THE PATHFINDER TO YOUR BABY SLEEP APP
The most important things to know
to choose meaningfully.
Sleep is especially essential for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development. Baby sleep apps are innovative mobile applications that aid parents in sleep coaching and sleep tracking. Newborns sleep a total of 10.5-18 hours a day on an irregular schedule with one to three hours spent awake. Infants sleep 9-12 hours during the night and take 30 minutes to two-hour naps, while toddlers need about 11-14 hours of sleep in 24 hours. However, reaching a high quality sleep for babies might be unattainable for new parents who are not familiar with how to make their child sleep conveniently.
Baby sleep apps are increasingly becoming popular as they paved the way for convenient analysis and quality sleep attainment for children. Some of these apps use the phone’s accelerometer to monitor the baby’s movements, breathing, and heartbeat. Some others also analyse when a baby is sleeping or awake, and chart the total amount of time spent sleeping. Most of these apps have lullaby sounds, white noise, and calming music and videos to help parents put babies to sleep.
The features of these baby sleep apps can lessen the risk of sleep deprivation or a sleep disorder to babies. Instead of tiring and ineffective sleep coaching, baby sleep apps minimise the risk of bad habits that can lead to problems in psychological or cognitive developments. With these innovations, a parent can also obtain the first hint of whether the baby is suffering from sleep deprivation or sleep disorders affordably.
Just like other tracking devices, baby sleep apps have health features like monitoring temperature, heartbeat rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other necessities. Monitoring these vitals are essential for babies with early sleeping problems or other health-related issues.
Despite the advancement and continuous improvements, many sleep specialists are still sceptical about the accuracy and benefits of these apps. Although they agree that they do well in detecting sleeping time, they are doubting the claims of detecting various sleep stages.
No direct impact on time savings.
Quality of life improved thanks to the creation of friendly sound environments and the cancellation of disturbing noises.
Peace of mind increased thanks to an enhanced understanding of your baby sleep performances and potential disorders.
No direct impact on home costs.
Baby sleep apps have different variations under the demand of the consumers. These variations may cast confusions to parents who are not too immersed with technology, so here’s a list of apps that can help:
Newborns or infants sleep apps aim to let them fall asleep easier, keep them asleep longer and track their sleep patterns. Therefore are characterised by:
- Play Mode: to let them fall asleep, apps include a library with real-life nature and city sounds or the possibility to record their lullabies and shushes.
- Listen Mode: to keep them asleep, the apps close the play mode once the baby falls asleep, therefore saving battery life. Then, if the baby wakes up, the apps detect it and automatically turn on the play mode once again.
- Sleep Tracking Mode: to improve sleep performances, apps track your baby’s sleeping patterns representing them with colour-coded graphs.
Toddlers sleep apps aim to let them sleep more and establish a bedtime routine. Therefore are characterised by:
- Bedtime Stories: some apps have interactive bedtime stories with animations and sleepy sounds to put the child to sleep.
- Games: some apps engage the child's mind and create a positive emotion related to bedtime.
- Sticker Chart System: some apps reward the child for his/her sleeping achievements to stimulate improvements.
Before purchasing a baby sleep app, it is significant to explore their different features. Most of them have the following features:
One of the most evident benefits of white noise for babies is helping them fall asleep faster. White noise masks other household sounds, such as noises of older siblings, cooking, etc. Research states that 80% of the 40 newborns can fall asleep within five minutes of hearing white noise1. Sleep tracking apps have white noise library features that can be played indefinitely or in a set time.
Baby sleep apps have a variety of ambient and soothing sounds and kinds of music to put your baby to sleep. These apps also have a feature where you can record your voice like a lullaby to your baby. An experiment by Great Ormond Street Hospital of London shows the power of music: it helps children in pain reduction2. Further research proves how it even enhances sleep quality3.
While white noise, sounds, and music in general help the baby, they may also bring harm when exceeding the recommended noise limits. The sound equaliser is a feature that automatically adjusts the volume of the sounds with the noise around. For example, when the baby is crying aloud, the sounds increases, and vice versa.
Some baby sleep apps have a feature where you can play baby animations and videos as a lullaby.Some apps display soothing animation where the images serve as a calming night-light that can help kids fall asleep, while others have a night light feature that uses the phone's screen to provide gentle and soft light with colours.
Reading bedtime stories do not only foster a bond between a parent and a child but also helps with other cognitive developments of a child too. Neural research shows bedtime stories can rewire children's brains to quicken their mastery of language4. During bedtime, when the baby is comfortable, reading stories aloud to them can lower the stress levels, helping them to fall asleep faster.
Research indicates that exercise helps children fall asleep faster, while associates short sleep duration with obesity and lower cognitive performance5. Breathing, Body scanning or Visualisation are some types of relaxing exercise that can help your child.
1 Spencer, J.A., Moran, D.J., Lee A., and Talbert D. 1990. "White noise and sleep induction". Archives of disease in childhood, vol. 65. no. 1, pp. 135–137. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1792397/>.
2 BBC News, Lullabies Reduce Pain for Babies. Accessed November 2019. <https://www.bbc.com/news/av/health-24723952/lullabies-reduce-pain-for-babies>.
3 Tan, L.P., 2004. "The Effects of Background Music on Quality of Sleep in Elementary School Children". vol. 41, no. 2. pp. 128-150. <https://doi.org/10.1093/jmt/41.2.128>.
4 Oklahoma's Glenpool Fire Department Dads, The Brainy Benefits of Bedtime Stories. Accessed November 2019. <https://www.parents.com/fun/entertainment/books/the-brainy-benefits-of-bedtime-stories/>.
5 The Telegraph, Exercise Helps Children Fall Asleep Faster, Study Indicates. Accessed November 2019. <https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/5887603/Exercise-helps-children-fall-asleep-faster-study-indicates.html>.