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Sleep Like a Baby: Advice for New Parents - Bedzzz Express

Have you ever tried to sleep in a house (let alone a room) with a three month old? Sleeping like a baby does not mean what you think it does. Imagine waking up every 30 minutes and feeling fear, hunger, incontinence and general neediness. And only your prolonged shrieks can bring momentary solace from a zombie caregiver. Babies do not "sleep like babies:" they sleep like adults with sleep disorders.

Babies are Different

What is different about these developing humans?

A newborn will fool you. They sleep hard and often, but within three to six weeks they become aware of their surroundings.

Baby sleep patterns morph into ours over several years. While our sleep patterns take at least 90 minutes to move through, a baby sleep cycle takes only about 50. While we have four phases of sleep, and much of it is "deep sleep," which is hard to wake from, a baby vacillates between two phases--a very light, REM equivalent, and "quiet sleep," and the two are fairly evenly split.

What does this mean? If your baby falls asleep, they are easily awakened for 25 minutes, after which they may sleep soundly for 25 more minutes ... only to wake up or go back into the light sleep.

A baby never sleeps the night through. You might if the baby is especially polite during waking periods.

What can you do?

Create a Peaceful Nursery

For the first 4-6 weeks this nursery may be your bedroom. Many suggest the crib start out in the bedroom for responsiveness. A baby's sleep environment is the same that is conducive for adult sleep--maybe you will have to develop better habits yourself.

Consistent sound is important. The baby is hyperaware of changes. White noise of some sort is a good idea. Absolute silence is not going to work out.

The temperature should be between the upper 60s and low 70s.

Getting Back to Sleep

Routines are very important. If you rock a baby to sleep instead of letting them fall to sleep on their own, that is now your job ... every time.

According to Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, a pediatric sleep specialist and the author of Sleeping Though the Night, three to six months is a great time to start scheduling naps and locking in a regular "bed time." The gold standard is having a baby that puts itself back to sleep because he/she is so comfortable in your routine.

What About You?

Parenthood is no time to deal with your own poor sleep habits. You need to be able to fall back asleep quickly after waking up multiple times, tossing and turning as little as possible. This will not happen on an outdated or uncomfortable mattress. And that's a problem Bedzzz Express can help you with right away.

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