When people say that others are sleeping like a baby many parents of newborns would disagree. They are often tired of trying to find ways to help the baby go to sleep.
While it is not uncommon for new parents to be tired from taking care of a baby some odd sleeping habits are normal and there is nothing to worry about.
#1 Babies have different sleeping patterns than adults
Adults have a specific pattern to follow that helps to regulate sleeping hours and duration. Babies do not have this. This takes some time to develop and that is why newborns sleep at odd hours. They do not develop a set sleeping pattern until they are around 6 months old.
Once the baby has a pattern the sleep will be different. They do not go through the sleep cycles as an adult does. Adults are on a 90-minute sleep cycle while the sleep cycle for babies is only 50 minutes.
# 2 Babies are Light Sleepers
Shorter sleep cycles are a reason why babies wake up easily. They may also wake in the middle of a sleep cycle which will interrupt proper sleep. Babies spend the same amount of time inactive and passive sleep. Adults spend around 20 percent of their time in the REM sleep.
Babies do not spend as much time in a deep sleep. The baby may be in a night of light sleep for 20 minutes then goes but into a deep sleep, but is back in a light sleep soon after. This is why they need to sleep often.
# 3 Every Baby Naps Differently
A good nap for a baby should last at least 1.5 hours. A baby should take between 3 and 4 naps a day from the ages of 3 to 5 months. Between the ages of 6 and 9 months, they should take two or three naps a day. Toddlers still need around 2 naps a day.
Sleep habits can be close to this but they can still be different. This will depend on temperament, the environment, the daily schedule, and other factors.
A parent needs to be concerned with the total amount of time a baby spends sleeping. They should sleep between 11 and 18 hours a day depending on their age. As long as the baby is happy and healthy it is not that big of a deal.
# Babies Process Information and Learn as they Sleep
It may not seem like it but babies sleep a lot. Sleep helps with memory and learning. Babies can recognize the voice of their parents and can figure out nonverbal cues to express their hunger and pain. They learn about their environment when they are awake.
While there may be no solid proof that a baby can learn while they are sleeping, babies can soak up a lot of information so it is worth allowing them to get plenty of sleep.