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Baby's day sleep

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2011 3:30 pm
by NgalaOnline
My baby is 8 weeks old and keeps waking when I put him down in his bassinette in the day, how can I get him to stay asleep longer in his bed?

Re: Baby's day sleep

PostPosted: Sun 23 Jan, 2011 5:10 pm
by NgalaOnline
The concerns you are having are very common. Babies sleep in very short sleep cycles which in a newborn can be as short as twenty minutes, extending to around forty minutes as they get older. At this age it is very common and normal for babies to have wakeful periods and to find it difficult to settle and remain asleep without the assistance of their caregiver. At eight week's of age, babies are still very immature and there are large sections of their brain that are still very underdeveloped. The part of the brain that are responsible for emotional regulation (that is, the ability to calm oneself down and settle for sleep) is very underdeveloped. This means that at this early point in his life, your little baby is still very dependent on his caregivers to provide a lot of the soothing and settling he needs.

Many babies respond well to being near their parent's heart beats and bodies, and may settle to sleep easiest in their parents arms or in a sling. You may find that if you drape yourself over your baby in his bassinette when he stirs and soothe him by saying "shhh" or patting him gently he will resettle for more sleep. Some babies respond well to movement such as being rocked in their bassinette, the pram, or a swing. Other babies find a deep warm bath, or white noise such as the washing machine or rado static (turned louder than the baby's cry) can be helpful for periods when they are very unsettled. The newborn weeks can be very draining for parents, so looking after your own needs and trying to arrange some occasions where you can have short periods of time out from caring for your baby can be very important. Sharing the load with a partner or seeking assistance from family and friends can be the easiest way to make sure that your needs are also being met during this busy time.

Often parents are concerned that they are creating a bad habit by assisting their baby to sleep. In the newborn weeks the part of the brain involved in establishing memories is very immature. This is a relief for many parents as it means that at this age, your baby is not establishing "sleep associations" - that being, set ideas about how to fall and remain asleep. By three to four months of age a lot more brain development has occured, and babies can start to develop strong sleep associations. Therefore, once your baby reaches three months it can be beneficial to start helping your baby to learn to fall asleep in his bed without requiring external aids that he cant do for himself such as patting, rocking or feeding. Before then though, it is fine to settle your baby in whichever way you feel suits you both best, without being concerned about establishing sleep associations at that early stage.

Links to a lot of helpful information about newborns can be found on the following website: ... o-12-weeks