Sleeping babies are a joy to behold. But getting your newborn to sleep can sometimes feel like an uphill task. We’ll let you in on some secrets that experts suggest and seasoned moms use, to help their little ones get a good night’s sleep.
How Much Sleep Does A Newborn Need?
In general, newborns need 14 to 17 hours of sleep every day. Most babies begin to sleep through the night or most of the night by the time they are 6 months old. It is important to remember that not all babies have the same sleep patterns. Use these as guidelines to work out a routine that suits your life and your baby’s sleep patterns.
Separate Night From Day
Ensuring good nighttime sleep begins with creating a separation between night and day from an early age. For daytime naps, don’t worry about keeping everything too silent around the baby. In fact, experts suggest allowing natural light or even keeping the usual room lights on when your baby sleeps during the day. When your baby wakes, feel free to play with him/her. But for the night, try and keep the room quiet, lit dimly with soft lights, avoid talking around your baby(whisper if you have to talk). When your baby wakes at night, do not play or talk.
Dial Down The Activity Close To Bedtime
As you approach bedtime, cut down on the high energy or stimulating activities of the day. Swap these out for relaxing activities to establish better sleep patterns.
Create A Sleep Routine
Help your newborn sleep better with a consistent sleep regimen. Stick to a fixed bedtime even while travelling. Build in a bedtime routine which may involve breastfeeding or a bottle feed, a warm bath, some soft music, and even a bedtime story. Ensure the room is at a comfortable temperature, the lights are low, and the surroundings are quiet, to encourage sleep.
Get Your Baby Into Bed Before They’re Asleep
It is important to help your baby settle into sleeping in their bed/crib from an early age so that they begin to associate it with sleep. Newborns usually stay awake for between 1 to 3 hours before they need some sleep. Spot the early signs of sleepiness so you can help them wind down for bedtime. If your baby is rubbing his/her eyes, fussing or crying, they are probably sleepy. Try and make your baby lie down in their bed once they are drowsy but before they fall asleep.
Keep The Room Dark During Nighttime Feeds
Even when your baby wakes up for a midnight feed, stick to breastfeeding him/her with the lights out or with only a dim night light on. This will help a baby to fall asleep again more easily than if bright lights were to fully wake him/her up and make them alert.
Don’t Skip Daytime Naps To Improve Night Sleep
Some new parents hope that a skipped nap in the daytime might mean that the baby sleeps better and longer at night. Unfortunately, keeping a baby awake in the day only makes the infant more tired. A well-rested baby who has had a good mix of active time and nap time in the day generally has less trouble with falling asleep at night.
It is only a matter of time before your newborn develops a good sleep routine. Remember to persevere and you should see sleep patterns settle into a comfortable rhythm soon.
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