Sleep is essential for everyone, and the moment your newborn baby arrives, you may find that your sleep pattern is disrupted. Although you will adore your baby, the more they deprive you of sleep, the more you will find it difficult to cope. This is why you need to find a solution to the night time sleep problems, and help your baby sleep through the night.
You need to understand your babies sleep pattern, and work towards teaching them when to sleep, and when is a opportune time to be awake. There are certain parts of your babies sleep routine that can be controlled, and this will be a steep learning curve for any new parent. There are several tips which can be helpful, and some may just be the key to a successful night’s sleep.
This is something that you need to establish straight away, and although it can be tempting to simply go with the flow, you will find this ends in disaster. During the first few weeks, your baby will consider food to be far more beneficial than sleep, which is why you need a routine. Some babies sleep a lot, and others will simply nap, and they do not understand the difference between day and night.
Creating a routine is the first stage of ensuring that everyone gets a decent night’s sleep, and this can be done from an early age. Initially you may find it hard to create this bedtime routine, but the effort is worth it in the end, when everyone can sleep. You need to understand that the bedtime routine will begin sometime before you actually place them down to sleep.
Before bedtime the games that you play should be calmer, which helps your baby to relax and not be too excited. The activities should be repeated every day, in the same order, night after night creating the perfect routine. Make sure that the last thing that you do is in the bedroom as your baby will associate pleasant things with sleep, and not being abandoned.
Create a bedtime
Some people think that you cannot give a newborn baby a bedtime; however, if you set this and stick to it, life will become easier. The time that you decide should be realistic, and fit in with the family. Regardless of what time you choose, it needs to be repeated every night, and the bedtime ritual stuck to religiously.
Your baby will soon begin to understand that the dimmed lights, soothing sounds and comforting gestures mean that it is bedtime. If you can try to have the same setting for naptime throughout the day, your baby will be far more comfortable. If the baby wakes during the night make sure that you do not put lights on or create a massive amount of noise.
Keep it Low Profile
All babies wake through the night, and for new parents this can be worrying, but often you baby simply needs comforting for them to fall back to sleep. You must ensure that you put your sleepy baby back to bed, and do not opt for the easy option. You want your baby to fall asleep in their own room, not in your arms.
The moment you attempt to place the baby down it is likely to wake, and you will need to repeat everything again. You want your baby to soothe itself to sleep, and not rely on you to rock and sing, although this can be a way to bond, through the night it is not an option. You need to not speak to your baby during night time feeds, as this will make them wake.
Check on Baby and Leave
When your baby cries it can be hard for you to leave them, and many new parents feel they have to rush to see what is wrong. A technique that is used often is called progressive watching, and it is extremely effective with young babies. You need to teach your baby that they can sleep on their own, and when they wake, they can get themselves back to sleep. If your baby wakes through the night, you should wait a few minutes before entering their room.
If the baby continues to cry, you should enter the room, but do not pick them up as your touch and face should be enough to reassure them that you are close by if they need you. Once they have settled again you need to leave the room. Hopefully they will continue to sleep through the night, and allow you to go back to sleep.
Some babies will continue to cry, but if there is no reason such as hunger, or a dirty diaper, you can leave them. How long you choose to leave the baby crying before reentering the room is often down to the parent. It is advised that you increase the time every night, and hopefully your baby will settle by themselves.
Perfect Bedroom Environment
You need to ensure that the place where your baby will sleep is set up for sleeping. Ideally your baby will have their own room, where there is black out curtains, dimmers for the light switches with no drafts or noise issues. You need to create the right environment to allow your baby to sleep through the night.
If your baby is on your room, you need to adapt the area, ensuring that when you come and go, you do so quickly and quietly. Older siblings need to be taught that babies sleep time is essential, and not to disturb them if possible. There will be times when you cannot help the situation, but if you can apply this for a majority of the time it is beneficial.
Shorten Daytime Naps
It can be tempting to leave the baby to sleep during the day if you are trying to get things done, however, this can be the root of your problems. You need to monitor the length of the daytime naps, and make sure that your baby is stimulated throughout the day. Allowing your baby to sleep for longer periods of time throughout the day can cause headaches at night.
You also need to make sure that the baby is well fed throughout the day which will leave them feeling full and satisfied. You need to try and make feed times throughout the day feel different to night feeds, with more interaction. During the day, you can have music playing, bright lights and plenty for your baby to see.
Feed a “Dream Feed”
Babies typically wake through the night if they are hungry, or uncomfortable, which is why some parents decide to feed them a “dream feed”. This is a feed that is given to the baby before the parents go to bed, and if possible without waking the baby. You will be surprised to see that your baby will happily feed whilst still asleep.
Some babies will simply suck on the bottle whilst asleep, allowing their tummies to be full, and avoiding the waking up due to hunger. You will find that you become an expert at this style of feeding and that it may provide a few more hours sleep.
Change Their Diaper
Although you want to do as little as possible when your baby wakes through the night, you need to change their diaper. Babies hate being in a soiled, wet diaper and is a common reason why they wake up during the night. You need to try and change the baby without turning on bright lights and making noise.
Once you have done the night time change several times, you will become a master at how to complete the task without a struggle. Your baby will be comfortable, and enjoy the rest of their sleep, until morning when you can change them again.
Every baby is different, and you need to spend time with your baby to understand what makes them happy and uncomfortable. Some babies sleep through the night straight away and others take a little longer. You must be patient, and although you will be lacking sleep, you need to understand that this is all new to your baby.
Take your time, and find the best method for you and your baby to encourage them to sleep through the night. Everyone will benefit when you all get a good night’s sleep, so persevere and you will see excellent results. The first few weeks will be tough for both you and your baby, but take your time and eventually everything will fall into place.