Sleep deprivation is indeed a great challenge for parents. New moms in particular always have a hard time putting their little ones to sleep. And while there are a few lucky ones who’re saved of the horror, others are literally at the mercy of their infants, who refuse to even take a 15-minute nap.
Experts believe that it is normal for babies to wake between two and four times each night. While it may be more for some and less for others, these nap hours may vary with age, health, teething, hunger, growth spurts, and other factors. Here’s why your baby does not sleep at night.
1. It’s Normal To Wake Up At Night
First, sleeping through the night is not the norm for most babies. In fact, most babies, children, and adults wake at least once during the night. Experts say that infants normally have a short sleep period, which can be anywhere between three and five hours (or even more). However, you can maintain a sleep schedule and create a soothing ambiance for your baby to help him get a good night’s sleep. Here’s what you can do.
2. Human Babies Are Born Earlier Than Other Mammal Offspring
Compared to other animals, human babies are born almost nine to 18 months before, which is why they need an external womb. The extra attention and care in the first few months helps them develop better.
3. It’s Better For The Mental Health
Yes, you heard that right—experts say that having a high level of intellect is directly linked to not being able to sleep through the night. It’s also linked to having more empathy, being self-regulated, having sharper cognitive skills and less depression.
4. Your Baby’s Sleep Cycle Is Shorter Than Yours
As an adult, your natural sleep cycle is 90 minutes and you have multiple such sleep cycles through the night. Your baby, however, has a 60-minute sleep cycle and, to top it all, he doesn’t know how to self-soothe himself to sleep!
5. Your Baby Needs You Around To Stay Calm
While your baby might stop crying if left unattended and that makes you happy, the truth is it can greatly increase his stress levels. As a stress response, he would refuse to sleep through the night to get your undivided attention.
It’s a natural biological reaction, one that will guarantee the maximum attention from you. Being around mommy, or the primary caregiver, will put your baby at ease, causing lesser episodes of waking up. That is why co-sleeping is catching up again in cultures that earlier shunned the practice.