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Active Sleep and Newborns

Parents, will this video be watched by you? The sound will now be on. Let me show you what newborn sleep looks like. It’s possible for newborns to be so active even while they sleep.

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Would you jump out of bed if you heard the baby crying in the middle of the night? You might be accidentally waking your baby in the night by doing this.

Let me explain. There are two types of sleep for newborns: active and quiet. They spend approximately half of their sleep time in each. Adults’ REM sleep is very similar to active sleep, but there is a big difference.

Adults’ skeletal muscles become paralyzed at this stage, but young babies aren’t. Babies instead move, make noises (grunts, cries), sometimes even open their eyes while they sleep.

What does this all mean?

If you think this active sleep period is baby’s awake time and jump in immediately, you could accidentally wake your baby!

These babies may cry or move. They are all asleep! This is called active sleep. Active sleep is when your baby wakes up from 3 to 6 am “fighting the Swaddle” or fighting with gas.

Wait, Cara! Are you saying that I shouldn’t go to help my baby who is crying in the middle of the night?

No! Not at all! You will respond if your baby is in need of you.

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We simply need to stop and watch before we can respond.

Before you react, take a moment and listen to your baby. You should give your baby between 30-60 seconds and then pick her up. This will allow you to determine if your child is actually awake or just going through transitions between sleep cycles.

New Skills and Sleep Disruptions

Babies are amazing! They go from being tiny, sleepy little bundles to becoming active little ones in a matter of minutes. When they can walk, talk, and roll over, you are proud. Every one of these new skills are a great accomplishment for your baby.

These tips can help you avoid sleeping problems while learning this new skill.

1. You can practice during the day.

Your little one can learn new skills on the ground. Did he learn how to roll? Spend lots of time together on your stomach. Do they crawl? Encourage crawling by making toys that are a little too far away. Are you new to sitting or standing? You can practice standing, sitting, and laying. This will make it easier to master the new skill at night. It also provides stimulating and active awake time to help your baby prepare for sleep at night.

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2. You might consider a sleep sack.

Sleep sacks can be used to signal your child that it is time for bed and remind them that playtime has ended. They can also restrict mobility, making it less appealing to your child during nap or night time.

3. Stay consistent AND give everyone grace.

You don’t have to abandon all your healthy sleeping habits. You don’t have to abandon your sleep habits and routines. Give yourself and your child some grace. It is exciting and difficult to learn a new skill. It is temporary and will end soon!

4. Be sure to have a solid sleep foundation before you get hit with these bumps.

A solid sleep foundation is crucial for navigating setbacks due to developmental strides or regressions. You can stick to the strategies you have been using with your baby if you already have a solid sleep foundation.

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5. Ask for help.

Although learning new skills can disrupt sleep, you are not the only one! My classes meet your baby right where he/she is at developmental stages and keep you involved throughout. Are you not ready to commit to a course? You don’t have to spend money on a course? You’ll get practical tips to improve your sleep every night.

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