These situations may worry parents due to the similarity to cases of sleepwalking. Photo: Paul Hanaoka / Unsplash
Sirleia Gramelich, from Curitiba, was sleeping in the same room as her 9-month-old granddaughter, when she woke up surprised by the girl hitting the inner side of the crib. “She rolled over onto her stomach, lifted her buttocks and tried to crawl,” said the 53-year-old businesswoman, who calmed the little girl, placed pillows around her to protect her and watched. what was going to happen. “About an hour later, the baby got restless in his sleep again, cried a little and even got up. I was afraid”.
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According to the child’s sleep doctor, Analiese Schwoelk Mair, such situations may worry parents due to the similarity to cases of sleepwalking, but these are only movements associated with waking up at night, which affect approximately 90% of babies at different stages of development.
“In newborns, for example, parents will notice sucking movements or small smiles, while a 3 month old baby will try to move his neck,” says the doctor. “Older babies can crawl, sit and possibly stand up during their nights asleep, which is normal and happens for a number of reasons.”
The main one, according to her, is the lack of neurological maturity to fall asleep unaided and maintain that sleep for long hours. “So the child can change the day for the night or wake up several times at dawn,” he says. In addition, having a very busy day or breaking out of the routine also makes it difficult for the baby to rest. “Not to mention the health problems that can appear and bother this child,” warns the doctor, referring to diseases such as reflux, ear infections and respiratory problems.
Therefore, Aneliese advises parents to be patient and pay attention to their baby’s needs to notice when something is unusual. In addition, she presents some tips that can improve the sleep of the little ones and bring some rest to the family. See what they are:
Prevent the baby from sleeping while breastfeeding
Falling asleep while breastfeeding leads the child to associate breastfeeding with falling asleep. Then, even if she is not hungry, she will ask for a breast or a bottle to go back to sleep. “And this association occurs with any activity carried out to fall asleep, such as being placed in a stroller or being kept on the knees”, specifies the specialist, specifying that the child will request the repetition of this activity to go back to sleep.
try other alternatives
Can there be a real need to breastfeed at night? Certainly! However, before breastfeeding the baby, it is possible to try other gestures such as paying attention without taking the baby out of the cradle, covering him without turning on the light or rubbing his back, without large movements. “Remember that this is a joint work of father and mother”.
Have a routine with baby
Creating a routine with your baby also makes your nights’ sleep easier. To do this, take the child in the morning in a very bright environment – preferably natural -, signal that it is breakfast time and carry out activities with more movement and agitation until the beginning of the day. afternoon. Then, around 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m., gradually reduce the intensity of the games until resting time.
differentiate day and night
Another important point is to show the baby the differences between day and night. To do this, maintain normal household activities in the morning and afternoon, even during nap hours. “After all, just because the baby is sleeping doesn’t mean the residence should be quiet or the room should be dark,” says Aneliese, suggesting exactly the opposite. “During the day, the baby must stay in a brighter place and, at night, in less luminous places”.
use transition objects
Finally, instead of making the baby fall asleep in your arms or at the breast, try using things that she likes and smells like her mother. “It can be a blanket, pillow or pet,” advises the specialist, explaining that it can calm the child because he has something called an odor. “Of course, not all babies will agree to this strategy, but it’s worth a try,” he concludes.