I'm going to admit that I get a little thrill whenever I see myself and my kids on the Facebook page of Pampers Philippines. I know it's uncool to be thrilled about it but I think it is so cool to be a Pampers Mommy! I'm learning a lot about how sleep is vital for our kids' development, I get to share what I've learned to my beloved mommy readers, my blog gets promoted to a community that has 135,000 members, and I get to dispense advice!
I also admit getting more than a year's supply of diapers for my kids is so very welcome!
|I got free diapers and a yummy chocolate cake!|
|I turn around to put the cake in the ref and the next second I see this!|
|They climbed up! I almost had a heart attack! Boys!|
Anyway, for this week's topic, we'll be taking about sleep disruptors. I bet that one of a new parent's first questions is, "When will my baby sleep through the night?" Well, that really depends on you, the parent, and your baby.
There are many reasons why a baby wakes up at night. For one thing, babies are designed to sleep light. Oh darn! Yep, you read that right. Mother Nature made babies easily awakened for their own good (yep, not for the good of poor sleep-deprived parents!). Imagine if babies slept the 8-hour, deep sleep of adults. Tiny tummies need refilling every 4 hours max. Sensitive baby skin gets easily irritated by wet diapers. Loud noises may mean danger. A stuffy nose may mean being unable to breathe. Little disturbances may not affect us adults but these can mean life or death for vulnerable little ones! That's why babies are light sleepers—it's a survival thing.
So today we'll try to find out how to ease baby's worries, to make him feel so secure that his sleep—and consequently, his proper growth and development—won't be so disrupted.
Five Reasons Why Babies Wake Up at Night
1. Startle Reflex
New parents worry when their baby gets startled while asleep. That's when the baby suddenly jerks his little body and flails his arms and legs. This is very normal. No need to worry! It lasts up to when baby is 4 or 5 months. It could be triggered by a loud sound or an unexpected touch.
What to do: Make sure baby's room is quiet. Our bedroom is far from the kitchen, for example. We also employ white noise to shush out environmental noise. With Vito, we used a toy giraffe that creates white noise. With Iñigo, we use the BBC channel set on low volume (nothing like soothing British voices!).
Avoid unnecessary touching of the baby, like checking if his diaper is wet (get a good diaper like Pampers Comfort) or pulling down his shirt (my kids wear a onesie or frog suit) or adjusting his blanket (better yet, don't use a blanket. Use sleepsacks.).
Newborns have tiny tummies, about the size of his fist. So his tummy gets filled up with milk pretty quick. It also uses up that milk just as quickly. That's why a newborn wakes up hungry every 2-3 hours.
What to do: Breastfeed! Since breast milk is instant—no need to prepare or warm up—a baby who wakes up is quickly nursed back to sleep. No need for him to wait, wake up even more, or get upset for long. Plus, mommy's breast is such a source of warmth, comfort and cuddles so baby goes back to deep sleep immediately.
If your baby is formula-fed, try to find a way to quicken formula preparation. I can't give tips since I'm a breastfeeding mommy so please share in the comments. Thanks!
A mommy's heart is always so worried when she has a sick baby. Baby can't sleep if his nose is stuffy, if a bad cough racks him awake, if a fever makes him feel chilly or hot.
What to do: Try to make baby feel as comfortable as possible. When my kids have colds and coughs, we nebulize them, even while they're sleeping. We also consult with their pedia and religiously administer the babies' homeopathic meds so that the boys will get well sooner.
Light, even something as pale as moonlight, can disturb a baby's sleep. Light suppresses the hormone melatonin, which is what helps us sleep.
What to do: Keep baby's room dark, as dark as possible. Use a lamp with a soft light in case you need to get up in the middle of the night.
The room's too hot or too cold. Baby's clothes are too snug. The diaper isn't absorbent or it leaks.
What to do: Check if baby's okay by observing if he's sweaty (too hot) or if his limbs are a bit blue (too cold). Use soft, comfy onesies that fit baby well. Use super absorbent diapers like Pampers Comfort so your baby is protected from wetness and leaks. It's such a good diaper, you won't even have to check it if it's full or if there's leakage! Like I said above, even the simplest touch can disturb baby's sleep. And this is what Pampers said:
- Pampers Comfort not just protects baby’s complete sleep against wetness, but also strengthens mom’s belief that she is providing her baby with the best possible care he needs to achieve optimum brain development.
- With other brands, mom believes that she needs to wake-up at night to check the baby’s diaper, but she doesn’t realize that even checking baby’s diaper disrupts his complete sleep and hampers baby’s brain development.
- When baby sleeps through the night, night after night, it is a key step in baby’s development.
- Complete night-time sleep is very important to baby’s development and growth. It is associated with more positive daytime behavior, mood and temperament, and better physical functioning.
There are many more reasons why baby wakes up at night (click here!). The important thing is to understand the reasons (click here!) and to not be frustrated. Put baby on a sleep schedule, make his sleeping area as comfy as possible, keep him dry, fed and loved. Sooner than later, your little one (and you and daddy!) will be enjoying a good night's sleep!