Newborns sleep a lot – typically up to 16 to 17 hours a day, waking only for feedings every few hours. Unfortunately, in more cases, newborn sleeping patterns are unpredictable as there is no set schedule at first and many newborns have their days and nights confused.
Infant sleeping patterns get formed in the last month of pregnancy. There are two types of sleep:
* REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep: REM is considered to be essential for the extraordinary development happening in their brain cells. This is a light sleep when move rapidly back and forth and brain is almost as active as it is when we are awake. On average, babies spend 16 hours a day sleeping out of which REM takes 8-9 hours. The older an infant gets, the shorter REM becomes.
* Non-REM Sleep: Non-REM sleep has 4 basic stages:
- Light sleep
- Deep sleep
- Very deep sleep
It is extremely important to establish regular sleep habits for a newborn. Although it takes a lot of effort and commitment yet it will normalize an infant's sleeping schedule. How could it be done?