Baby Sleeping Patterns And How To Avoid SIDS

Baby sleeping patterns vary from one month to the other. Newborns spend large amounts of time in sleep due to the immature condition of their nervous system. They fall asleep frequently, but each episode of sleep is rather short; it is never more than 2 hours at a stretch. The sleep-wake pattern of the newborn is not dependent on day and night cycle. When the baby is around one month to one and a half month old, some pattern may evolve. Some babies may have a sleep-wake cycle of four hours each. After a 4 hour period of sleep, the baby may remain awake for the next 4 hours. After 2 to 3 months, babies may sleep longer at night, but they still wake up for 2- 3 feedings during the night. They may need a diaper change during the night too. Babies eventually sleep through the night, for up to nine hours at a stretch, in the second year of life.

The room in which the baby sleeps at night should be kept dark. It helps the baby develop a sense of day and night, and a proper pattern of sleeping. Besides, it is found to be essential for the normal development of vision. Instead of the parents making the baby sleep in their arms, it is a good practice to let the baby fall asleep on its own at night. That will enable the baby to go back to sleep on its own, whenever it wakes up at night.

Babies are prone to sudden infant death syndrome, known as SIDS for short, while they are asleep. To reduce the risk of SIDS, babies should be placed on their back while sleeping, instead of on their tummies. Infant mortality due to SIDS has reduced significantly since the awareness has grown. Objects which may suffocate a baby, such as heavy or thick blankets, pillows, cushions, and stuffed toys, should be kept away from the baby cot. Giving a pacifier to the baby at bedtime has played a role in preventing SIDS. However, for breast-fed babies, pacifier should not be given before they are one month old and have become used to breast feeding.

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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