Nanny Anita Explains: Baby Sleep Cycles
Norland Nanny Anita is a Super Nanny with over 12 years of experience working with children between the ages of 2 months and 17 years.
She is on hand to explain what every exhausted parent needs to know about baby sleep cycles. For more great tips, follow her on Instagram.
As a new parent or caregiver of a newborn, you’ve likely already realised the importance of baby sleep cycles. In those early days and weeks, it can be so difficult to differentiate between when your baby is truly awake and when they are transitioning between stages of sleep. Knowing what is happening with your baby in each cycle can help you better understand and support them during their sleep time.
Baby sleep cycles are made up of two different phases: active sleep and quiet sleep. During active sleep, babies move around, make noises, and their eyes may even open. This can be mistaken for them waking up, but in reality, they are just transitioning from one stage of sleep to the next. It is important to not disturb them, as this can interrupt their sleep.
It can be so tempting to pick them up or undo the swaddle when you see them moving around and their eyes opening, especially when you’re exhausted and desperate for a few moments of peace. But if you find that your baby needs a little bit of help going between those stages, go back to the three S's:
Swaddling helps keep baby warm and secure
Shushing helps to calm and comfort
Swaying helps to soothe and provide a sense of security
It is important to remember that baby sleep cycles are a normal part of development. Even if your baby looks like they are awake, they may just be transitioning between stages of sleep. By understanding and supporting their sleep cycles, you can help them get the rest they need for healthy development—and a little bit of rest for you, too!