What Does It Mean to "Sleep Like a Baby"? Insights and Facts

Have you ever wondered what it truly means to "sleep like a baby"? This phrase is often used to describe a peaceful, deep sleep that leaves one feeling refreshed upon waking. However, anyone who has observed a baby's sleep closely knows that it's not always as uninterrupted or serene as the saying might suggest. In this article, we explore what truly defines a baby's sleep and how adults can reclaim some of that mythical restfulness.

Understanding Baby Sleep Patterns

Babies have vastly different sleep patterns compared to adults. Newborns, for instance, sleep between 14 to 17 hours a day, spread over multiple intervals round-the-clock. This is because their internal circadian rhythms are not yet developed. Thus, babies wake often during the night for feeding and comfort, which is perfectly normal in the early stages of life.

As infants grow, their sleep patterns begin to consolidate. By the time they are six months old, many babies sleep longer at night and have about three daytime naps. This progression towards a more adult-like sleep pattern is crucial for their development but can occasionally be challenging for both babies and parents.

The Challenges of Baby Sleep

While the evolution of sleep offers a roadmap to eventual restful nights, the journey is typically fraught with challenges. Babies are acutely sensitive to their environments, which can disturb their ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Common disruptors include light, noise, and temperature changes. This is where tools like blackout curtains can become invaluable.

For instance, incorporating Sleepout Portable Blackout Curtains in a baby's room can mimic the darkness of nighttime at any hour, signaling to a baby that it’s time to sleep and thus helping improve sleep duration and quality. Featuring easy-to-install and highly effective blackout material, these curtains create an ideal sleep environment conducive to baby sleep.

Mother and baby with grey blackout curtains

The Science Behind "Sleeping Like a Baby"

Babies' sleep is not only deeper but also different in structure from adults. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which is associated with dreaming and brain development, constitutes a much larger proportion of a baby's sleep than it does in adults. This intense REM sleep helps in the incredible brain growth that occurs during the early years of life.

Moreover, the sleep hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep and wake cycles, is not produced in significant amounts until about 3 months of age. This explains why newborns have erratic sleep schedules and why establishing a sleep-inducing environment can be particularly beneficial.

Lessons Adults Can Take From Babies

Though "sleeping like a baby" might seem like a misnomer, there are indeed aspects of baby sleep that adults can strive to emulate to improve their own sleep quality:

  • Routine: Just as babies benefit from a consistent bedtime routine, adults should also establish a regular pattern of winding down before bed.
  • Sleep Environment: Mimicking the ideal sleep conditions of a baby's bedroom—cool, quiet, and dark—can help improve adult sleep patterns. Blackout curtains, such as the Sleepout Home Blackout Curtains, are perfect for creating an unstimulating environment that encourages sleep.
  • Limited Screen Time: Just as screen time is minimized before a baby's bedtime to avoid stimulation, adults too can benefit from turning off electronic devices at least an hour before bed.
Baby sleeping peacefully in a bed

Implementing What Works

Emulating some of the foundational aspects of baby sleep is not about infantilizing adult sleep behavior but rather about learning from the purest forms of sleep in our lives. By creating the right environment and habits around sleep, we can all hope to achieve restful nights reminiscent of the best "baby sleeps"—minus the midnight awakenings, of course.


"Sleep like a baby" might be a misinterpreted idiom, but it does bring attention to the importance of sleep at all stages of life. By understanding more about how babies sleep and taking proactive steps to enhance our own sleep environment, like using effective blackout solutions, adults can seek to capture that proverbial peacefulness. Perhaps it’s not so much about sleeping like a baby, but creating the right conditions to sleep soundly and restoratively, much like a baby in a perfectly darkened room.

Before and after applying Sleepout blackout curtains
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