We've all heard it- never wake a sleeping baby. Babies need their rest, and I absolutely agree with this. If we want our baby to sleep at night, however, we need to wake them during the day. If you slept all day, would you want to sleep at night? Healthy sleep habits are those that are not only based on how much sleep we get, but when we get that sleep.
Just something to think about- We are told as adults that we are supposed to be getting 8 hours of sleep. Let's compare two scenarios:
Scenario 1- You sleep a solid 8 hours from 10pm to 6am
Scenario 2- You sleep a solid 8 hours from 10am to 6pm
Which scenario do you want to choose? I choose #1 as 99.9999% of us would! I would be a complete mess if I chose scenario 2, because it is not the natural flow that our biological clocks are in sync with. I used to work the graveyard shift...I NEVER felt rested, no matter how much sleep I got during the day!
So now let's consider our babies. They need the appropriate amount of sleep, and it needs to occur at the right times. Most of their sleep needs to happen at night, and they need short naps throughout the day to help them not get overtired.
Let's get to the reasons that I will wake my sleeping baby:
Reason # 1: Establishing day from nightWhen babies are brought into this world, their circadian rhythms are not yet matured, and so they don't know day from night. We have to help them get in sync. There are several things we can do to help them.
- Once you have the green light from your doctor, let them sleep as long as they can at night
- In the morning and during the day, open the curtains to let sunlight in
- Adhere to your schedule and wake them throughout the day when it is time to eat
Reason # 2: There's only so much sleep to be had
|Check out this great interactive sleep chart as well!|