By Hellobaby Official
JUNE 30, 2022
International infant sleep standards, rules, and patterns
1. Effects of poor sleep
1) Affects on brain development: The first deep sleep period at night is when the baby's brain develops the fastest and when the growth hormone secretes the fastest (22:00-2:00). If babies have sleep problems at this time, it can have adverse effects on the development of the brain and the secretion of growth hormones;
2) Emotional management: If the baby sleeps poorly, it is more likely to cause a bad mood or loss of control, crying or screaming;
3) Physical health: The quality of sleep will affect the height and weight of the baby. Studies have shown that the height difference between a baby who sleeps well and a baby who sleeps poorly is 5 cm. Babies with poor sleep will be thinner than average babies, but some babies are obese due to poor sleep leading to their obese hormone secretion disorder;
4) Influence on the family: A baby who does not sleep well affects the mother's mood. Studies have shown that 30% of postpartum depression is due to sleep problems.
2. Five standards to judge baby sleep
Mothers are very concerned that the quality of the baby's sleep will affect the baby's height, weight, and brain development, so what characteristics should be used to judge whether the baby is sleeping well? The baby's sleep quality is usually measured from the following five parts.
1) How many hours does the baby sleep in a day?
At what age and how many hours the baby needs to sleep? The baby's sleep needs determine the total amount of sleep of a baby, and the total amount of sleep in different months and ages varies greatly. Each baby's rest can be very different. For example, newborn babies, most babies sleep 15 to 18 hours a day, but some babies need 22 hours a day. After a month, the baby's total sleep gradually declines, and at about one year old, the baby's full sleep is about 13 to 14 hours throughout the day. Parents can refer to the infant sleep scale for a simple comparison.
2) Babies have different sleep structures at varying months of age.
Parents can refer to the infant sleep structure table to compare and analyze babies' sleep patterns. For most babies before the age of four, their total sleep comprises the sum of naps during the day and nighttime. And there are many differences in the number and the duration of naps and the number of night wakes in babies of different ages.
3) Whether the baby's sleep is regular.
Each stage of the baby's routine is not the same. Generally, babies form a circadian rhythm when they are six weeks to four months old. Once the circadian rhythm is developed, the baby's sleep, diet, and activities become more and more regular.
4) Whether the baby's mood is stable waking up?
The baby's mood waking up is also a criterion for judging sleep quality. The baby waking up is happy, energetic, depressed, irritable, and listless, and parents can distinguish his sleep quality according to the baby's status.
5) Judge the baby's sleep through the baby's development.
One of the most important criteria for measuring sleep quality is the baby's development. All your baby's activities, including eating, sleeping, and playing, are designed to promote overall development. Baby's development includes not only height, weight, and head circumference but also the development of baby's cognition, emotion, life skills, and concentration. If the baby's growth is within the normal range through the evaluation, the baby's sleep quality is expected. On the contrary, parents must pay more attention.
3. Infants' sleep patterns
Babies' sense of security is established along with their schedules. Generally, the baby will gradually develop the biological clock from 6 weeks and form in 3-4 months. After the baby's biological clock is formed, the baby's sleep during the day will become relatively regular and fixed. So what are the factors that affect the formation of the biological clock?
Babies can tell the difference between day and night, which is the basis for forming the biological clock. The ideal way is to let your baby bathe in the sun outside regularly every day. It is recommended to go out 2-3 times a day, 8-10 minutes each; the duration can gradually increase. Natural light is the most significant factor in establishing the baby's biological clock. Sunlight also helps the secretion of melatonin in the baby's body (The melatonin begins to work in the baby's body at four months.).
Light is an interfering factor in the baby's biological clock. If the light is always on, it is difficult for the baby to feel the change of day and night. Therefore, parents should open the curtains during the day to let in natural light, and dim the lights at night, so that the baby can distinguish between day and night.
(3) Mother's schedule
Some experts say that a pregnant mother's schedule will significantly impact an infant's sleep. Many mothers ignore their daily routine during pregnancy and often stay up late or get up at noon. This chaotic schedule is detrimental to the fetus in the womb, especially after the baby is born. When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night and finds that his mother is still awake, he will subconsciously want to play with her; on the contrary, if the baby finds that the adult around him is sleeping, he will subconsciously recognize that night is sleep time. He will spontaneously go back to sleep.
A complete sleep is divided into pre-sleep, light, and deep sleep. The sleep cycle for adults is 90 minutes, while it is 60 minutes for babies. The ratio of deep and light sleep in adults is 85%: 15%, while that in babies is half and half. Adults are easy to fall back to sleep when waking up. However, when babies enter the REM sleep period (rapid eye movement period, the performance of the immediate eye movement period is such as sobbing, groaning, rolling eyes, etc.), it is easy to wake up and difficult to fall back to sleep. At this time, the mother should not be overly vigilant and can first observe and play the cure lullaby through the baby's video monitor to soothe the baby.