New moms have the most questions about their baby's sleep. Many mothers always hope that there will be a specific and targeted solution to solve their baby's sleep problems quickly.
I had to splash a pot of cold water here: this magic once and for all immediately effective way does not exist!
"Bad habits are easy to get, good habits are hard to develop."
On the one hand, no matter how good the method is if you don't stick with it for a while, you won't see results.
On the other hand, the more specific the method is, the greater the possibility of failure. This is because we are dealing with people with individual differences, not machines. At the same time, each family has special circumstances and conditions, and the same method put into different families may get the opposite feedback.
So you have to ask more "why" rather than "how". You need to figure out the reasons behind the problem. And know the purpose and rationale behind each step of your plan. That way you can be flexible and adaptable to other people's approaches and turn them into specific approaches that work for your baby.
Today I'll reveal the deeper reasons behind the surface problems you see.
Sleep problems caused by excessive fatigue
Difficult to put to sleep, always crying before bedtime, waking up easily, waking up crying, night terrors, fussiness at dusk.
The essential reason
To put it bluntly, he is "too sleepy"!
When it's time for your child to sleep, you don't get him to sleep in time. He feels tired and his adrenal glands get the signal. At this point he becomes sleepy and further secretes cortisol (also known as the "stress hormone". Look at the name and you get the idea, right? The baby's stress is coming up)
Excessive stress will only make it more difficult for the baby to fall asleep. Even more awake. At this time the body has begun to secrete adrenaline, norepinephrine, dopamine, etc.. He starts to get irritable and irritable out of control, he starts to cry and the difficulty of putting him to sleep rises steeply.
If parents still do not let the child rush to sleep at this time, and to ensure the quality of his continuous hours of sleep. His fatigue will build up and he will be in a state of constant crying and irritable night waking throughout the day.
In the long run, the child will be in a very bad mood. If good sleep habits are not formed during infancy and childhood, insomnia will occur in adulthood, and insomnia is the cause of many psychological problems.
Many children are hyperactive, impulsive, inattentive and unresponsive by the time they reach school age. This is the result of long-term sleep problems that do not attract the attention of parents.
In the infant stage where they only eat, drink and sleep. The parents' greatest responsibility to their children is to guide them to good sleep habits as soon as possible!
And, some parents do things without principles. They can't stick to things, they are frightened, they argue a lot, family conflicts, etc. They can also intensify their children's sleep problems.
Please read these three articles on sleep misconceptions.
Sleep problems caused by changes in the sleep environment
Laying down crying, easy to wake up, short naps, checking in on the way to sleep
The essential reason
The child wakes up in the middle of the night to check his sleep environment. If the sleep environment is different from when he went to sleep, he will become frightened and awake. This is an instinctive self-protection, as natural as a cub in a primeval forest.
And when he checks that the sleep environment has not changed and is still familiar and reassuring, he will quickly fall asleep again.
When your way of putting to sleep is to cuddle and nurse to sleep, your child falls asleep in your arms and may still have your nipple in his mouth.
When he gets up halfway through the day to check on you, he will panic when he finds that he is not in his mother's arms and there is no nipple in his mouth. He wakes up clearly, but at the same time he is still sleepy but has trouble falling asleep at ease. He will then cry a lot and it is difficult to put him to sleep here. But if not put to sleep he is also very difficult, thus becoming grumpy.
This is why it is very difficult to continuing sleep for many mothers who hold and sleep with milk. This is because it is very difficult to ensure that you return to the exact same environment as when the child fell asleep.
So, your child needs a stable sleep environment. A sleep environment that won't change so easily, that he is familiar with and at ease with, that is easy to keep consistent and undisturbed: his own separate crib!
Giving your baby a stable, comfortable and uniform sleep environment is a prerequisite for a good night's sleep and for your child to feel adequately secure during sleep.
During the night, some parents rush to soothe their child when he is just a bit about to wake up and try to help him fall asleep again. In fact, this soothing itself is a disturbance to sleep, sometimes even disguised as a consolidation of his habitual night waking (the child has to wake up at the same time every day in order to appeal to his parents' soothing mentality).
This is because it artificially adds the environmental factor of "mom and dad's soothing" to his sleep environment. The child needs to check if this factor is still present at that time of day.
Sleep checklist, please see this one.
Sleep problems caused by disruption of the whole day routine
Soothing milk, sleeping while eating, crying and waking up for food after a short sleep, day and night reversal, frequent flatulence, thick tongue, slow weight gain, poor mental status, etc.
When a baby is a newborn, his central nervous system is not yet well developed and he needs his parents to help him by giving him a regular and predictable routine. This will help his digestive, waking, and sleep cycles all run in balance until his own central nervous system is fully developed.
When his day is chaotic and out of control, his body picks up the signal. The metabolism is disrupted accordingly, with many adverse effects on his digestion, wakefulness, and sleep.
This is where many mothers get stuck on the sleep issue. They read a lot of sleep guidance related content and try to do it, only to find that this theory not only does not help the child cry more violently. Then they start to doubt whether this theory is correct, thinking that their baby must be a high-needs baby and not suitable for this theory.
In fact, this is because we ignore the fact that our baby is a person, he is an individual. Everything in his life is actually connected.
The sleep problem that bothers you the most. In fact, the reason behind it is often not the sleep itself, but the baby's feeding, body comfort or not, whether the work and rest disorder caused.
When your baby cries before bedtime because the time of hunger coincides with the time of sleep, you have no idea whether your child is hungry, sleepy or uncomfortable. When you ask for help, you can't describe the reason, just "My baby cries every day, what's wrong with him? Is there any way to stop crying?" What kind of answer do you think the other person will give you to such a question? When you don't even know the reason yourself, how can there be a so-called magic method to stop your child from crying indiscriminately? Do you want to knock the child out with a stick?
You need to take a step back and systematically consider what the problem is from a 24-hour perspective.
A child without a regular routine has a body in disorder. The child is full of unknowns about what will happen in the future, and the unknowns are the main reason for the child's insecurity.
As parents, the child's needs under the chaotic routine is also full of confusion, do not know what the child's cries really want to say, anxiety filled atmosphere of the whole family, only to make the problem more serious.
Neither you nor your child needs the adventure of the unknown, never throw you and your child out of control.
The healthy growth of a baby requires the establishment of a stable biological clock as soon as possible, so that his body functions regularly as a system.
However, this is not a strict schedule based on the whim of the parents or a rigid one. Rather, it is a regular routine that is based on full observation of the baby, respect for the baby's own characteristics, and flexible adjustment at any time in conjunction with the characteristics of the baby at different stages of growth.
The role of mothers and fathers is not to be the dominant one, but to be the supporting guide, and flexibility is a key part of guided parenting.
For regular work and rest, please see.
Angel baby raising (1) - Preparation
Angel baby raising (2) - Theory of regular work and rest
Angel baby raising (3) - Regular work and rest training in practice