There are three main stages of sleep for babies, including drowsy sleep, active/light sleep, and deep sleep. To teach your child how to sleep through the night on his own, it's important to put him down to bed while he is showing signs that he is drowsy. Although he may cry when you first start this sleep routine, it's important that your baby learns how to put himself to sleep during the night.
Every Parent's Dream: A Sleeping BabyWhoever coined the phrase, "I slept like a baby," probably hadn't spent much time around infants. Babies sleep lightly as a natural defense. This makes them more in tune with their physical needs (hunger, temperature, or perhaps a stuffy nose). And means they are going to wake up when they are in physical need of your help. Babies may also wake up naturally during the lighter sleep phase.
The average infant needs about 14 hours of sleep each day. This includes both daytime and nighttime hours. The younger the baby is, the more hours of daytime sleep or nap time needed, with fewer hours at night. As he or she gets older, night sleep hours will increase and nap hours will decrease.
But what do you do if your infant wakes up during the night and cannot get back to sleep without your help? This article will help you achieve your ultimate goal of a "sleeping baby."
Infant Sleep PatternsJust like adults, there are different sleep phases or stages that a baby passes through during the night.
The three main sleep stages are:
- Drowsy sleep: This is the transition phase between being awake and asleep.
- Active/light sleep: During this stage, a sleeping baby is most prone to waking up.
- Deep sleep: Just like it sounds, this phase allows your baby to rest deeply with little chance of waking.
Your baby's temperament or innate behavioral style will affect their ability to get through the light stages without waking up.
(To learn more about how Temperament affects your child's needs, click here.)