including techniques and tactics like ‘leave it to cry’ or ‘controlled crying’. Whereas some others approach sleep training more gently and advise tactics like swaddling, white noise, etc.
Although you can gradually improve your little one’s sleep by helping her/him gain the right habits, the concept of “sleep training” is not natural and is not in line with the nature of human being. You can test it yourself, just tell your grandma that you are considering sleep training your little one and observe how she will respond.
Little Sleeper believes it is not healthy to leave a baby crying alone, especially for the sake of sleep training. Your impulse will also tell you that there is something wrong in letting a baby cry and as a parent, you will be very uncomfortable. Babies can’t talk and crying is the only way to tell us they need something. They cry when they are hungry, when they have a dirty diaper or when they need us to fall asleep. Ignoring babies needs for their parents is not healthy and gives the wrong message: “I won’t be by your side even though you need me to soothe to sleep.
Yes, it is not healthy to leave a baby to cry. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to improve your baby’s sleep and get your own sleep back. Little Sleeper is there to help you with gently methodologies which you can start seeing results just in a few days, and gradually improve the baby’s sleep significantly.
Sometimes putting the baby on her/his side helps a lot with soothing the baby, but it is strongly advised to put the baby on her/his back after she/he is calm again.
Put the baby on my back all the time when she/he is sleeping, back is the safest position.
When you can put her/him on the side or tummy?
You can put the baby on my side or stomach, only if the baby can't soothe easily if she/he can’t fall asleep at all or during the colic crisis.
Make sure you are monitoring your baby and you are 100% sure that the baby is breathing easily. Don’t forget to put the baby to her/his back whenever you are not able to monitor, for example during the night while you are sleeping.
There may be other people like my daddy, sitter, child care provided, grandparents to look after the baby from time to time or regularly. It is also important to warn other caregivers and emphasize the importance of placing the baby on her/his back.