Your baby’s nighttime sleep often starts to lengthen a bit more, up to six hours at night. You may also start to see the beginnings of a schedule that works for both of you, whether it’s a baby that wants to eat as soon as they wake up or one that needs some snuggling and playtime first. “We know that there’s a fairly wide range of ‘normal’ for newborn sleep,” says Alexis Dubief, a child sleep consultant in Vermont and author of Precious Little Sleep. “It could be anywhere between 14 and 17 hours a day. The reality is that everything in that zone is normal for that individual child.”
In adults, we’re most likely to dream during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, although dreams can happen during other sleep stages, too. This REM sleep may even start before birth: Brain waves that closely resemble those found in REM sleep have been measured inside the womb between 25 and 28 weeks. Since babies spend about half of their sleeping time in REM sleep, some researchers think it only makes sense that they are having some form of dreams. On the other hand, some scientists say that babies are not developmentally capable of the kind of abstract thinking (including the ability to imagine things visually and self-awareness) you need to have dreams.
If babies do dream, their dreams probably won’t have the rich visuals and interactions with other characters that adults have when they dream, says Zadra. “Their dreams are probably very similar to what they experience when they’re awake because they have a preverbal form of consciousness,” he says. “It may be a collection of sensations, whether it’s warmth, suckling on a breast or images of a close-up face.” Just as an adult processes the previous day when they sleep, so does an infant’s brain—it’s just not as advanced yet.
The newborn phase is the most intense getting-to-know-you you’ll ever experience, as you attempt to figure out what your tiny human needs for sleeping and feeding. Will they have a reliable schedule or routine? Probably not. Newborns sleep a lot. Or they don’t. Or they sleep really well during the day and are ready to play from midnight to dawn with the occasional catnap. Sometimes they feed All. The. Time. And often they switch things up, just when you think you’ve finally got an idea of what to expect.
Still, many parents find it helpful to have a rough idea of a schedule and what could be coming, week by week. Here’s what to keep in mind when it comes to sleep, wake times, feeding and diaper changes in the first four weeks.
Now that you’ve made it through the “fourth trimester” and all the ups and downs that come with it—welcome to months four and five! When your baby is around five months old, you will probably see more of a schedule with dedicated nap times—usually two naps a day. Many parents also find that on-the-go napping comes to an end around five months, as your kiddo needs their own quiet, dark space to settle down to snooze. Sleeping for 12 hours a night is becoming a possibility, even if you’re not there yet. “A four-month-old or five-month-old often needs a feeding at night, but around six months, if they’re growing on their curve and everything is fine health wise, then there absolutely is that ability to sleep 12 hours,” says Erin Neri, a certified pediatric sleep consultant in Sherwood Park, Alta.
I have always been fascinated with home remedies.
Try rubbing aspiring on a bee sting!
Quiet a colicky baby by running the vacuum cleaner!
Swallow a teaspoon of sugar to cure your hiccups!
I’m sure this fascination came from having an amazing grandmother who always recommended such things and being somewhat of a sickly kid myself. LOL!
However, I know I am not alone in the quest for "natural remedies" after all there are a ton of books on the subject still available on Amazon today.
One of the big selling points of cures like these is that they’re “natural.” Many people feel like their doctors are too quick to prescribe medications and feel like it's because of big Pharma kickbacks. People don't always want to a lab- designed chemical to solve the problem. They like the idea of using something readily available in nature. You know. Like penicillin.
I should stipulate here that I’m not anti-pharmaceutical, nor am I anti-homeopathy. I feel that health decisions are something that should be carefully considered by the individual with the advice of their doctor. If probiotics improve your gut health, I say go for it. If you need serious medication to for a heart condition, then you should probably take that as well.
However, anything you’re going to put in your body, and every bit as necessary, your child's body, should be evaluated for its efficacy and possible side effects, which is why I want to talk about melatonin again.
A lot of homeopathic experts has touted melatonin as a safe, natural way of helping people get to sleep, and in many ways, that very is true, but there's a whole lot more to understand about it before you take it yourself or give it to your child.
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