In the great adventure of parenting, it is a crucial and dreaded subject: the baby's sleep.In this area, two teams are distinguished.That of the parents whose child "makes his nights" (in other words, he sleeps at least five or six hours in a row), and then the other, who survives hoping that his offspring deign to lengthen his night's sleep time...Before his 2 years.It turns out that you play rather in the second team.Your child has exceeded 6 months, he still sings the Lambada several times a night, and you arrive (almost) at the end of the race.
Before getting to the heart of the matter, already trying to guilty, just to better endure the rest.Yes, nothing irritates you more than hearing a parent ensure that his offspring of barely 4 months sleeps like a loor, when you have not made a full night since the birth of your child.But the concern is very common: “About 30% of toddlers suffer from sleep disorders.Almost one in two children is concerned during his first six years, ”says Céline Martinot (1), child psychiatrist and sleep doctor, co -founder of the first interdisciplinary sleep center in Paris.
If the specialists agree that he is supposed to make his nights between four and six months - at this age he no longer needs to wake up at night to eat - know that the nightwakes of the little ones are we cannotmore normal."It's physiological.What is more annoying is when they do not manage the awakening.They are supposed to go back to sleep, ”said the doctor.
First of all, be aware that "about 15 % of baby alarm clocks of babies are due to medical causes, intolerance to cow's milk, reflux, eczema, otitis..."Recalls the child psychiatrist.Without forgetting that from the first months, we can talk about small or big sleepers.If multiple reasons can explain the situation and there are no rule, certain causes remain quite common.
"Rhythmicity" can also be poorly managed by the child and the parents.Like adults, the baby needs bedtime rituals."Sleep is regulated by the biological clock.In the little one, she is immature and continues to set up.For a baby to sleep well, it is essential to be faithful to a real pace, for meals, the hours of raising and sleeping ”, advises the child psychiatrist Céline Martinot.
So that he makes the difference between day and night, "Tell him slowly during the night and stronger during the day.Do not leave any light in his room in the evening.Before 2 years old, children do not need it, fear of darkness does not manifest itself before this age.Also be careful not to reduce the brightness during the naps during the day, ”recommends Lyliane Nemet-Pierre (2), clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and author recognized in the field of early childhood.
"Often parents are not sensitive to it.When you see it yawning, touching a wick of hair, placing yourself in a certain position, rubbing your eyes...It is necessary to sleep, the sleep cycle arrives, ”says Lyliane Nemet-Pierre.In the same way, it must be understood that a baby "falls asleep in a deep sleep, period during which he is very agitated.His breathing is breathtaking, he has fast eye movements, his arms and legs move...Parents often think that he is bad, when he sleeps deeply, ”adds the specialist.So useless to intervene.
According to specialists, the habit of letting him sink into sleep as a big one is to be taken from a very small one."A baby who knows how to fall asleep alone manages night awakenings, warns Dr. Martinot.If necessary, he wakes up with the last image guarded, in other words that of the parent who rocks him or who nourishes him, and can only fall asleep in this way in this way."It is important that the child can have security that makes him capable of staying long lying alone in his bed.A baby that cannot be left on a carpet to watch a mobile for a few moments will not be able to fall asleep alone, "adds psychologist Lyliane Nemet-Pierre.
Needless to remember that toddlers mop up the feeling of adults."They receive everything that parents experience.If the parent is an "electricity machine", the baby will not be able to calm down, "warns the professional."Often, when the child wakes up and cries, the adult arrives too quickly and does not give the baby the chance to go back to sleep.The ideal is to wait a while, to go there if he does not calm down, to stay in the dark, not to take it and to speak to him.Do not offer him food, otherwise he can only fall asleep by eating, ”continues Céline Martinot.
Finally, the baby's sleep disorders can also translate discomfort: "He is expressed with his body.By not sleeping, he can therefore show that something does not suit him.We must then try to understand, by consulting, ”comments Lyliane Nemet-Pierre.The reasons can be multiple: its place within the family, the moment at which it has happened, if it has been a surprise baby or expected for several years, if the pregnancy has been difficult...A little one must sleep during the day for example, for the good development of his brain.If it does not do it, it can result from "an anxiety -provoking climate at home, which makes it on the eve of something, on alert," continues the specialist.
So what are the solutions?Several tips are sometimes used by parents to facilitate the child's sleep, like baby infusions.But when it is questioned about the question, Lyliane Nemet-Pierre is categorical: "everything that reassures parents does not solve the problem of sleep".A consultation can then be considered, regardless of the age of the child."You have to do it when the parents can no longer support alarm clock," advises the psychologist.Do you have the impression that you will never find the rest of your childless nights?Dr. Martinot reassures: "Everything manages.In 90 % of cases, when we solve this problem, we have solved everything! ”
(1) Céline Martinot is co -author with Vanessa Slimani from the sleep of my child, the keys for peaceful nights, ed.Laurence Pernoud, € 14.90.(2) Lyliane Nemet-Pierre is an author in particular of this child who does not sleep, ed.Albin Michel and the pocket book, and baby sleep, ed.Philippe Duval, to be published in February 2018.