Baby’s initial home is dark and gloomy (a subtle reference to the womb). Healthy Circadian rhythm for the babies is non-existent. Infants being the infants, get the time cues from their mothers while they are in utero. Once the baby opens its tiny little eyes in the world, they inevitably prove that their circadian rhythm is also developing. It typically takes several months for their circadian rhythms to fully develop and to begin producing melatonin and cortisol on their own.
Newborns sleep in seemingly random spells of three or four hours, which is unevenly the amount of time that it takes for them to feed, digest and get famished again. Stabilizing their circadian rhythm earlier in their life help them establish healthy, life-long sleeping practices.
Lucky for you, the new parents to be, The 7 Essentials of Healthy Circadian Rhythm for Newborn will work like a charm.
Baby Sleep-wake Cycles
It all goes back to the earliest time: fetus age. Mothers ought to develop a consistent sleep-wake cycle for the initialization of a healthy circadian rhythm for their baby. Did you know, in the womb, the fetus responds to the signals of day & night?
The biology of it all behind:
- Placenta sends chemical messages to the fetal receptors for hormones which syncs the mother’s and fetus’s circadian rhythm.
- The mother’s feeding and sleeping schedule highly determine the fetal rhythm.
- Rhythmic food ingestion affects the release of certain hormones that regulate our circadian rhythm, hence, significant to establish regular meal & sleep times.
Healthy Routine Development
Ensure you have a consistent sleep-wake cycle just as the baby is born. Babies, in their prior months, do not get ample sunlight, so it becomes grim to differentiate between the day & night. Babies’ circadian rhythm gets mixed up with all the confusion involved.
Make a healthy routine development, how? Let’s read on!
- Wander outdoors – a proper routine.
- Get daily exposure to sunlight through your veranda.
To be noted: Once you plan it for the same time each day, unbeknownst to many, there is a 100% chance that baby’s sleep-wake rhythm sets and she will have a sound slumber for the nights to come.
Nurse the Baby Timely
Doctors encourage the mothers to consider nursing newborn babies for, at the very least, the first few months. Did you know, breast milk during the night time has melatonin in it?
When your babies drink formula, they miss out on the essential hormones. A baby’s own melatonin production surges to an endurable enough standard in order to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, within three months time period.
Newborn’s body determines time via activity and light levels of the day/night. Set the stage for sleep by settling down in the evening. Once the baby sleep set the mattress/baby bed. Walking around & tidying up while holding a sleeping baby can wake them up. Keeping the baby in a baby carrier and going about your home chores, still does not cut it.
Tune Down the Light
The accent and the level of lighting at your home matters, A LOT! Parents often make the mistake of holding a sleeping baby in the evening with all of the lights on.
Some of the mistakes parents make:
- Holding the baby while watching TV.
- Holding the baby while using the Laptop.
How to go about it? An hour or two before bedtime, i.e. after sunset, limit the baby’s exposure to artificial light. Artificial light, even the lights from a flickering TV screen or computer monitor, can deteriorate the baby’s developing circadian rhythm.
Healthy Baby Steps Healthy Lighting
Take baby steps for a healthy circadian rhythm lighting:
- Dim the lights
- Create a quiet atmosphere
- Swaddle the baby.
- Establish other rituals for indicating bedtime, such as singing, listening to calming music or playing a sound machine.
For a healthy light at night, use an amber bulb. Newer LED bulbs are white lights that contain some blue light which is the worst culprit. It suppresses melatonin levels and destabilizes the circadian rhythm of adults and babies alike.
No to Stress
Baby’s needs have to be the utmost priority for the parents/guardian. Fulfill their needs and refrain from making them weep/cry. Were you aware that babies get stressed too?
Do not make them Cry! Crying leads to stress and, thus it releases stress hormones such as cortisol. Whichever benefits cortisol has had, melatonin wipes it all off in one split of a baby cry. This makes it more difficult for the baby to return to sleep and to establish a healthy sleep pattern.
Proper sleep is important for adults and infants equally, but when it comes to growing babies, it becomes compulsory to get logged into a 24-hour schedule. Healthy circadian rhythm lighting, along with the tips mentioned, is vital to a stabilized circadian rhythm.
Point to be noted: Every baby is different. No need to mention it, but you simply can’t rush natural development in any cut-out way. Establishing a basic circadian rhythm early can help pave the path for healthy sleep habits down the road in a long haul.