What to Expect From Your Baby When He or She Starts Sleeping

sleeping baby

Most parents think they know the answer to the age-old question – How to sleep a baby to sleep -, but surprisingly, very few actually know how babies sleep. The fact is that babies are active sleepers, far more so than toddlers or adults, and need to get as much sleep as possible. In this article, you will learn about some common sleeping problems and solutions for them.

One of the most common sleeping baby problems is SIDS. You’ve probably heard the term “SIDS” (or sudden infant death syndrome) a thousand times, but what does it mean? Infant death is defined as occurring when a child comes into contact with an object that has passed the expiration date or suffocation. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, any combination of these circumstances should result in getting your baby the highest level of care possible.

Sleeping Baby

A hand holding a baby

Experts believe that sleep myths like putting a sleeping baby in a dark corner or drawer or rocking or otherwise rocking back and forth can lead to a child’s demise. This is where a little one self-soother comes in. A self-soother is basically a pillow made of memory foam or similar material that can help a sleeping baby to sink into a peaceful slumber. Many parents turn to pillows like this for their newborns and use them from the time they leave the hospital until they are weaned. Here’s why:

While SIDS remains the most prevalent cause of infant death, a close second is a sleeping baby who pulls loose tissue out of his mouth and chokes on it. No matter how hard a parent tries, there will usually be some kind of an object lodged in a child’s mouth. Even babies who are sleeping well can accidentally swallow a piece of string, teething toy, or pacifier. If the object is not removed right away, however, it can cause severe distress over the course of an hour or two. If an infant does not have an adequate way to soothe himself or herself when this happens, he or she will be unable to relax and sleep through the night.

Things To Consider

A close up of a man sleeping on a bed

In order to reduce the risk of SIDS, it is imperative that parents remove any objects from their infant’s sleeping area. While this may seem obvious, many parents inadvertently leave loose bedding, stuffed toys, or other potentially dangerous materials within reach of their sleeping baby. In addition, it is important to ensure that the room is free of any distractions, such as televisions, radio, or other loud sounds that can keep a baby awake.

Introducing a crib into your baby’s early childhood development will reduce the risk of him or her falling asleep through the crib. One helpful way to transition a baby to a crib is to transition him or her to a crib with a sleeping-baby platform. This type of platform, which can be used on a regular bed or even a dresser, prevents a baby from lying directly on his or her stomach in the crib. Instead, a platform connected to a bed lowers the baby onto a solid surface, which makes it easier for a parent to transition a baby to a sleeping crib.

Many parents mistakenly believe that a baby will not have a good night of sleep if his or her parents share the room with another person. But this is an asleep myth, and babies do best when they are in the same room with their parents. Studies have proven that babies who spend more time sleeping in their parents’ room have more stable sleeping schedules than those who spend more time sleeping in a separate room.

Bottom Line

Babies grow and need to sleep. Don’t assume that your baby will not be able to fall asleep before you get up because you have put him or her to bed. Babies develop at different rates, and it is possible that your little one may sleep less than five hours a night before you get up to feed him or her. But, if you make it a practice to feed your baby less than five hours before you get up, he or she will develop a sleeping schedule that works for him or her.

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