Sleep disorders in babies

Between birth and 2 years, baby's sleep experiences its greatest change . Sleep problems in babies are completely normal. It is only at the age of 3 that children's sleep is considered mature! The sleep-wake rhythm changes from month to month and is essential to the growth of your little one! And then, each child is different: there are small and heavy sleepers . If baby's sleep is not easy, you should know that it takes time and patience!

Sleep torments many young parents. How to help your baby fall asleep? Is it normal if he wakes up frequently at night? Are there any tips for soothing baby?

This article was designed to support you in the first months of your little one's life with reassuring advice and constructive information on baby's sleep and calming down. Here, the objective is to relieve your inhibitions by reminding you that each baby is different and that the main thing is to trust yourself! So let’s explore it together!

Sleep stages in babies

Babies experience several stages of sleep, called “alertness states.” Each moment contributes to building the sleep rhythm, it is therefore important to respect them:

  • Calm sleep : your baby is still, points and eyes closed with calm breathing
  • Restless sleep : your little one is sleeping, but his body and eyes are moving. It is at this stage that we can see the baby's face expressing the emotions (anger, surprise, fear, sadness, joy, etc.)
  • Calm and restless wakefulness : if the calm wakefulness stage is quite rare, it is important to leave your child for these few minutes of serenity. During restless wakefulness, baby may cry and be less attentive to his environment.

Point of attention: A sleep cycle lasts around 50 minutes, between each, your baby may have very short wakefulness phases. If no one intervenes, baby will go back to sleep peacefully!

Baby sleep 0-6 months

Between birth and 1 month, your baby sleeps between 16 and 18 hours per day, then his sleep time decreases to 14 hours per day between 1 and 6 months. However, each infant is unique and it is possible to observe a variation of more or less 2 hours per day!

His rhythm? During the first 6 months, there is no sleep “rhythm”. A newborn sleeps and wakes up at any time. In general, he alternates phases of sleep and wakes up every 4 hours. Note that a newborn falls asleep in restless sleep which represents 60% of his sleep time.

But at what age will my baby sleep through the night? This is THE recurring question among new parents. In general, everyone around you has a little comment. Please note that a baby is only able to differentiate between night and day from 1 month of age and reduces his sleep time during the day from 3 months of age. So be patient, before 4 months, it is quite rare for a child to sleep 8 hours straight, even if all your friends tell you the opposite! Rest assured, your nights will become longer and longer despite everything and your baby will calm down as the weeks go by.

Baby sleep 6-12 months

Baby's sleep duration decreases: he now sleeps around 13 to 14 hours . Around 9 months, your little one is more and more awake. Result: the evening nap fades to give way to 2 naps per day, one at the end of the morning and one at the beginning of the afternoon!

The result: longer nights and greater ease in going back to sleep alone. Keeping in mind that some people sleep better than others. So, don't panic if your baby keeps sleeping short or sleeps little in the morning! Trust yourself, you know your baby better than anyone. If your child is healthy and thriving, it is because his sleep schedule is respected.

How does baby sleep at this age? From 6 months, sleep begins to be organized like yours with the appearance of paradoxical sleep instead of restless sleep. Around 9 months, the child falls asleep in calm sleep and deep sleep is the majority. Sleep cycles become longer and last around 70 minutes. However, baby's sleep remains fragile and several factors can disrupt it: illness, stress, etc.

Baby sleep 1-3 years old

Your baby is growing and his sleep is becoming more and more mature. Around 18 months, the morning nap disappears in favor of longer nights. At 3 years old, it is estimated that a child needs to sleep 13 hours a day. But, every child has different needs, so you have to adapt to them. Some will be heavy sleepers at night, but will cut naptime short, while others will still enjoy both!

Now your child has a well-established day/night rhythm, even if nighttime awakenings may persist. If he is used to going back to sleep alone, these little moments of awakening often go unnoticed. But it is also at this stage that children develop sleep problems such as:

  • Refusal to go to bed
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Night terrors and nightmares

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Sleep disorders in babies

Baby's sleep rhythm is not an exact science. Every child is unique, with different needs. There are also physiological and digestive disorders in babies that disrupt sleep:

  • Discharge crying : If your baby suddenly cries and seems uncontrollable at night, it is likely discharge crying. These big upsets, which are quite common up to 3 months, reflect your baby's emotions related to his day. Nothing serious, they fade with age. Be sure to comfort your child and provide a calm environment.
  • Nightmares : they appear between 12 and 18 months in the second half of the night and require your presence to reassure your child. Although these awakenings are sometimes impressive due to the associated crying, nightmares are normal and part of your child's psychological development.
  • Night terrors : they appear from 12 months and are characterized by restlessness during the first phase of sleep. Professionals recommend not intervening because your baby is at the beginning of his sleep cycle and will have no memories when he wakes up.
  • Digestive problems : colic is quite common in babies between 3 weeks and 3 months. They result in crying attacks: your little one squirms, pulls his knees up to his chest, tenses up and you don't know how to calm him down. In this case, try carrying him on your forearm and gently massaging his little belly
  • Eczema: if your child has trouble sleeping and has very dry, flaky skin, accompanied by red patches, he probably suffers from eczema! Although harmless, this skin disease is especially very uncomfortable for babies who cry a lot and squirm because of the itching.

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  • Our emollient cream: a creamy treatment that fights against skin diseases such as atopic eczema. For prevention or treatment, it perfectly accompanies the fragile skin of your babies
  • Gentle cleansing: a washing gel without soap or irritant that can be used from birth

Our tips to help baby sleep well

“Sleep well to grow better”! Sleep is important from the moment we are born, which is why it is essential to support your little one in their quest for quality sleep!

Beyond safety rules such as room temperature, sleeping on the back, use of a sleeping bag, harmony around baby is essential.

  • The baby phone : if you are stressed at the idea of ​​leaving your baby alone in his room, adopt it! Yes, your baby feels your stress, so calm down and he will know it too.
  • The comforter : considered a transitional object, it soothes baby during moments of separation
  • Night lights: a small, soft light can calm your baby and help him fall asleep
  • The mobile: suspended above the bed, it emits sounds and lights
  • Bathing : at the end of the day, this time allows your baby to relax
  • Massages : for a return to calm and a unique moment of exchange with your little one

The most important thing: listen to your baby. While some people fall asleep alone without a comforter or night light, others need the full range. The best person is your baby to know what is good for him. So, try, test and observe!

We hope we have enlightened you about your baby's sleep. From birth to 3 years old, your children's brains and bodies are built little by little. We therefore need patience and kindness to help our children achieve peaceful sleep. Every baby is unique and so is their sleep. Trust yourself and listen to your baby. A serene environment filled with love is the most important thing for growing well!

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