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11 Facts About Newborn Sleep You Have to Know

newborn sleep factsNewborns (and all children, really) sleep differently than you or I. As a parent, you’ll spend the first months of your child’s life obsessing over their sleep habits. You’ll find one trick that works for a while and then something will change and you’ll have to find something new. Here are some facts about newborn sleep you may not know.

1. A bedtime routine is one of the best ways to help your child fall asleep, even for newborns. A good routine for a newborn involve lots of sensation, like a bath, gentle rocking, and close contact with mom or dad.

2. Newborns lack a circadian rhythm. This means they don’t have the mental and behavioral cues to get sleepy when it’s dark. They develop these over time.

3. The phrase “sleeping like a baby” describes long, deep, peaceful sleep… unlike any newborn I’ve ever seen. Infants wake up often, but that’s part of their design. They need to eat and be comforted.

4. Babies have significantly shorter sleep cycles than adults, meaning they move into a light sleep mode more often, which gives them opportunities to wake up.

5. Babies take longer to fall into deep sleep. You can identify deep sleep by their eyelids: if her eyeballs are still, they have entered the deepest part of their cycle.

6. Sleep is key for brain development. During sleep, blood flow to the brain increases and proteins that make nerves are produced.

7. You probably don’t have a bad sleeper. Many parents hear stories of that three month-old who sleeps through the night. Even if these are true, they are the exceptions, not the rule.

8. Babies sleep more than it seems. You may be exhausted, but newborns sleep 16 to 20 hours a day.

9. Night wakings are actually important. As much as you want your infant to sleep six hours, that wouldn’t be healthy. Young babies have tiny stomachs that burn through food quickly, so they have to wake up to refill their bellies. He/she also needs to sleep lightly as a survival tool so they can quickly respond to any adverse stimuli.

10. Sleep begets sleep. For you and me, staying up a long time will make us sleep a long time, but that isn’t the case for babies, especially newborns. A rested child has an easier time falling asleep.

11. Constant pressure is comforting and reassuring to your little one. Whether it’s a swaddle, your arms, or the Slumber Sleeper Bassinet, children are almost universally comforted by constant sensation on their skin. This comes from their experience in the womb. Helping recreate a sense of that environment will go a long way in allowing your child a more restful sleep.

safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professional, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

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