Why do newborns sleep poorly? Tips for young parents

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2023-06-09 11:58:30

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After the baby is born, almost the whole family begins to live in the mode that he sets. However, normally most of the time a newly born baby sleeps. At the same time, some newly-made parents are faced with the fact that the baby sleeps poorly, restlessly or does not want to go to the land of dreams at all. Why do newborn babies sleep poorly?

why don't newborns sleep wellIt is worth knowing the sleep standards for children at a particular age. Often parents begin to worry when there is no reason for this. Where does the norm end?

How much should the baby sleep?

The importance of sleep for a baby is difficult to overestimate. Quality rest as well as proper nutrition is the key to normal physical and psycho-emotional health of babies.

During sleep:

  • The hormone somatotropin is produced, which plays an important role in the formation of the skeleton;
  • Immunity is restored. After falling asleep, T-lymphocytes are activated, destroying viruses and bacteria;
  • Metabolism in tissues increases;
  • Cells are updated;
  • The nervous system relaxes.

Babies spend most of their first three months of life sleeping. According to WHO recommendations, the total sleep duration of babies from 0 to 3 months should be 14-17 hours a day. However, these figures are approximate, because each child is individual. Therefore, if your baby sleeps more or less than the established norm, but at the same time feels good, then you should not worry.

  • For the first three months of his life, the baby should sleep at least 16 hours a day;
  • from 3 to 6 months, about 15 hours a day are allocated for sleep;
  • Starting from 6 months and up to a year, this time is reduced to 13 hours a day;
  • Upon reaching the age of one, the child should sleep for about 12 hours.

Sleep features of babies from 0 to 3 months

Some manifestations of restless behavior of babies after falling asleep can be explained by the peculiarities of the structure of their sleep.

A baby's sleep, like an adult's, consists of two phases:

  1. Orthodox or slow sleep. During this period, the brain is inactive, the body is relaxed, breathing is smooth and calm. It is during slow sleep that a person fully rests and restores physical strength.
  2. Paradoxical or rem sleep. The paradoxical phase is characterized by an increase in body temperature and pressure, rapid heartbeat, breathing, rapid movement of the eyeballs under closed eyelids.

During sleep, both phases replace each other: first comes a slow sleep, then a fast one, and so on in a circle. The structure of sleep in infants of the first months of life is unique: its main part is rapid sleep, during which the baby can grimace, pull the arms and legs.This behavior of the baby during sleep is absolutely normal and should not bother parents. As they grow older, the period of the orthodox phase gradually increases, and the child begins to sleep more peacefully.

So, you are still convinced that the child sleeps less than expected. Why do newborns sleep poorly? In fact, there are many reasons.

The first is discomfort from gas and intestinal colic. As a rule, they occur as a result of ingestion of air during feeding. If a newborn screamed loudly for a long time, he could have accidentally swallowed excess air.

Of course, sleep disorders are often accompanied by other diseases. If the child has a fever, other irritating symptoms have appeared, it is quite understandable why he does not want to sleep the amount of time allotted to him.

why the newborn sleeps badlyThe psychological situation in the house is also of great importance. A newborn has a close emotional connection with his mother, and therefore if parents constantly argue, shout, swear, it will not affect the baby in the best way.

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Another reason why newborns do not sleep well is the situation when they confuse night and day. This happens quite often. Here you need to watch the baby himself. If he hardly sleeps at night, it is likely that he does it in the daytime. There is nothing to worry about, because the crumbs have not yet established biorhythms.

The cause of the baby's anxiety may be skin irritations (diaper rash, sweating), an overflowing diaper or thoroughly wet diapers.

If the newborn does not sleep well, it is likely that he is hungry. Until the baby eats normally, you should not count on a calm, serene sleep.

Sometimes the cause of sleep disorders are problems with the nervous system or banal overexcitation. Too many bright emotions and impressions, frequent visits of guests – all this, of course, is good, but in moderation. Constantly overloading a newborn with such "surprises", you can do him a disservice.

Finally, the child may be cold or hot, uncomfortable in your chosen clothes.

After analyzing all these factors, you will be able to find out why the newborn sleeps poorly. As a rule, you can cope with this problem on your own, but sometimes you need the help of a pediatrician (for example, if the baby is sick).

Now you know why newborns don't sleep well. How to help a child and improve his sleep? Here are some simple tips for young parents in such a case:

  1. Ventilate the room before putting the baby to bed. Cool, fresh, oxygenated air is the key to a healthy sleep. Ideally, if the baby also sleeps during daytime walks on the street.
  2. The room should be in semi-darkness, contributing to faster falling asleep. According to statistics, one of the most common reasons why a newborn does not sleep well during the day is too bright light. Curtains or blinds will help eliminate excess light.
  3. newborn sleeps poorly during the dayThe child should be fed, dressed in a clean diaper.
  4. When putting the baby to bed, sing him lullabies. The presence of hearing and voice is not so critical here. The calm melody and the mother's voice will calm him down in any case.
  5. It is important to observe the regime. Let the child constantly go to bed and wake up at the same time. Constant changes in this regard interfere with normal sleep.
  6. The old way is motion sickness. However, experts do not advise them to get carried away, as children get used to it very quickly and subsequently cannot fall asleep if they are not rocked.

The main causes of restless sleep in infants

Frequent awakenings of babies, difficulties with subsequent falling asleep, crying and screaming in a dream can be associated with the following reasons:

  • Hunger;
  • Intestinal colic;
  • Overabundance of emotions;
  • Uncomfortable sleeping conditions;
  • Violation of sleep hygiene;
  • Somatic diseases;
  • Increased intracranial pressure.

Hunger

Hunger is the main cause of restless sleep in babies from 0 to 3 months. Children who are naturally fed wake up every 1–3 hours for feeding. Babies on artificial feeding eat less often (every 2–5 hours), because it takes more time for the gastrointestinal tract to digest the mixture.

Mothers of babies who are breastfed have a choice: to feed their children on demand or by the hour. The WHO recommends choosing the first option, which not only satisfies the child's food needs, but also contributes to his calm behavior. When feeding on demand, mothers should not be afraid to overfeed babies: they will never eat more than they need.

It happens that a child often wakes up and asks for a breast due to a woman's lack of milk. In such a situation, the baby, in addition to restless sleep, will experience insufficient weight gain, a decrease in the number of urinations, dry skin.

Intestinal colic

Intestinal colic in infants — sudden paroxysmal abdominal pain. Children with colic are restless, eat poorly, regurgitate a lot, often knock their legs, sometimes throw their head back and arch.

The exact cause of colic in babies is unknown. There are several theories of the origin of paroxysmal pains. One of them is the immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract. Imperfect motor function of the digestive tract leads to increased gas formation in the intestine, which causes pain syndrome.

As a rule, colic is a physiological norm and passes independently by the age of 3 months. Therefore, parents should be patient and calmly treat this condition of the child.

What can help a baby with colic?

  1. The mother's diet, if the child is on natural feeding. It is worth removing from the diet products that increase gas formation: sweets, legumes, vegetables with coarse dietary fibers (cabbage, radish, radish), carbonated drinks.
  2. Selection of an adequate mixture if the baby is on artificial feeding.
  3. The correct position of the baby during and after feeding. During feeding, it is important to avoid swallowing air by the baby. To do this, make sure that the baby does not rest against the areola with a sweaty nose when feeding, and he retains normal nasal breathing. After feeding the baby, you need to hold the "column".

Phytopreparations and probiotics are also used to relieve colic. However, such treatment can be used only after consultation with a pediatrician.

Overabundance of emotions

In the first three months of life, babies develop hearing and vision rapidly. Thanks to this, they actively get acquainted with the world around them, get a lot of emotions and impressions. And if a newborn perceives only loud sounds, then by the age of 2 months the baby begins to hear low and quiet tones, learns to compare what he heard with what he saw, tries to connect auditory and sound impressions together.

During sleep, the child's brain carefully processes and analyzes all the impressions received by him during the waking period. Therefore, an overabundance of emotions can negatively affect children's sleep. Too loud music before going to bed, a large crowd of people — all this affects the quality of rest. The elimination of such factors will help to avoid an overabundance of emotions in the child.

Uncomfortable sleeping conditions

Uncomfortable conditions can also cause a baby's restless sleep. The optimal conditions for children's recreation are:

  1. The air temperature is 20–22 °C. At higher rates, the child may be stuffy and hot. It is not necessary to wrap up the baby, put extra clothes on him "just in case".
  2. The air humidity is 40–60%. Dry air in the room leads to drying out of the mucous membranes, difficult nasal breathing, thirst.
  3. Dim light during the day and no lighting at night. Bright lighting is an irritant that affects falling asleep. During daytime sleep, it is not worth creating complete darkness: this can lead to the fact that the child will confuse day with night.
  4. Clothes made of natural fabrics, without tight elastic bands.
  5. Dry diaper. Slips allow you to quickly change a diaper during sleep - comfortable and practical clothes for babies.

Violation of sleep hygiene

Well, what kind of mom will refuse to carry her baby in her arms and rock him when he is naughty and does not go to bed? Meanwhile, such manipulations before going to bed will eventually lead to the fact that the child will not be able to fall asleep on his own.

Of course, it is not necessary to establish strict discipline for the baby in behavior before going to bed. It is not necessary to leave the baby alone in the crib. You can just be around. Not to carry in your arms, but to hug. Not to shake, but to stroke the head. In fact, this is filling in the same missing contact with the mother.

Somatic diseases

Somatic diseases include disorders caused by external influences or malfunction of internal organs. But at the same time they have nothing to do with the human psyche. The most common somatic disorders in infants are runny nose and dermatitis.

In the first case, a full-fledged child's sleep is hindered by difficult nasal breathing. With dermatitis, the child's body is covered with inflamed areas that itch and cause severe discomfort. Competent treatment prescribed by a pediatrician will allow you to cope with such diseases.

Increased intracranial pressure

The functioning of the brain and spinal cord is impossible without regular circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, a biological fluid consisting of water, amino acids, enzymes, trace elements. Normal circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid provides the brain and spinal cord cells with the necessary nutrients, removes metabolic products, levels short-term changes in blood composition. Any deviation in the cerebrospinal fluid circulation system leads to an excessive accumulation of biological fluid in the cavities of the brain and an increase in intracranial pressure.

High intracranial pressure in infants is manifested not only by sleep disorders, but also by other signs:

  • Increasing the size of the head;
  • Constant regurgitation;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Increased nervousness.

In order to identify and eliminate the disorder, it is necessary to do a neurosonography (ultrasound of the brain with a Doppler) and consult a neurologist.

It is important to gradually accustom the baby to sleep independently. Do not rush to him, hearing the slightest rustle – so the child will finally wake up. Let him lie down for a while – if nothing bothers him, he will soon fall asleep himself. You can also show the newborn that if, for example, he slept on his side, you can roll over on your back and continue your travels through the sleepy realm.


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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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