Trou­bleshoot­ing

Little Treasures - - BABY CARE - For more on baby sleep, visit our web­site trea­sures.co.nz/baby/sleep.

WHY DOES MY BABY WAKE UP AF­TER 45 MIN­UTES?

Your baby’s sleep cy­cles dur­ing the day are ap­prox­i­mately 45 min­utes long. It takes a baby 10-20 min­utes to move from a light sleep to a deep sleep and then the com­plete cy­cle is 45 min­utes. Ev­ery 45 min­utes your baby wakes fully; this helps pre­vent SIDS (Sud­den In­fant Death Syn­drome) as your baby isn’t stay­ing in a deep sleep for pro­longed pe­ri­ods of time. Some ba­bies stir briefly and go back to sleep quickly, while oth­ers need help to re-set­tle. White noise and a dark sleep space can help en­cour­age your baby to go back to sleep af­ter one sleep cy­cle.

WHY DOES MY NEW­BORN ONLY SLEEP WHEN HE’S ON ME?

Your baby has been in­side you for nine months (three trimesters), and the first three months out­side the womb are of­ten re­ferred to as the fourth trimester. Dur­ing the first three to four weeks es­pe­cially, ba­bies can be very hard to set­tle away from their par­ents. Your smell, touch, voice – every­thing about you – is calm­ing for your baby so it is very com­mon for new­borns to fall asleep eas­ily while feed­ing or be­ing cud­dled. Rest as­sured, you are not spoil­ing your baby or do­ing any­thing “wrong”. Hold­ing to sleep can be­come a deep-rooted sleep as­so­ci­a­tion if it is the only way you lull your baby to sleep for a good 12 weeks or more. If you mix it up and suc­ceed with some­times rock­ing, some­times us­ing a dummy, some­times walk­ing or pat­ting, then your baby won’t de­velop any deep-rooted as­so­ci­a­tions and with time they will be­gin to self-set­tle.

WHEN WILL MY BABY DROP A NAP?

For the first three months your baby will prob­a­bly have three to four naps a day. Th­ese might not be very long if they are hav­ing four naps a day and if your baby has a late bed time they might even have five naps! Once they are three months their sleep should have ma­tured a lit­tle and set­tled down into three naps a day. Be­tween seven to eight months most ba­bies are ready to drop their third nap and be awake from 2.30/3.30pm un­til bed time. This two-naps-a-day sched­ule will stick around un­til your baby is 15-18 months, when they will be ready to drop to one sleep. We rec­om­mend they drop the morn­ing sleep and stick with an af­ter­noon nap. This af­ter­noon nap will be your toddler’s nap un­til they are two and a half to three years old! If you no­tice your baby fighting any naps, try to give them two weeks be­fore you drop a nap com­pletely as they might just be hav­ing a re­gres­sion.

WHEN CAN MY BABY SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?

Sleep­ing through the night by def­i­ni­tion is only six to eight hours, so your baby could be sleep­ing 7pm-7am with a feed overnight and this would be con­sid­ered sleep­ing through the night. Sim­i­larly, sleep­ing 7pm-7am with a feed at 10pm is also sleep­ing through the night. This is phys­i­cally pos­si­ble (if your baby is thriv­ing and feed­ing well) once your baby is around 6.5kg, but lots of ba­bies are not ready neu­ro­log­i­cally un­til they are four months or older. Sleep­ing 12 hours at night is not usu­ally some­thing we would ex­pect un­til your baby is well es­tab­lished on solids af­ter six months, es­pe­cially in a baby that is breast­fed.

MY TODDLER IS RE­FUS­ING HIS NAP. WHAT CAN I DO?

Try not to drop to one nap un­til 15-18 months. Re­duc­ing day­time sleep too soon re­sults in early wake-ups and night sleep prob­lems. If your toddler is re­fus­ing their sec­ond nap but takes their first nap, they are not ready for one nap. Shorten your first nap un­til the sec­ond nap re-con­sol­i­dates. Re­fus­ing the first nap for two weeks is a clear sign your mini toddler is ready for just one nap a day. 

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