What if we told you that your baby does not go to sleep at night is because it can’t! Not something that you want to hear, right?
After nine months in the womb, when the baby is finally born, you wish that you are there with your infant 24/7, however, it would start getting to you once you realize that the baby never sleeps at night. How many of us have mothers looking pleadingly at us because their baby refused to grab some shut eye at night?
It’s All About Genes
When you conceived, you brought upon your body a number of changes. There was a lifestyle change, no drinking, no smoking, being responsible, etc., and for your baby, it’s all about beginning a new life where their guide was the womb and their genes.
The baby develops a sense of time from rhythms including the heartbeat of the mother. Two sets of genes guide the fetus, one ensures that they sleep. So yes, there you have it, your baby sleeps in the womb. The second set of genes is what helps them understand time, including waking, and sleeping.
Now, not getting your hopes too high here, because, genes are bit of a lottery. You may be blessed with timings and good sleep; your fetus has a mixture of both you and your partner’s. This means babies will be different, from which we can conclude that there is a very slim chance of your baby sleeping just like you.
Experiences From The Womb
Whatever your baby experienced, he/she did it in the womb before he/she was even born, this includes the day and night, sleep, and wake, etc. You were its guiding light. But what you need to remember that during pregnancy, sleep patterns change. So while your baby understands that moving around is time to be soothed (which is most parts of the day), at night it became active, because you did not move. However, some good news, by your 32nd week of pregnancy, your baby is sound asleep too.
This brings to the next important thing, sleep needs to be a high priority (despite the loo visits) for every pregnant lady. Sleep is also vital for giving birth. While being tired is normal, you need to grab at least six hours of sleep at night.
After birth, the need to feed is what runs the baby and his/her parents. Feeding is hard work, they get tired and then they sleep and recover. The need is there again, often looking like a never-ending pattern. Since babies have no sense of day or night, they keep this pattern working even at night. (Sounds exhausting, right?) Their system does not register 24 hour long days and it usually takes two to six months to get that right.
So, we can safely come to this conclusion, babies don’t sleep at night because they cannot!
The Baby Never Sleeps!!!
This means that no more sleep? All this is good, how do we get our babies sleeping at night and not crying all night long? Will feeding or swaddling help? Here are few things to give your baby a nudge in sleeping at night.
Begin with the surroundings
Most advices given by the healthcare providers for babies are for the entire family. This means that babies would learn faster from signals in the environment. One of them is sunlight. Encourage to go out with your baby and ensure that your bedroom is dark. Keep away all light emitting objects from the baby’s sleeping area.
Breast milk contains the hormone melatonin which triggers sleep to the baby. In early days, the baby would doze off after a short period, but carry on feeding till you think that they have finished or fully sleep.
All this sounds terribly disturbing and exhausting, but trust yourself. Ask for help from partners, friends, and family. Try not to worry, for babies just take some time to adjust, you did too.