We are aware of all the hard work behind getting your baby to sleep through the night, which is practically very difficult. Experts say that this has got more to do with evolutionary biology than you think. The unbroken, “normal” night’s sleep is the holy grail of parenting. A peaceful night’s sleep is more like a dream for all those going through this parenting phase.
This topic has been spoken about on almost every forum, and tips and training methods have been suggested to make your baby sleep through the night. However – let’s get to the reason behind this, from the experts themselves.
Why does your baby keep waking up at night?
1. Because they’re supposed to:
According to Peter Fleming, the professor of infant health and developmental psychology at the University of Bristol, babies are not designed to sleep for long periods. He says that there’s absolutely no evidence that there’s any benefit from having a child sleep for longer periods. It’s more natural for them to wake up, often.
2. Human babies need an external womb:
Human babies are born 9 to 18 months earlier in their development than other animals. They need close contact or an external womb constantly. So, that means you want to keep the baby calm when the brain systems are finishing, since they have only 25% of the adult brain-size developed, and a lot of systems haven’t set their thresholds and parameters yet. They expect good care and someone around all the time. This is called the evolved development niche or nest.
3. For better mental health:
Babies who wake up a lot are associated with higher levels of intelligence. Children who are kept more closer to their parents have more empathy, self-regulation, more cognitive ability and less depression.
4. Babies have a shorter sleep cycle compared to adults:
Adults tend to go through a 90-minute sleep cycle and come up almost or perhaps completely to the point of waking up and then go back to sleep. Babies, on the other hand have a 60-minute cycle. It’s normal for them to wake up and get restless, because unlike adults they are unable to go back to sleep by themselves.
5. To receive undivided attention:
Typically babies love sleeping through the day, and staying awake through the night. Biologically, that’s a big advantage since they get attention from both their primary caregivers, and there are fewer distractions.