How much should babies and children sleep? Recommendations for each stage
Why does my son's sleep change so much?
We adults know that the baby is perfectly safe in his bed, but the baby doesn't know it. Feeling safe is learned through frequent repetition of contact with others, this means feeling through touch and smell that someone is around.
During the first months of life our child's sleep hours will decrease and we will see him with more open eyes, this will indicate to us that his brain is prepared to receive more learning. However, let us not forget that the nights are long and during them they still need to receive signals from their environment that confirm that they are still surrounded by people who care for them, thus creating a relationship of security.
The baby's sleep changes month to month according to advances in motor skills, growth and feeding. Understanding that it is changeable and that it is not something we are doing wrong, we must avoid including 'potions' such as strong drinks so that hunger does not wake him up or medications to relax him, this will not allow him to have a peaceful night.
For our son, peace of mind is experienced if the caregivers advance at his own pace.
0 - 3 months
To fall asleep, a baby needs close parents: Physical separation is a confusing situation, while the caresses, the sound of the heart and the breathing of the caregivers communicate warmth and closeness: sensations that the little ones feel as the expression of our love and security.
4 - 7 months
Baby's sleep Unstable sleep needs flexible parents: Sleep processes news in the environment, for example, the mother's entry into work, complementary feeding, and motor progress. It is time to try different conciliation practices, such as lulling, rocking or nighttime bathing, and identify which of these the baby enjoys the most.
8 months - 2 years
A dream with awakenings needs attentive parents: The development of language, walking, the birth of teeth and sphincter control are life lessons that the dream must manage. Sensitive parents will bring the calm and tranquility necessary to fall asleep again.
2 years - 6 years
At this stage, children may have restless and fearful sleep. At the beginning of the night, night terrors can occur due to factors such as deep body fatigue. If this happens, we should review your responsibilities for the day and try to reduce them.
Nightmares may also occur in the second part of the night, due to situations experienced during the day. You can talk about the day you had, read a story before bed, hold his hand, give him some gentle caresses, talk to him with soft words and why not, give him company during the night.
It will be very difficult to comfort a child without touching him, without rocking him and without singing to him. Sometimes we hear these prohibitions and we make the simple difficult. We just prohibit ourselves from what works and we miss out on wonderful moments that will never come back.