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Let Science Tell You, Why Baby doesn’t Sleep in the Middle Night

by Amélie Poulain
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Baby not sleeping in the night is a nightmare and trouble for many newborn parents. Understand the baby’s needs, make good use of the methods recommended by experts, and develop children’s sleeping habits. Sleeping overnight is no longer difficult, and parents could also have a good quality sleep at night.


Baby not sleeping in the middlenight worries parents and also makes them seriously sleep deprived. (Photo via pixabay.com)

Bristol, U.K. (Merxwire) – For families with a baby about to be born or a child under one year old at home, the question of why the child will not sleep in the middle night and when he will be able to sleep through the night is often an important concern. Because the child does not sleep, it affects the sleep time of parents or caregivers, making the caregiver more tired and weak, and also nervous and worried because they are not sure why the child is not sleeping. When parents don’t get enough sleep, they often appear impatient when taking care of their children, making it harder to detect abnormalities in their children.

Because children less than 2 months old have no way to distinguish the difference between day and night, they will get up once every 4 hours, and cry when they are hungry, so they do not need to do overnight training. Pediatricians recommend that the best training time is when the baby is 2 to 3 months old. At this time, the child can distinguish between day and night, practice in the right way, and can start sleeping overnight at about 4 months. And then the caregiver can rest well and get supplementary sleep.

Why doesn’t the baby sleep in the middle night? 

  1. Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults

    The adults’ sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, they will wake up naturally, then fall into a deep sleep, and it is normal to wake up 2 to 3 times a night. The baby’s sleep cycle is 60 minutes, and they will wake up naturally. This is an instinctive response. The difference is that adults can continue to sleep on their own, but babies may not be able to fall asleep on their own. In many cases, parents or caregivers are needed to coax them to sleep again. Peter Fleming, a professor of infant health and mental development at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, believes that biologically, babies cannot sleep for long periods, and wake up in the middle night with their instincts.

  2. Normal people wake up at least 2 to 3 times at night

    Traditionally, it is often said that you need to sleep for 8 hours a day to be healthy, but can you sleep for 8 hours in one go? It seems unlikely that the reason for not being able to sleep all night without waking up is not only the influence of the sleep cycle mentioned above but also because the habit of getting enough sleep for one night has not been developed. If you go back to the history of human evolution, you will find that humans in the hunting era only slept 2 hours a day, and the current sleeping habits and time are adjusted with the evolution of the times, which means that babies also need to adjust and develop habits before they can sleep all night.

  3. Want to get the most attention from parents

    Babies sleep during the day, and not sleeping at night is a biological instinct. When he finds that his father, mother, and other caregivers come home after work at night and have more time to devote to him, he will wisely choose to sleep during the day and wake up at night to attract the most attention. From the perspective of biology, this kind of work and rest time is more advantageous, which is very consistent with biological theory, but it is not in line with the work and rest time of modern society, and it also makes caregivers more tired.

Your baby’s sleep cycle, lifestyle, and biological instincts can prevent him from sleeping through the night from birth. (Photo via pexels.com)

It seems reasonable that children are born without sleep in the middle of the night. Parents don’t need to worry too much. After two months of age, they can start to practice their baby’s work and rest habits, prolong the time he sleeps in the middle night and keep physical strength and vitality in the daytime. It is also possible to meet the caregiver’s work and rest time so that everyone can get enough rest.

There are a few tips to help your baby sleep well at night. In the first 2 months of the baby’s birth, wraps and anti-kick quilts can be used, so that the child can maintain the wrapping feeling in the amniotic fluid, and will not be awakened by lights, sounds, or his own hands and feet in the middle of sleep. After 2 months, the amount of breastfeeding before bed can be increased by about 10c.c to 20c.c to increase the child’s satiety. If your baby wakes up accidentally in the middle night, don’t rush to make milk, but gently coax him to sleep first, don’t develop the habit of drinking milk at night, and maintain the habit of getting up in the morning then feeding.

It is also important to create a space that is suitable for your baby to sleep in. The reason why young babies wake up in the middle night is related to sleep cycles, light sleep, and surrounding lights and sounds. Maintain a room temperature of about 24 degrees, as far as possible a dark environment is conducive to the baby’s sleep. After bathing, with a gentle baby massage and soft low-frequency music, the baby will relax and sleep more soundly.

There are many tips for getting your baby to sleep at night. (Photo via unsplash.com)

Babies who love to wake up in the middle night may be smarter 

If your child has more difficulty sleeping through the night than other babies and loves to get up in the middle night, don’t be discouraged! Studies have found that children who get up more often at night or who are hard to sleep well may be related to their high intelligence development. Such children have a greater dependence on their parents, more empathy and self-control, and are gentle and kind, the study also found that their cognitive ability is higher than other children, and they are less depressed.

Babies who love to get up in the middle night are actually smarter and have better psychological qualities. (Photo via pexels.com)

What does the baby need? 

What exactly does a baby need? Why are they crying and so upset? The truth is that they desperately need parental reassurance. A study in 2011 pointed out that when the pressure of parents to take care of the baby decreases, the baby’s sense of stress rises. If parents do not deal with their emotions immediately, the baby will start to cry and become tense and stiff. This process is also the child’s self-training so that he can face the pressure changes in the body more smoothly.

From a biological point of view, human children are less fully developed at birth, about 9 to 18 months later than other animals, cannot stand, need mother’s care and feeding, and more Intimate contact to strengthen the sense of security and build a “womb outside the mother”. Peter, the scholar mentioned above, believes that babies want to be close to their mothers at all times, so it is not recommended to sleep in separate rooms, and they can even sleep in the same bed properly under the premise of safety to maintain close interaction. The study also found parents have less close contact, and children will experience depression and sadness.

Many daily behaviors must be observed to help your baby develop good sleep habits. For example, pay attention to the sleepy signal sent by the child, and quickly arrange a comfortable sleeping environment; establish a sense of ritual before going to bed, such as bathing, singing lullabies, turning off the lights, or telling stories, so that the child is mentally prepared for sleep; establish a stable work and rest time, develop basic time rules; arrange learning and entertainment activities with high interaction and sufficient activity during the day which will consume children’s physical strength. These clever little tricks can help your baby sleep better at night, and allow caregivers to rest and recharge.

Understand the needs of the baby, make good use of smart methods, and develop a normal routine for children. (Photo via pixabay.com)

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