In detail

Babies' sleep: habits and sleep disorders

Babies' sleep: habits and sleep disorders

A baby who sleeps well, is a baby that rests well, who is active during the day, who is in a good mood and who has the conditions to be receptive to receive everything he has to learn throughout the day. Helping and teaching the child in this process is vital for its good development and will be very structuring for him and for the parents.

There are children who, despite the establishment of these habits, fail to enjoy a healthy rest; is when we talk about sleep disorders.


  • 1 Teach the difference between day and night
  • 2 How to help the little one to sleep
  • 3 Nightmares and night terrors
  • 4 Tips to help you sleep

Teach the difference between day and night

The baby at birth does not have any pre-established pattern of the sleep-wake cycle, it is not yet established. The little one sleeps throughout the 24 hours of the day without differentiating the day from the night.

We know that the sleep cycles of children are shorter than that of adults; during the first weeks they are multi-phase and are distributed almost equally in phases of one or two hours during the day and night. However, it is little by little teaching him that during the night he falls asleep and during the day he is awake. During the night there is silence, there is darkness, there is calm and stillness ... And on the contrary, during the day there is light, noise, movement. These differences tell us what indicators we should use to help the child differentiate are sailing and what we should do when we want to put our baby to sleep.

It may interest you: Biological rhythms and the sleep-wake cycle

How to help the little one to sleep

It is important offer the baby a relaxed and low light environment for the child to identify and differentiate the moments of sleep and relaxation, of the moments of game, feeding or walk. Parents should observe what habits or routines allow their child to relax, such as bathing, doing a massage in a warm, cozy and peaceful environment such as your room, speak lax with the voice of the mother or father who They are reassuring and give confidence, will help you identify these moments with sleep.

It is also highly recommended that, from the first months of life, when the baby sleeps we take him to his room, which will be the space that the little one will identify as the place to sleep. A few months later we can sing a lullaby, tell a story and even have a conversation with them that will allow the experience of sharing emotions and feelings. These habits and routines give the child confidence. It is important that these moments be associated with pleasant sensations and pleasure.

Nightmares and night terrors

Nightmares are common in children throughout childhood, although there are periods of more acute between 3 and 6 years.

A nightmare is an episode that wakes the child, returns him to alertness and causes anxiety, fear, restlessness or fear. They do not pose any physical danger to the child, to the extent that they can remember and explain what they dream and share it with an adult, the state of anguish and anxiety that accompanies them decreases.

Night terrors are part of child development, but it is a situation that baffles and frightens parents a lot. During these episodes, children may be agitated and / or call, but unlike nightmares, the child does not interact with the adult, he is asleep. It is necessary to protect it from the blows that can occur with the objects of its surroundings in the moments of agitation, avoid waking him up, don't open the lights, hug him and reassure him as much as possible. The next day he won't remember anything.

Tips to help you sleep

To establish the routines of the sleep schedules from small and to be careful and methodical in the schedules of both nap and night.

Try to place the child always in the same sleeping space: low light, low noise, pleasant temperature, comfortable clothes.

Offer objects: stuffed animals, towel, a piece of mother's clothes, etc., as they provide tranquility and security. Finding them when they wake up will reassure them and they will fall asleep again.

What we teach is what the creature learns. If we do a long bedtime ritual he will ask us every day.

Avoid using strategies such as: take him for a walk with the stroller, get him in the car and go for a walk, sleep him in his arms, sleep him on the sofa, sleep him in the parents' bed. Using them means that the child learns them and, therefore, if he wakes up he will ask for them.