Five Tips to Help Your Baby Develop a Good Circadian Rhythm
Are you the next mommy-to-be in the family? Well, we understand how veteran parents must be stressing you out about almost everything!
And only if you are getting tense with all that crap, trust me, you are doing nothing except for wasting your golden period.
One period that comes in every woman’s life to encounter her into one of the craziest rides of her lifetime, Motherhood. Parenting, especially motherhood, where it is all about losing marbles, at the same time, it is one of the most beautiful experience, one witness a lifetime.
Hence, it is best advised to spare some time to dig into the issues beforehand you have your infant delivered to enjoy this time to its fullest while nourishing the newly born with the best care.
It’s no surprise that newly born babies are delivered to accomplish only 3 tasks until they are months old:
- Sleep peacefully for prolonged hours, generally 10-18 hours a day
- Feed after every 2-3 hours
- And, making everyone adore them for God knows what reason: Red-apple cheeks or pumpkin-pie smile.
Newborn babies tend to sleep for prolonged hours and wake up after every 2-3 hours out of hunger to get some milk, it is often observed that these babies are found to wake up quite a lot of times in the middle of the night. Experts suggest that this all drives down to the body’s natural rhythm, the circadian rhythm.
For the fact that the infant’s circadian rhythm is not developed until he is at least 3 months old, it is the core responsibility of the parent to tweak his routine in a way that ensures good circadian health in the future. Though, there multiple ways to deal with circadian rhythm disorders these days but why would you choose your child to deal with something like circadian rhythm lighting, blue lights, and another sort of healthy bulbs when you can make things perfect naturally.
Have a look at following 5 tips that can help you efficiently synchronize your baby’s circadian rhythm to the solar timings for a healthy life ahead:
As earliest as possible
If that’s a matter of your toddler’s circadian clock, it is best to start right away, even if he is not born yet.
Yes, you heard that right-even if he is not born yet!
This is what a layman doesn’t know throughout his life, but when a mother carries a fetus in her womb, the embryo is affected by even the smallest acts of the carrier. It’s not that your baby only consumes chunks of your food intake and is affected adversely if you face any tense situation. Instead, he is also affected by something as minor as your sleep cycle/routine.
By “as earliest as possible” it is suggested to work on your baby’s circadian rhythm even when he is inside the womb. At this point, you, as a mother, is supposed to harmonize your sleep-wake cycle with proper solar timings in an order to ensure the little fetus does the same. It can be better explained with the fact that fetal hormone receptors allow messages flowing from the secretion of melatonin and cortisol to be received via the placenta. This synchronizes the fetus’s circadian rhythm with that of mothers.
Fetal rhythm is not only affected by the mother’s resting schedule but also by her feeding routine. Hence, even when you are in the state of gestation, you should start working for bracing your little one’s circadian rhythm in the best way.
Establish a day-night routine for you and the baby
Once the baby is born, you should establish a well-organized day-night routine for both, you and the baby. This means that you should know that in the early days of birth, the baby has no sense at all for different parts of the 24 hours day i.e, day and night And that his circadian rhythm is not developed to its fullest to start regulating biological processes.
Hence, it is your responsibility as a parent to expose your child daily to sunlight in the morning hours and establish a peaceful dark atmosphere at night. For this, you can simply take him to walk in the early hours of the day or else, if you live in a colder region and where the sun just doesn’t show up every day, you can use circadian rhythm lights instead.
As for the darkness at night, it is advised to shut off your room lights and not expose the baby to any gadget at all at least 2-3 hours before his bedtime because gadgets contain blue light rays within them. And as the world knows, these blue light rays deplete the melatonin secretion reducing your sleepiness.
Try avoiding stress
Seemingly, it is important to avoid your baby from crying unnecessary as it makes him aggressive but when he is in his earliest days, it is strictly recommended to avoid any sort of stress. For example, don’t let him cry at all especially in the evening hours as it would rapid the cortisol secretion-the stress hormone swabbing away the effects of melatonin, the relaxation hormone. As a result, the overall sleep cycle is disturbed.
Feed the baby at night
It is highly suggested to feed your baby at night at least within the first three months of his birth to ensure him a good night’s sleep and balanced circadian rhythm. This is due to the fact that the mother’s feed contains hormone melatonin in it at night and that is sorely responsible for regulating the sleep cycle. A newborn baby’s circadian rhythm is not enough developed to regulate his own sleep-wake cycle until he is at least 90 days old. Hence, it is recommended to feed him at night for better circadian clock establishment. Moreover, make sure you don’t feed him the breast milk pumped earlier in the day time.
It's better to be safe than sorry
“it's better to be safe than sorry” is aimed to teach you to play a safer game when it comes down to your child’s circadian rhythm. For instance, it is is how you start grooming it in his initial days on this planet. It is often noticed that mothers tend to make their infants fall asleep and then carry on until midnight with the rest of the chores i.e, responding to emails, watching their favorite Netflix series, having a movie date with a spouse, and simply scrolling on social media. Whatever the case may be, they execute these tasks while carrying the sleeping munchkin in their arms. This is a very serious matter to be looked in for the fact that such exposure to white and blue light disturbs their circadian synchronization with the solar timings.
This happens because apparently the baby is sleeping but the developing circadian keeps on receiving messages for cortisol secretion that might create an issue in the future.
Parents are instead recommended to replace this time with nighttime rituals i.e, bedtime stories, soft music, swaddling, and dim lights.
It is as important to manage the best health of your circadian rhythm as it is to consume food. The way your body will not progress properly if you will have lack of nutrition, the circadian rhythm rhymes in the same way. It is crucial to establish the best version of it for a stabilized lifestyle ahead. However, this is not something that remains the same throughout your life span. Instead, the moment you would start ignoring it, problems will start emerging disturbing your sleep-wake cycle, productivity, and few other issues.