Baby needs equal parts food, sleep and love. As a parent, you can care for your baby’s body, soul, brain, and development by teaching them to be a good sleeper. But we know it’s not an easy task…
A good night’s sleep is a win-win for everyone
It’s no secret that good sleep is important. Poor sleep or a lack of sleep can affect mood, well-being, energy and happiness. The body needs sleep to function properly and to thrive, grow and develop the way it’s supposed to. So it’s a good idea to pay attention to your baby’s sleep – it can pay dividends because you will find that your baby is happier and more up for interacting when they get a good night’s sleep.
As an added bonus, when baby sleeps well, the parents sleep well, which is an important factor because even parents have to hit their sleep quota. When you as a parent have had a good night’s sleep, you are also healthier, more fun and more inspiring to be around for your child. Meaning establishing good sleeping habits for baby is a win-win for all parties.
Sleep cleanses the body of stress hormones
If you have a baby who sleeps poorly, then you as a parent will definitely have a lot of stress hormones in your body, which probably make you feel less tired than you really are. Poor sleep or a lack of sleep creates a high level of stress hormones, and this applies not just to you as the parent, but also to your baby. It may seem like your baby is completely healthy, but if they haven’t had the amount of sleep that a “standard baby” needs, then it is probably the stress hormones making the baby seem more awake and lively. If sleeping is difficult or bad for baby, it becomes very difficult because babies sleep more than they’re awake. When sleep makes up the majority of your day, then a sour mood can really ruin the whole day if going to sleep is associated with crying and restlessness. Children become more irritable and sensitive and cry more when they are tired or sleep-deprived. The brain also suffers when the child has not got the sleep they need – this means they will have a harder time learning new things and concentrating because the energy and vigour they need aren’t there.
Sleep is not an easy task for baby
There are a lot of different reasons why a baby might have difficulty sleeping. Babies have many bodily experiences while sleeping because their internal organs and gastrointestinal tract need to adjust to life outside the womb. Babies also need to lie on their backs and sleep to avoid cot death, and lying on their backs can make it harder for the baby to exhale, which can interfere with sleep.
The baby’s brain also works at high pressure during sleep to digest and store all the sensory impressions received during the day, and in addition, baby’s sleep is naturally interrupted by their food intake, which is necessary for them to get the calories they need to grow and develop. This means that sleep is not quite so straightforward for a baby.
How to swaddle baby for better sleep
If you haven’t tried your hand at swaddling your baby, then we would recommend that you throw yourself into it, as the swaddling technique can help your baby sleep better.
The purpose of swaddling is to make your baby feel safe, secure and protected. It should feel exactly like when baby was inside their mother’s safe, secure, and protective womb. Swaddling gives babies a feeling of being held because it applies light pressure to the entire body.
When your baby is swaddled, their body becomes calmer, and the swaddling technique is good for when you need to get your baby to fall asleep. The swaddling technique also prevents your baby from being woken up by their body, such as by the moro reflex which is activated during sleep, or when a newborn baby is woken up by the sucking reflex when their hands touch their cheeks. Those babies who have a lot of physical energy may have a particularly hard time falling asleep, and swaddling these babies may be a very good idea.
If you don’t have a swaddle blanket and feel brave enough to try it out, you can find several baby swaddles in the cutest designs from Mushie on our website under the ‘Baby swaddle