Trouble Getting Your Little One to Sleep? Harness Baby Sleep Cycles

Getting your baby to sleep through the night isn’t always easy. Read on to learn more about baby sleep cycles so you can get a better night’s rest.

baby sleep cycles to help them sleep through the night

When you become a mother for the first time, baby sleep cycles might be one of the most foreign things to you.

If you want to get your baby to sleep through the night, you need to understand how baby sleep cycles work.

Read on to get a better understanding.

Active Sleep

The first part of a baby’s sleep cycle is active sleep. This is the equivalent to adult REM sleep.

Although adults can remain in REM sleep for up to 90 minutes, babies only remain in REM for not even an hour.

Out of the average 16-hours babies sleep a day, only about half of this time is in REM sleep.

During active sleep is when babies can have dreams, but can also get woken up easier by random noises.

If you want to know whether your baby is in REM sleep, then you need to pay attention to eyelid movement. Active sleep will show your baby’s eyelids fluttering, their breath might seem irregular, and they might make some noises.

Quiet Sleep

After the baby has moved on from active sleep, they pass into quiet sleep. Unlike all of the activity and faster breathing of active sleep, quiet sleep is the opposite.

When babies enter quiet sleep, their breathing slows down and you don’t expect to see the same eyelid fluttering activity.

Since everything slows down during quiet sleep and babies take more rhythmic breaths, they are less likely to wake up to random sounds.

Quiet sleep is the end of the baby’s sleep cycle and they can either fall back into active sleep or wake up.

Notice Your Baby’s Sleepy Signs

Now that you understand active and quiet sleep, your end goal is to help your baby sleep better and hopefully sleep through the night.

After the age of six months, baby’s sleep cycles might begin to slowly resemble adult’s sleep cycles, but not quite yet.

This is the reason why some parents experience an 8 month sleep regression in their babies.

Once a baby becomes more alert and doesn’t fall asleep quite as easily, you have to pay attention to the signs:

  • They might get fuzzy
  • You’ll notice excessive yawning
  • The baby will rub his or her eyes
  • They might look away

How to Put Your Baby to Sleep?

If you want your baby to complete both sleeping stages, you should do what you can to make your baby more comfortable before bed.

To help them differentiate between day and night, slow things down at night. You might want to dim the lights and quiet down.

Put the baby down on the crib while the baby is drowsy but not asleep yet. Make sure you put the baby to sleep on its back and there are no loose covers.

Now you Understand Baby Sleep Cycles

Baby sleep cycles are simpler than adults. Once you understand them, you’ll be able to help your baby sleep better and hopefully sleep through the night.

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