Today is World Sleep Day!
I hear you thinking, is there already a day dedicated to this? Yes, it is, because sleep is so important (and to be honest: we love it too)! Let's not underestimate the value of quality sleep. Good sleep already offers so many benefits to adults, so it will probably not surprise you at all when I say that it is even more important for babies, who are still growing. But what stages of sleep are there, and why is sleep so important?
Different sleep stages
Did you know that the sleep cycle of adults and babies is different? To explain this further, it is first important to know that there is a distinction between deep sleep and light sleep. During light sleep, also called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep or dream sleep, you dream a lot, and your eyes make a lot of movements. During deep sleep, as the name suggests, you sleep very sound and deep. Ever wake up and wonder where you are? Exactly, then you have awakened from a deep sleep.
While the sleep cycle of adults starts with deep sleep and ends with light sleep, the sleep cycle of babies starts with light sleep and ends with deep sleep. This is also the reason why babies often wake up when they have just started their sleep cycle. The duration of the sleep cycle of adults and babies also differs. A young baby's sleep cycle lasts a maximum of 45 minutes, while an adult's sleep cycle lasts a maximum of 100 minutes. Also, your baby is likely to wake up after each sleep cycle because babies are still in the learning process of linking sleep cycles together. So that explains why your baby, to your mind, is awake every so often. (Slaaptipsvoorbabys.nl, De Maakbare Mens)
The importance of deep sleep for your little one
As you can probably imagine, deep sleep is most important for your baby. In the moments when your little one ends up in a deep sleep, cells that have been damaged are repaired. New cells are also produced, and deep sleep promotes the development of your little one's brain. Deep sleep is also important for processing all the impressions of the day. Trust me: as a new resident of this busy world, those are a lot of impressions.
Of course, it is very annoying when your baby does not end up in a deep sleep. Is the little one still safely in your belly, but would you like to prepare yourself for these kinds of sleepless situations (and in this way somewhat secure your own sleep)? We will help you with the following tips! (Slaaptipsvoorbabys.nl)
- A bath before bedtime
Bathing your baby before bedtime certainly has its advantages. The warm water in the bath causes your baby's blood vessels to dilate. The dilated blood vessels then lead to a drop in your baby's body temperature as soon as you remove your baby from the water. Don't worry, this is only a small drop. This slightly lower body temperature makes the little one tired. This will help your baby to get to sleep, as he or she will be tired enough to do so. After a while, the baby will also sense that the bath means it will sleep afterward. So, after a while, the bath will become part of the sleep routine. Indeed, a form of conditioning! (Slaaptipsvoorbabys.nl)
- Sleeping in the Maxi Cosi
For young babies, it is usually easier to fall asleep in the Maxi Cosi. In the car, in the stroller, or simply when you are carrying the Maxi Cosi on your arm. This is because of the movements the baby feels then. For a baby, these movements resemble the movements he or she felt in the womb, and this, therefore, has a calming and soothing effect. Does your baby have trouble falling asleep? Then put him or her in the Maxi Cosi and take a walk in the park for example. But beware: do not leave your baby in the Maxi Cosi longer than 2 hours. The Maxi Cosi is not flat, and flat surfaces are still the safest for a baby to sleep on. (Slaaptipsvoorbabys.nl)
- Favorite cuddly toy
Do you have a young baby who is inseparable from a particular soft toy? Make use of this to promote his or her sleep. If your baby can't roll over in the bed by himself yet, it's a good idea to place his or her favorite cuddly toy in sight. Then your baby still has the feeling that the cuddly toy is nearby. Is this still not enough? Then put the cuddly toy in bed, so it is close to your baby when he falls asleep. In this case, keep a close eye on your baby to avoid the danger of suffocation. Has your baby fall asleep? Remove the cuddly toy from the crib, but keep it in sight. This will reduce panic in the little one because nobody can touch his or her plush friend! (Slaaptipsvoorbabys.nl)
- Put your little one in bed in a different way
Is your baby's head the first thing to land on the bed when you put him or her to bed? Try doing it the other way around: make sure the feet and the buttocks are the first parts of the body to touch the bed when you put him or her to bed, and only then the head. (Slaaptipsvoorbabys.nl)
- White Noise
White Noise can also be a good solution if your little one has sleep problems. This is a device that can play sounds that are soothing and calming. Washed up sea or bird sounds? You pick! Without a timer, the White Noise device can even play sounds for 12 hours at a time. Do you want the sounds to play only for a limited time? Then you can set a timer.
- Good temperature
A good temperature in the baby's room is important, also for your baby's sleep. A room temperature of 18 degrees Celsius at most is recommended. Has your baby decided to enter the wide world a little earlier than planned? Then make sure the room temperature is a bit higher, between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. Don't forget to ventilate the room well. Are you afraid that your baby is too warm? You can check this by feeling its neck. A very warm neck? Yes, then your baby is too warm. (Opvoeden.nl)
- Dark room
It may go without saying, but make sure the baby's room is sufficiently dark when it's time for the little one to start dreaming. Investing in good curtains is a must here. When your little one wakes up in this case, chances are that the darkness will encourage him or her to go back to sleep. Want it not to be pitch black in the baby's room? A small nightlight is an ideal solution for this. (Opvoeden.nl)