Being informed about the best approach for your baby/kid’s age and to consider your family’s living habits are key to make your baby develop a healthy sleeping habit. You must shape your baby’s sleep behavior with a reference to right knowledge and your motherly instincts instead of acting with text-book approaches with low/no credibility under the name of “sleep training”.
Sleep is a learned habit. Your baby has the potential to learn to fall and stay asleep. However, every baby needs help from the parents to be able to do that.
Setting the right environmental conditions and the appropriate approachfor the baby’s age are enough to provide quality sleep. Choosing the best approach will help your baby develop a good sleeping habit as he/she grows.
Your goal should be to make your baby enjoy sleeping, fall asleep on her own and keep sleeping peacefully. Sleeping time is a critical time frame that every baby’s body needs to grow. Babies also exercise some emotional skills during sleep,such as the ability to separate from the mother, the ability to calm him/herself and the ability to cope with worries that emerge as he/she grows.
Babies, and not even adults, sleep all night long. They wake up at least three or four times, although this might change slightly by their age.
The way babies sleep is different from the way adults and even children do. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how the babies sleep.
Babies have short sleep cycles. They enter a light sleeping period for about 20 minutes before going into a deeper sleep. That is mostly why they wake up right after they are put to bed. Once a few months have passed, the light sleeping period shortens and they startgoing into the deep sleep in less a shorter time. A baby goes back to light sleeping period in about 50 minutes following deep sleep and becomes sensitive to external stimuli. For this reason, they usually wake up before re-entering the deep sleep period.
By observing your baby, you can tellwhen she transitions to light sleep from deep sleep. When the baby starts to wiggle, you can aid her re-enter deep sleep by gently patting or running your hand smoothly on her back.This gesture comforts the baby by making him/her feel your presence and warmth.
In time,the deep sleeping period would be prolonged and your baby would begin to make transitions between deep and light sleep all by him/herself.
Sleeping-very much like learning to eat on her own- is a habit that your child may learn all by herself and would developin time. The secret is patience and applying the right -baby/child centric- approach.
Nilcan Kuleli Sertgil
Expert Psychological Counselor
012 Development Support Center