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Christine Jolly, Owner and Parent Coach

Hobart, Tasmania

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What Is Circadian Rhythm?

Circadian Rhythm is another phrase for your baby's "biological clock". It syncs real time with their internal time. Use this time to help your baby get into a sleep/wake rhythm.

It is incredibly accurate how your baby's biological clock adapts to the rhythm of the day.

We know that the following factors can help set their biological clock:

1. Food
2. Light
3. Social Interaction

Use these three to help your baby develop good awake and sleep rhythms.

In the morning at around 7am, open your curtains and greet your baby for the day with lots of smiles. Offer her a feed, followed by lots of talking and singing while you change their nappy.

At night, keep the room dark and have feeding and and changes with no playtime and minimum social interaction.

The Circadian Rhythm is controlled by hormones Melatonin and Cortisol. Melatonin peaks just as the sun goes down around 7pm for infants. That is when Cortisol is at its lowest levels. As the sun rises, Cortisol peaks and Melatonin is at its lowest levels.

Use this to your advantage. Start your day at 6-7am so that your newborn's internal and external time gets in sync. Similarly, put your baby to bed with the sun around 7pm each day, working WITH the hormones at work in their bodies.

It's also interesting to note that your newborn's body temperature also begins to lower around 7pm preparing them for sleep. Use this to your advantage, Have a warm bath around 6:30pm so that their outside environment of getting out of a warm bath and cooling down matches what their hormones are doing. They will be so lovely and sleepy and ready for cuddles and good night's rest.

Their body temperature will reach its lowest level around 3 a.m. A baby or even older child who may have kicked off her blankets around this time might wake up cold and shivering.

The science of sleep is so fascinating. Take it all into account as you work on setting up healthy sleep habits for your newborn. You'll be impressed with how reliable their biological clock will become.

Don't forget that we are here to help you. Contact Cradle 2 Kindy Parenting Solutions​ and we'll set up a FREE 20 minute consultation to walk you through some strategies to get you started.

 

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Disclaimer: Articles on our website are for education purposes only.  Please consult with your doctor to make sure this information is right for your child.