Is my baby getting enough sleep, when will he or she sleep through the night? With Audrey Ndjave, nurse clinician and founder of the Happy Mum&Baby Perinatal Center, we explain everything about baby sleep.
Here he is! After nine months of waiting, your dream of holding him in your arms, seeing his little head of love and feeling his little neck, is coming true. You have lovingly prepared his nursery and chosen the Kumi cradle for his first months. But here is the thing. Behind this new happiness lies the fatigue of sleepless nights and a lot of questions. Is my baby getting enough sleep? When is he going to sleep through the night? These questions are legitimate; every parent asks them. Relax, Charlie Crane comes to the rescue to answer them!
Ideally, where should the baby sleep?
Audrey Ndjave: Ideally, in the first few weeks, we share our room with the baby. This prevents unexpected infant death because the parents, especially the mother, are more alert and reactive. Sleeping with your baby strengthens parenting skills and shortens night-time awakenings by a few minutes. Also, the baby can hear his parents close by, and this is reassuring for him.
Which bed to choose for the baby first months?
Charlie Crane: For the first few months, it is recommended to have a cocoon bed. It is a small bed that can be used anywhere in your home, from your parents’ bedroom to the living room for naps. Cots with bars are not always recommended, especially because children risk getting their legs or an arm stuck. That’s why we designed our Kumi cot. This cradle accompanies them during the first months of life. We have designed it without bars but with flexible lace, covered with a pretty veil for optimal safety and an opening to the outside world. The Levo bouncer is perfect for naps in the first few months. And after 6 months, we move on to the Kimi evolutionary bed, accompanying the child until he is 5 years old. Here too, there are no bars but customised lace.
What is the average sleep pattern of a baby under 6 months old?
Audrey Ndjave: The rhythm depends on each person’s biological clock, but as a general rule, a baby under 6 months old can take 3 or 4 naps a day with a more extended period of sleep at night. To find out your baby’s rhythm, keep a sleep diary and observe your baby’s wakefulness. This is the first phase of the support programme I have created.
How to accompany a baby’s sleep during the day and at night?
Audrey Ndjave: To properly support your baby’s sleep, it is important to know him well! It is also important to have realistic expectations according to the age of your baby and what he is capable of doing or not. Do not hesitate to seek professional help if you feel that something is holding your baby back from sleeping.
Charlie Crane: Rocking is the oldest trick but it works! It reminds the baby of being in the womb. The Kumi cradle has a gentle side-to-side rocker to recreate this comforting movement.
My baby does not take a nap or only naps for a short time; what can I do?
Audrey Ndjave: There are many causes of short naps. It is possible that the baby is not in favourable conditions for sleep: cycle not respected, too much stimulation, discomfort, baby’s rhythm not known.
When will my baby sleep through the night?
Audrey Ndjave: Baby already sleeps through the night with a different sleep pattern. The human sleep cycle is made up of alternating cycles of more or less profound wakefulness. Thus, at least 5 times when we go back to the waking state during the night. In a baby, the emergence from this light wakefulness can be explained by its emotional, neurological and emotional immaturity…
What to do when you have a baby who sleeps very little, and you are exhausted?
Audrey Ndjave: The first thing to do is to understand what is going on. How old is my baby? What is the period he is going through? How long has the difficulty I am having lasted? Paramedical professionals can help with comprehensive care.
How can mums catch up on their sleep?
Audrey Ndjave: It is very important not to neglect the lack of sleep of the parents and particularly the mother! Lack of sleep is a factor in postpartum depression. It leads to dissociation with reality and accentuates the postpartum state, which is already a significant upheaval. You need to find help around you, have your own circle of caregivers, and get a trained health professional to take care of the family. This is what we offer at the centre!
Can we give babies bad habits?
Audrey Ndjave: Sleeping is a basic need. You cannot say that fulfilling an essential requirement is a bad habit! It’s a virtuous circle around three elements: the signal, the ritual and the reward. The repetition and regular chaining of gestures and actions lead to a reward: a state of well-being that ultimately allows the establishment of a baby’s habit. The signal is a behaviour that the adult will interpret and to which he will respond with a ritual that will subsequently meet a need: that of sleeping, for example. What could be described as bad habits would be a ritual that is not adapted to the baby’s signal; for example, letting the baby cry voluntarily is a bad habit!
- Ideally, in the first few weeks, you should sleep with your baby.
- Keeping a diary allows you to identify your baby’s sleep cycles and to better accompany him.
- In fact… babies already sleep through the night; we just don’t have the same rhythm.
- No, you are not setting your baby up for bad habits. You are just meeting his needs.
- Ask your family and health professionals for help.
- Do not forget yourself!
- The Kumi is an ideal cradle for a baby’s first months. It secures him, cradles him… and it’s a beautiful object 😉
A big thank you to Audrey Ndjave for her answers, and join us on Instagram to share your parenting issues.