When a baby moans in a dream, it scares the mother, especially if she is inexperienced. For the vast majority of women, motherhood is the main mission. A mother’s love for her child continues throughout life. After childbirth, the physical connection between mother and baby is replaced by an emotional one, which is in no way inferior to the first in strength. The connection is especially pronounced in the first three months from the moment the newborn appears. Many pediatricians even refer to this period as the fourth trimester of pregnancy. A young mother, of course, wants the baby to grow up healthy and cheerful. Therefore, if strange symptoms appear in the behavior of a child, it is alarming.
Signs of restless newborn sleep
First you need to find out: what can be called restless sleep. In most cases, the infant’s tense behavior during sleep is expressed in the fact that he makes various characteristic sounds: groans, sobs, puffs, whines, breathes heavily. At the same time, the newborn sleeps restlessly: tossing and turning, grunting, fidgeting, arching, twitching legs or arms, this leads to frequent interruption of sleep, the child begins to cry.
Inexperienced parents are frankly frightened by such nightly behavior of young children. There are disturbing thoughts that, perhaps, groans and fidgeting indicate some kind of disease or disorder. But you should not panic. In the vast majority of cases, such manifestations in infants are not a sign of illness, and they cannot bring any harm to health.
The world into which the baby came recently is full of colors, sounds, smells, tactile sensations. During the day, young children experience many situations that are new to them, while receiving vivid emotions. At night, all daytime impressions scroll through the child’s brain like a film. The result of these repeated experiences is groaning, groaning, fidgeting during sleep. Therefore, if the child is cheerful and behaves normally during the day, then there is no reason to worry. This means that there are no pathological causes of restless night sleep.
Stages and phases of baby sleep
To fully understand the topic of interest to us, you need to know the features of children’s sleep under the age of one year. Referring to your experience of falling asleep – waking up does not make sense, since the structure of a baby’s sleep is significantly different from ours. Sleep has two main phases – deep and superficial. It is during the deep phase that the human body makes a complete reboot, the nervous system gets rid of stress, the muscles of the body rest. This stage in an adult takes about eighty percent of the total night’s rest, and the surface phase accounts for about twenty percent of the time.
In infants, the situation is diametrically opposite: eighty percent falls on the superficial phase of night rest, and only twenty percent falls on the deep one. It is with such layouts that the fact is connected that it is not easy to wake an adult at night, and the baby wakes up several times during the night, informing his parents about this by crying. The baby can sleep up to 18 – 20 hours a day, this is also due to the short duration of the deep stage of sleep.
The results of medical research have confirmed that dreams come to a person during the superficial phase. Based on this fact, it can be assumed with a high degree of probability that babies have a lot of dreams, because their stage of superficial sleep is long. What do newborns dream about?
Most likely, they have no shortage of plots and themes for dreams. They learn a completely unknown and wonderful world, so the brain receives new information and impressions every day in huge quantities. Dreams help the baby learn new experiences. At an early age in children, the main elements of dreams are the mother’s voice, touch, smell, taste of breast milk.
Why does a baby moan at night?
There are many reasons for restless sleep in young children. Conventionally, they can be divided into three components: physiological, pathological, situational.
Let’s start with situational reasons. Often a newborn wakes up at night, groans and wriggles due to the banal discomfort that arises from the incompetence or carelessness of the parents. Here are the most common circumstances:
- The diapers are very tight. Such conditions do not allow the little one to move, which naturally causes him discontent. It is not difficult to learn how to swaddle correctly: you can seek advice from a pediatrician, ask your parents, more experienced acquaintances in this regard, find information on the Internet.
- Uncomfortable bed. A big mistake is the desire of parents to choose very soft bedding for children. It is especially unacceptable to put old feather beds or pillows stuffed with bird feathers in the crib. They can lead to allergies or the baby overheating and sweating. In infancy, the formation of the skeleton and spinal column occurs, and with an excessively soft bed, the baby risks getting a disease of the musculoskeletal system.
- Wet diapers: the baby experiences discomfort, and if he has a rash, then a burning sensation is added. It is better to use baby diapers.
- The child is hungry or thirsty. Perhaps the feeding schedule is not maintained, the baby, feeling discomfort, begins to whimper.
- It’s stuffy in the children’s room. It is important to constantly monitor the microclimate of the bedroom: ventilate it, avoid excessive dryness of the air, especially during the heating period. If it is not possible to buy a humidifier, then you can wet a sheet or towel with water and put it on a warm radiator. Water, evaporating from the surface of the fabric, saturates the air with moisture.
- Noise. Loud music or conversation, a working TV, etc. can interfere with children’s sleep. You should learn to observe the mode of silence so that the baby can rest calmly.
It is easy to avoid these circumstances that violate the nightly rest of the baby – you just need to be careful.
After birth, the baby’s lifestyle changes dramatically. In the womb, he fed through the umbilical cord, did not use the lungs, and so on. In the new conditions, everything is different: the baby eats differently, which means that the digestive system works in a new mode. He breathes using the respiratory organs, the ambient temperature is also significantly different from the temperature of the mother’s body. The child must get used to these and many other changes. The process of adaptation to new living conditions is also a cause of anxiety for young children in their sleep. We list some more physiological reasons:
- Teeth start to cut. The process of the appearance of milk teeth is always accompanied by painful sensations. To alleviate discomfort, after consulting a doctor, you can lubricate the baby’s gums with a special gel, there are also other drugs.
- The consequences of the fact that the child was not full-term. Adaptation to new conditions of existence in such children takes longer, more difficult. This is due to the fact that in the womb they did not go through all the preparatory stages for a new phase of life. Premature babies tend to be more restless in their sleep than normal term babies.
- Sleep phases change. At the same time, the activity of brain activity changes, this can lead to the fact that the baby groans and moves its limbs.
- Excessive physical or emotional stress. The result can be difficulty in transitioning into deep sleep.
- Had a terrible dream. A newborn may have not only good dreams, but also bad ones, which may be caused by fear. If the baby woke up as a result, began to cry, then the problem is solved by mother’s hugs and affectionate words. Feeling safe, the baby will fall asleep again.
Physiological causes cannot harm the health of children, so if restless sleep is caused by them, then there is no reason for fear and panic. They are eliminated by your love, attention, patience.
The baby groans and pushes in a dream
The most common reason children under one year of age experience restlessness at night is the developing digestive system. If a child strains during sleep, making grunting sounds, then with a high degree of probability the problem is colic. They form when too much air enters the baby’s esophagus during feeding. To rid the baby of accumulated gases, it is necessary to give him a light massage of the abdomen, lightly pat on the back, bend several times – unbend the legs with your knees to the stomach. Excess air will come out, the cause of discomfort will disappear. If the listed manipulations are ineffective, you should consult a doctor. Usually, doctors recommend drugs that contribute to the complete digestion of food by the baby’s not fully formed digestive system. In some cases, you have to use a tube to remove gases.
In the future, in order to avoid such circumstances, you should follow the rules for attaching the baby to the breast during feeding. Most often, the problem of accumulation of gases that interfere with sleep goes away on its own by the fourth or fifth month of life. Sometimes groaning at night can be the result of constipation. In this case, you need to adjust the diet of the baby.
Sometimes the restless sleep of children under the age of one year is accompanied by additional manifestations that should concern parents. Such symptoms most likely indicate the presence of some kind of disease. Here is some of them:
- The body temperature of the baby is kept above thirty-seven degrees.
- Constipation and bloating become chronic.
- The kid abruptly began to lose weight or, conversely, to get better.
- There were problems with breathing, the child wheezed.
- There is too much sweat, although the bed is chosen correctly.
- The newborn coughs heavily, choking at the same time.
- The occurrence of diarrhea, vomiting, which do not go away for a long time.
- The appearance of a rash or red spots on the skin.
- Significant enlargement of the tonsils, lymph nodes.
- The child cries all the time, he has lost his appetite.
If any of these symptoms occur, the baby feels discomfort, and possibly pain. This affects the quality of his sleep, the baby can moan, sob, whine, dodge, twitch his limbs, and so on. These symptoms are probably a manifestation of some pathological processes, parents should promptly contact the doctors. The baby’s immunity is just beginning to form, so the time factor in such circumstances is decisive.
In addition to somatic pathologies, mental disorders can also be the cause of restless sleep. Sometimes mental disorders are diagnosed immediately after birth, and some diseases of this type can be detected only after some time.
Ways to prevent and normalize baby sleep
If the causes of a child’s restless sleep are physiological, then there are a number of actions that will help eliminate these causes. The doctor of the highest category, the famous Ukrainian pediatrician Yevgeny Olegovich Komarovsky recommends the following:
- The child should have a daily routine that must be followed. A doctor observing the baby will help develop it. When feeding and going to bed begin to occur at the same time, the baby will soon get used to this, it will be better to navigate in time, it will become less restless.
- You can not feed the baby immediately before going to bed. Otherwise, the increased activity of his digestive system will prevent him from resting calmly.
- When bathing in the evening, you can add a decoction of herbs with sedative properties to the bath. These herbs include: lavender, chamomile, thyme, calendula, plantain.
- It is not advisable to rock his crib every night before falling asleep. This will be addictive, in the future problems may arise when refusing motion sickness.
- Even if the child is two or three months old, you should often walk with him in the fresh air. Such walks have a beneficial effect on its development, harden, and contribute to a quiet night’s rest.
- You should control the microclimate in the room where the baby sleeps and keep quiet. Airing and normal humidity will help him to rest calmly.
- You can not constantly sleep with a baby in the same bed. He must have his own spacious bed in order to sleep comfortably. Bedding can not be random, better buy children’s orthopedic.
- The child should have comfortable sleepwear made from natural fabrics.
Performing these simple activities will help to establish a calm night rest for the little one, gain strength so that the next day you can continue to explore a new wonderful world. If the child does not show much anxiety in a dream, then the listed tips should also not be neglected, they will become a good prevention and guarantee of healthy children’s sleep.