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Show Notes: Baby sleep or lack of
This is the first Practical Research Parenting podcast. I introduce myself then dive right into the research. In this episode I explore what is normal for baby sleep in the first year. This podcast is most relevant for parents who are expecting or have a young baby, but future topics will address older ages also. Here are the topics covered:
- Body clock: When it emerges, how it is affected, and what this means.
- Night wakings: What is normal during the first 12 months.
- Self settling: How long it takes to learn and what disrupts it.
- Interesting factoid
- Take home messages including
- Preparing yourself
- How to decrease night-wakings by improving self-settling skills
Through this podcast you will learn:
- That the body clock emerges around 10-12 weeks and what this means.
- That body clocks are “set” by light, noise, activity, food, and sleep.
- That night wakings are the norm during the first 12 months, and the ranges of normal development (see the table below).
- That babies may self-settle from some night wakings, and that this proportion tends to increase over the first 12 months, but shows a lot of variation (again, see the table below).
- That people are paralysed during REM sleep from about 6 months of age.
- Some steps you can take toreduce the number of disruptivenight-wakings.
- Prepare yourself
- I mention co-sleeping. For details on how to do this safely, see Baby Centre, Dr Sears, and Dr McKenna.
- I used the Arms Reach Cosleeper.
- For details on a gentle approach to stop co-sleeping when you are ready, check out how to stop cosleeping.
- 4 Steps to improve self settling abilities during the first year.
- Provide opportunities for your baby to fall asleep in his or her cot.
- When Baby cries, wait and listen for a moment first.
- Try to settle Baby in his or her cot before picking up.
- Don’t stress if none of these steps work – your baby will get many opportunities to practice.
- Prepare yourself
|1 Month||3 Months||6 Months||9 Months||12 Months|
|Number of night wakings (Burnham et al 2002)||4.1(+/- 2.6)||2.8(+/- 1.8)||3.0(+/- 2.1)||2.8(+/- 2.5)||2.6(+/- 2.0)|
|Average percentage of awakenings where the baby self-soothed (Burnham et al 2002)||28%||33%||43%||48%||46%|
|Percentage of Babies who usually self-settled from awakenings (Goodlin-Jones et al 2001)||17%||62%||61%||50%|
|Longest sleep period without intervention (self-regulated) (Henderson et al 2011)||7.0 hrs(+/- 2.0)*||8.6 hrs(+/- 2.1)||9.7 hrs(+/- 2.0)||9.8 hrs(+/- 2.2)||10.3 hrs(+/- 1.9)|
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Below is a sleep-safety info-graphic: Co-sleeping is not always dangerous as this graphic suggests, also check out Co-sleeping Guidelines, or Breastfeeding and co-sleeping.
Learn more about the importance of baby sleep safety at Mom Loves Best.com
Burnham et al 2002
Burnham, M. M., Goodlin‐Jones, B. L., Gaylor, E. E., & Anders, T. F. (2002). Nighttime sleep‐wake patterns and self‐soothing from birth to one year of age: A longitudinal intervention study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43(6), 713-725.
Burnham et al (2002) observed 80 babies and their carers during their night-time sleep (using video surveilance), and observed the same babies at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of age for two consecutive nights each time. (Longitudinal study).
Davis et al 2004
Davis, K. F., Parker, K. P., & Montgomery, G. L. (2004). Sleep in infants and young children: Part one: Normal sleep. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 18(2), 65-71. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0891-5245(03)00149-4
A review article on normal sleep in infants and young children.
Galland et al 2012
Galland, B. C., Taylor, B. J., Elder, D. E., & Herbison, P. (2012). Normal sleep patterns in infants and children: A systematic review of observational studies. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 16(3), 213-222. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2011.06.001
A meta-analysis (systematic combination of results from multiple studies that improves confidence in the the results) of studies looking at normal sleep patterns in the first 12 years of life. There is more information from this study in my baby sleep and night wakings post.
Goodlin-Jones et al 2001
Goodlin-Jones, B. L., Burnham, M. M., Gaylor, E. E., & Anders, T. F. (2001). Night waking, sleep-wake organization, and self-soothing in the first year of life. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 22(4), 226-233.
Goodlin-Jones et al (2001) observed 80 babies (3, 6, 9, or 12 months of age) and their carers during their night-time sleep (using video surveilance) for two consecutive nights. (Cross-sectional study).
Henderson et al 2011
Henderson, J. M. T., France, K. G., & Blampied, N. M. (2011). The consolidation of infants’ nocturnal sleep across the first year of life. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 15(4), 211-220. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2010.08.003
A review of the development of sustained-sleep capabilities in infants across the first year of life.
Sleep training made such a difference for me and my baby. I’ve read a lot on the internet, and a lot of people were saying good things about “How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone” by Susan Urban and her HWL method ( http://www.parental-love.com ). I was skeptic about any sleep training method but it’s a method without CIO, so I decided to give it a try. It was the best decision I could make. After only 3 days my LO beacame a sleep champion 🙂
I’m so glad you found an approach that works for you and your LO!