Best Start

breastfeeding advice for you and your baby

Sleep Problems

Below are answers to some common questions about sleep problems and your baby. Please contact me to discuss any issues in greater detail and for a personal consulation.

1. A new born baby can only manage to stay awake for 40-60 minutes. True or False?A babies feet under bed covers

True: Newborn babies can only manage to stay awake for 40-60 minutes which is just long enough for a feed and a nappy change.

2. Not all babies can manage a routine even if the parent persists. True or False?

False: Babies can adapt to a routine imposed on them. However some mothers and babies find this very stressful and become unsettled and upset by this rigid approach.

3. Babies need to learn to sleep on their own. True or False?

True: Some western parents believe that the baby needs to learn to sleep on their own. This is seen as important in developing a good sleep routine.

4. Babies start to recognise their parent’s faces from birth. True or False?

True: Babies start to recognise their parents using a crude visual awareness and their other senses that are highly tuned to recognise their parents and make sense of the new non-watery environment.

5. Babies were designed to sleep with their mothers. True or false?A mother and her sleeping baby

True: Babies are designed to stay close to their mothers and therefore sleep next to them in order to bond (emotional stability), maintain their body’s vital signs (temperature control) and pick up early feeding cues. Breastfeeding works best with lots of skin to skin contact.

6. Babies have two behavioural states. True or False?

False: Babies have 6 behavioural states Deep sleep(NREM), Light sleep (REM), Drowsy awake, Quiet alert, Active alert and Crying.

7. Babies can develop a dependency on a dummy if used to settle them to sleep at 3 months of age. True or False?

True: Babies can develop a dependency on the “trick” used to settle them for sleep as they move from REM light sleep into deep sleep. This trick can be a dummy, a feed, rocking or lying next to a parent. This can disrupt the baby’s sleep pattern.

8. Babies who are breastfed do not sleep through the night. True or False?

False: The length of sleep depends on the babies needs which is unique for every baby. The other important factor is the mother’s capacity to make breast milk, again unique for every mother.

9. Most parents in the UK share their beds with their baby before the first month. True or False?

True: Most parents (70%)take their baby into their bed at some time during the first month.

10. Colostrum contains a sedative. True or False?A mother and child bonding

True: Colostrum contains a sedative which helps calm the baby following the birth. This sleepy state lasts up to two weeks when the colostrum finishes.

11. You should not pick your baby up every time he/she cries, or this will become a habit and become a rod for your own back. True or False?

False: Research shows that understanding and responding appropriately to your baby’s behavioural states will lead to a more independent, happy and confidant child

12. Babies start waking up more frequently around 3 months because they need more than milk to meet their nutritional needs. True or False?

False: Babies may wake up more often at three months because they have developed a dependency on a “trick” used to settled them to sleep or they have started to teethe, or both. Babies need milk until 6 months of age. They can not metabolise other foods well until that age.

1. A new born baby can only manage to stay awake for 40-60 minutes.

True or False?

True : Newborn babies can only manage to stay awake for 40-60 minutes which is just long enough for a feed and a nappy change.

2. Not all babies can manage a routine even if the parent persists. True or False?

False : Babies can adapt to a routine imposed on them. However some mothers and babies find this very stressful and become unsettled and upset by this rigid approach.

3. Babies need to learn to sleep on their own. True or False?

True : Some western parents believe that the baby needs to learn to sleep on their own. This is seen as important in developing a good sleep routine.

4. Babies start to recognise their parent’s faces from birth. True or False?

True : Babies start to recognise their parents using a crude visual awareness and their other senses that are highly tuned to recognise their parents and make sense of the new non-watery environment.

5. Babies were designed to sleep with their mothers. True or false?

True : Babies are designed to stay close to their mothers and therefore sleep next to them in order to bond (emotional stability), maintain their body’s vital signs (temperature control) and pick up early feeding cues. Breastfeeding works best with lots of skin to skin contact.

6. Babies have two behavioural states. True or False?

False: Babies have 6 behavioural states Deep sleep(NREM), Light sleep (REM), Drowsy awake, Quiet alert, Active alert and Crying.

7. Babies can develop a dependency on a dummy if used to settle them to sleep at 3 months of age. True or False?

True: Babies can develop a dependency on the “trick” used to settle them for sleep as they move from REM light sleep into deep sleep. This trick can be a dummy, a feed, rocking or lying next to a parent. This can be a problem for some parents as the baby may wake many times in the night from the age of three months just when most babies are sleeping for the longest period of time since birth.

8. Babies who are breastfed do not sleep through the night. True or False?

False: The length of sleep depends on the babies needs which is unique for every baby. The other important factor is the mother’s capacity to make breast milk, again unique for every mother.

9. Most parents in the UK share their beds with their baby before the first month. True or False?

True: Most parents (70%)take their baby into their bed at some time during the first month.

10. Colostrum contains a sedative. True or False?

True : Colostrum contains a sedative which helps calm the baby following the birth. This sleepy state lasts up to two weeks when the colostrum finishes.

11. You should not pick your baby up every time he/she cries, or this will become a habit and become a rod for your own back. True or False?

False: Research shows that understanding and responding appropriately to your baby’s behavioural states will lead to a more independent, happy and confidant child

12. Babies start waking up more frequently around 3 months because they need more than milk to meet their nutritional needs. True or False?

False : Babies may wake up more often at three months because they have developed a dependency on a “trick” used to settled them to sleep or they have started to teethe, or both. Babies need milk until 6 months of age. They can not metabolise other foods well until that age.

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