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Infant sleep – why is it so erratic and why teaching a baby independent sleep will help them thrive?

For the first 6 months from the moment your baby is born, a lot of development happens.

They don’t know the difference between day and night, there is no circulation of cortisol and melatonin for the first 3 months which is why their sleep is so erratic, irregular and frequently alternates between sleep and waking. Let me explain some basic differences so you can understand your baby’s sleep and also rest assured this crazy phase will pass!

sleep stages

So you know we can differentiate 5 sleep stages.

However, these distinct sleep stages do not develop until 6 months of age. Babies alternate between light (REM) and quiet (NON-REM) sleep. What is more, unlike babies 6mo and older, infants do not begin their sleep cycles with deep sleep. They begin their sleep cycle with light sleep which is why they can be easily awoken. Furthermore, infants spend 50% of their sleep in light sleep and they go through more sleep cycles than adults! While adult’s (or even a preschooler’s) sleep cycle lasts c. 90 minutes, infant sleep cycle last between 30 – 50 minutes .

Now you know where these night wakings come from – infants just go through many sleep cycles a night. Helping them learn independent sleep will make it easier for them to transition from one cycle to the next, reducing the amount of night wakings and giving them restorative and healing sleep they need to grow, develop and thrive.

I am well aware of the stereotypes around sleep training. I have worked with families for over a decade and know what concerns parents’ are. Sleep training is not cry-it-out, it’s not leaving a baby so they can cry themselves to sleep. Sleep training is a process of helping a baby learn to sleep well. Just think how well, happy, creative you feel when you’re rested – why not give your baby tools to do the same! A reputable sleep consultant, like myself, will tailor the method right for a family’s dynamic. I am so looking forward to launching my sleep coaching packages soon!

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Customer review of macaroon cookie teething toy

Key factors to your baby and toddler’s development

First of all, congratulations on the newest addition to your family! Whether your baby is about to arrive or is already here, or it is your second or third, you are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime!

If you are feeling concerned, anxious or nervous – you are not alone. The idea of having this baby who depends on you for everything may be overwhelming. My approach to baby care is not about coping but gaining condence to raise your baby in a healthy and contented way.

The truth is no amount of reading nor advice will give you the condence before your baby arrives. You will be gradually acquiring it as you go. As parents, you will face both easy as well as rough days. Weathering tribulations is how you learn, and it is a part of becoming a proud parent!

Naturally, you want to be as prepared and informed as possible to make the best decisions for your baby and I hope this platform gives you the information and support you need.

Health, growth and development are the main aspects of your focus in your baby’s first year. Nutrition and sleep are two key factors that contributes to all these aspects – they allow your baby to grow, develop and thrive.

I hope what I intend to share here will help you gain confidence to experience parenthood in the most positive way possible. Should you have any ideas or question – always feel free to reach out!