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Many daddies think that why the baby at 3 or 4 months has begun to sleep more hours during the night, the nocturnal awakenings are finally over and they are already little adults in this sleep. Good and bad news. Certainly, the sleep of babies between 4 and 7 months He is advancing towards the conformation of his circadian cycle of sleep just like an adult, consolidating a period of nocturnal sleep that is longer than the one he had been presenting until now. However, we are in the presence of another stage of adjustments in childhood sleep and in this transition period awakenings are very frequent, sometimes they can be greater than in the previous period (from 0 to 3 months).
It is important that parents are informed that the feeding pattern has a very marked influence on shaping the baby's sleep pattern. In children who are breastfed, their feeding needs are more frequent and, therefore, their intervals between meals are shorter, so they take longer to lengthen their nighttime sleep pattern. But this extra time is well worth it, due to the great benefits that the baby is receiving from feeding on the mother's breast.
At this stage, babies can accumulate a total of 14 hours of sleep throughout the day, alternating their waking and sleeping patterns. Thanks to the maturation that his brain has acquired, the baby is increasingly capable of adapting his biological clock. During this stage, the baby's sleep is characterized by being:
CIRCADIAN, that is to say, now there is a difference between day and night. Although each child is at their own pace, for the most part, by 7 months they tend to take several short naps during the day and sleep a longer period at night. Around 6 months, your nightly sleep period is roughly half the total time you sleep throughout the day.
POLYPHASEFrom now on, he not only has acquired almost all the stages of adult sleep, but he can unite them more easily and make dreams of more than one cycle, thus gradually preparing himself to be able to develop a sleep pattern adult. However, the fact of being able to join more than one cycle implies, sometimes, more awakenings, since micro awakenings are very common at the end of a sleep cycle.
UNSTABLEThis is due to the emergence of the missing phases and the baby needs to adapt to them, so we see a kind of rehearsal, in which the baby adjusts its own cycle.
Faced with this instability, parents do not have a very good time. However, this does not affect the baby, he simply tries and adjusts until he masters the technique of passing from one phase to another. At this stage, other changes are also added, such as the mother's return to work, the beginning of complementary feeding and the exploration of everything around her, being a very critical time for children and perhaps one where they need our further understanding.
This is a good time to start establishing a bedtime routine:
- Try giving him a relaxing bath, only with warm water (without adding herbs or any other commercial product).
- Take your time to put on his nightwear slowly, without haste.
- Lullaby him with a lullaby, his goodnight kiss and to the crib (or bed if they co-sleep).
Do it every night in the same order and at the same time, it will make the baby associate it with that it is time to sleep!
Also help him to establish a regular time to wake up, so that normal light and noise reaches his room at the scheduled time in the morning. Having a regular pattern at night to sleep and in the morning to wake up will also help you create your napping pattern during the day.
Some dads think that if he doesn't nap, he will be more sleepy at night and sleep more hours at a time, which is not true. Eliminating naps will make the baby excessively tired, who may become irritable and with greater difficulty in falling asleep at night.
In his nocturnal awakenings, watch him and accompany him, do not leave him alone. We adults also have small nocturnal awakenings, when changing positions while we sleep, for example, we just don't remember. The same happens in babies, the important thing is that when they wake up they feel accompanied to be able to go back to sleep.
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