Saturday, March 24, 2007

Baby cry and sleep 4

By 4 months, hunger rarely dictates the day sleep patterns. By this time nearly all babies will wait for food; hunger will not produce screaming. But temper may add the noise factor.

If a baby is over stimulated, overtired and unrelaxed she will fight being put down to sleep and will wake frequently. In the early months, a baby will not sleep unless she is fed sufficiently and then allowed to pass happily into sleep. Any pressure from the parents reflects on the baby; she will object, become sleepless and cry.

By 6 to 8 weeks some babies required a play period after feeds before they will sleep. This required the parents to recognize the baby’s desire for sleep, which may not be an easy thing to do. When the baby is 3 or 4 months old, the afternoon sleep period will begin to shorten, for most babies of about 3 months, the number of day sleeps is generally related to the number of feeds. The change from two to one day sleep depends on the individual child and usually occurs soon after the first birthday.

The total cessation of day sleeps also occurs at individual ages and can occur anywhere between 18 months and 5 years of age. For the poor sleeper, especially at 3 to 4 months old it may be important to establish a ritual about going to sleep. It is essential this ritual is established in the early weeks and during the first year.

A special cuddling position, a lullaby, being put down to sleep in a particular position, music playing near the baby’s head and knocking, patting or stroking may be part of ritual. Sucking and rocking during the first year almost always improves sleep and so too does music or pulsating sound. MORE


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