Why Rocking + Lullabies Really Can Work
Making children feel sleepy requires decreasing their level of cortisol, the hormone that keeps them revved up and ready to go, says pediatrician Maureen Ahmann, DO. To decrease cortisol, calm their senses.
Rocking your baby andsinging a lullaby may be the best-known calming techniques, but any type of sensorysoothing can work, says Dr. Ahmann. Try:
- Swaddling .
- Any light, repetitive movement, like swaying or swinging.
- Feeding .
- Dimming the lights.
- Playing soft music or tranquil sounds from a white noise machine or app.
The key is removingstimulation and signaling the body that its time to rest, says Dr. Ahmann.
Make Do Without A Sleep Prop
An important factor of why baby wakes up at night and wont go back to sleep is sleep associations.
The prop, whether an object or person or action such as rocking or swinging or nursing, is what baby needs to fall asleep.
Most of us would have our baby close to our heart in a sling as we gently pace the floor and rock him gently to sleep.
Naturally, baby would expect the same prop in order to get back to sleep after feeding.
The solution is to support them with various sleep associations to prevent attachment to one, then ultimately letting go which will give you and your baby a whole lot more of normal sleep.
Get Sunlight And Avoid Artificial Lighting At Night
Make sure you expose yourself and your baby to bright light during the day. And keep lights outor at least dimmedafter sunset.
As noted above, natural lighting helps influence newborn sleep patterns. But it also helps you keep your own circadian rhythms from drifting, which is important if you are going avoid insomnia and be a source of daytime cues for your newborn.
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Rd Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: Does time seem like its flying by yet it feels like your newborn has been a part of your family for a long time?
Thats the life of raising a baby!
So what things are in-store as your infant heads into 3 months?
You probably are beginning to hear more baby coos and see baby smiles. At this stage, babies tend to start interacting with you more. They take more interest in their toys and other stimuli. Their bodies are growing stronger and holding up their heads more. Perfect time to work on tummy time!
And sleep. Theres emerging predictability with newborns at this stage. This means you can begin to work on routines and developing healthy newborn sleep habits!
Why Does The Baby Always Wake Up At 2 Am
Babies typically go through variations in sleep patterns as they grow. Our sleep patterns are governed by our circadian rhythm, which is an internal regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. What this means is that your little one wakes up at 2 am because according to his rhythm, he feels awake and energetic. He then plays to gain sleep pressure to be able to fall asleep again. Reasons for this are explained below:
Too many Stimulations
It is very important that you have as few stimulations as possible towards bedtime. If you have put on a nursery rhyme or played a lot with the baby, it will make it harder to fall asleep.
Too many naps during the day
Yes, your baby will fall asleep quite afew times during the day. However, it is critical to ensure that they are notso many as will affect bedtime.
Nap just before bedtime
Of course, if your baby sleeps justbefore bedtime he will surely have a hard time feeling sleepy at bedtime.
The environment is an enormous factor. Whilefeeding your baby at night, it should be in a quiet, lull and dimly lit room tocreate the mindset and put the baby in sleep mode.
A baby is beautiful, cuddly, and cute but some of our loving overtures may create some sleep crutches. These include holding the baby while he sleeps, rushing to pick the baby up when he makes a sound, and making too many distracting noises all at once.
Not enough sleep pressure
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Getting Your Baby Used To The Day
Its a good idea to start getting them used to the day-night cycle early on. During the day:
- make day feeds fun with time talking and cuddling.
- have the curtains slightly open when theyre sleeping.
- keep your everyday noises normal use the vacuum cleaner and shower etc, even if theyre sleeping. Most babies sleep through household noises.
During the night:
- keep the room quiet, and the lights low.
- when your baby cries in the night, settle or feed them as soon as you can.
- give night feeds in the bedroom. Babies need to feed at night for the first six months so they get enough food for growth and development. Feeding them in the bedroom will help keep these feeds short and make them different from daytime feeds.
- dont play or talk to your baby while feeding. This will hopefully help them settle back to sleep easier.
These first few months can be a struggle for parents suffering from sleep deprivation and the demands of caring for a new baby, but dont worry, itâll get better.
Remember, the most important things in these early months are responding to your baby and being flexible. If your babys unsettled, its fine to cuddle or rock them to sleep. Its also okay if your baby sometimes falls asleep while theyre feeding. Do what works best for you and your baby.
Baby Refuses To Sleep On Her Back
Some newborns don’t enjoy sleeping on their backs from the beginning, which can seem tricky to solve, as everyone’s got personal preference. However, babies who sleep in other positions are correlated with a higher rates of SIDS. If this is the case, there are a few ways to mitigate this issue without compromising their health.
You can try rocking them before setting them down, placing your hand on their chest, and rocking them back and forth to comfort them. Additionally, swaddling tykes can help enormously in creating a secure, cozy environment for your little one, reminiscent of the womb.
If they still don’t like sleeping on their back, it’s wise to consult a pediatrician to rule out any physical or medical conditions. Keep in mind, research has shown that sleeping on the back is still the safest positionâeven with acid refluxâand does not cause choking in newborns.
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Dont Play The Blame Game
Brooding about the situation will make it harder for you to fall asleep when you are given the opportunity. And its wrong-headed, too: You might be doing everything you can to get more sleep, and still be stuck with a baby who sleeps less than average.
Research suggests that the amount of sleep we get at night is strongly influenced by genetics , and, as mentioned above, there is a lot of individual variation among newborns.
Understand Your Baby’s Sleep Needs
During the first 2 months, your newborn’s need to eat overrules their need to sleep. They may feed almost every 2 hours if you’re breastfeeding, and possibly a little less often if you bottle-feed.
Your baby may sleep from 10 to 18 hours a day, sometimes for 3 to 4 hours at a time. But babies dont know the difference between day and night. So they sleep with no regard for what time it is. That means your babys wide-awake time may be from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
By 3 to 6 months, many babies are able to sleep for a stretch of 6 hours. But just as you think your baby is getting into a nice routine — usually between 6 and 9 months — normal developmental stages can throw things off. For instance, when your baby begins to associate bedtime with being left alone, they may start crying just to keep you around.
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Teach Your Newborn To Sleep
If you can get in the habit of putting your newborn to sleep while he is drowsy but still awake, then you will begin to teach him how to put himself to sleep. Like adults, babies go through several cycles of wakeful periods during the night. Adults can put themselves back to sleep with no issue. For babies, this is a learned skill. The sooner your baby can fall asleep on his own, the sooner your baby will sleep through the night.
Can A Bedtime Routine Help Your Baby Sleep
Yes. Your babys sleep schedule changes over time, but sticking to a routine can make bedtime easier for the both of you. Start setting a bedtime routine when your babys around 4 to 6 months old.
Heres how to get your baby ready for bedtime:
- Wind down any playtime fun.
- Turn off the phone, television, etc.
- Give your baby a warm bath.
- Softly stroke your babys back.
- Give your baby a pacifier.
- Sing to your baby or play soft music.
- Read your baby a bedtime story.
Stick to your babys sleep routine as much as you can. Plan ahead if your babys routine may need a temporary change, like if youre going out of town travel or attending family parties. Change his bed time the best you can but try to get back to his schedule and routine as soon as possible.
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If You Are Breastfeeding You Are Likely To Get More Sleep If You Keep Your Baby Nearby
The World Health Organization recommends that babies share a bedroom with their parents, and its a recommendation that makes breastfeeding less disruptive. A recent study found that breastfeeding women got more sleep when they co-slept with baby . In fact, mothers who co-slept and breastfed got more sleep than did mothers who bottle-fed their babies .
Don’t Give Up On Swaddling
“It’s the first piece of advice I give to new parents, and they often say, ‘I tried swaddling, and my baby hated it.’ But sleep changes so rapidly in those early weeks and that what she hates at 4 days might work at 4 weeks. And you’ll get better with practice too. It’s common to swaddle to loosely the first few times or feel flustered if your baby is wailing. Believe me, it’s worth another shot, as long as she is still too young to roll over. Try different styles of swaddles, like the Miracle Blanket, which wraps snugly around, or the Swaddle Up, which lets your baby keep her hands up by her faceand maybe make it a little tighter to leave one of her arms out.” Linda Szmulewitz, a licensed social worker and founder of The Chicago New Moms Group and Sleep Tight Consultants
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Coping With This Issue
Struggling with a setback in your kid’s rest habits can be exhausting for any parent. However, there are ways to cope. First of all, it helps to remember regressions are temporary, your and your child’s sleepless nights will not last forever, and bedtime will get easier.
Ways to mitigate these issues involve sticking with a schedule and keeping a nighttime routine, as deviations can cause stress or anxiety. Additionally, make sure your tyke is getting plenty of naptime during the day, as an overtired baby will be more difficult to settle come nightfall.
How To Get My Baby To Sleep At Night With Sleep Training
There are many methods of sleep training, and different methods work for different families. If youve been patient and have tried these tips and tricks but are still struggling with your baby’s sleep, sleep training might be an option to consider. The Cry-It-Out method, No Cry Method, and the Controlled Crying method are all common approaches to sleep training. Ultimately, which method you use should be a decision made by you and your family. Sleep consultants are great resources if youre unsure of what method to use or just want to learn more about sleep training in general.
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My Newborn Wont Sleep Unless Held
When your baby was newborn, you probably didnt mind holding them as they fell to sleep .
After all, those precious moments of skin-to-skin contact are beneficial for both you and baby. Your baby gets to stay close to their parents, soaking in your scent, the comforting rhythm of your heartbeat, and your body warmth. And you get to enjoy baby snuggles and bonding.
But sooner or later, its fair that you need a break, and want your little one to sleep in their own bassinet or crib.
The Best Way To Trigger Tiredness
Tactics to make your babydrowsy only do so much. The best way to get children to sleep when theyresupposed to is to establish a wake-sleep schedule and stick to it, says Dr.Ahmann.
Nothing works better thankeeping kids on a schedule, she says. Its not always possible with so manydemands on todays parents and life can throw curveballs but keep napand night sleep times consistent the best you can.
Babies respond toconsistency and structure, says Dr. Ahmann. The less you disrupt their schedule,the more likely theyll fall asleep on time.
If your baby regularly hasa tough time falling asleep at night, you may need to adjust their napschedule, she says. Gradually move morning and afternoon naps earlier.
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Why Newborns Dont Sleep Through The Night
The biological process that controls our feelings of being sleepy or awake in a 24-hour period is called the circadian rhythm, or body clock. It’s controlled by an area of the brain that responds to light, which is why most of us are most alert during daylight hours and are ready to sleep when its dark outside.
Babies arent born with a circadian rhythm, and they dont understand the difference between night and day. It’s quite normal for newborns to get things backwards being sleepy in the day and wide awake at night because they don’t know night is time for sleeping. Within the first three months, most babies gradually begin to organise sleeping and waking according to daily cycles of light and darkness.
References: What Scientific Studies Say About Newborn Sleep
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Bennett C, Underdown A, and Barlow J. 2013. Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 30 4:CD005038. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005038.pub3.
Cheruku SR, Montgomery-Downs HE, Farkas SL, Thoman EB, and Lammi-Keefe CJ. 2002. Higher maternal plasma docosahexaenoic acid during pregnancy is associated with more mature neonatal sleep-state patterning. Am J Clin Nutr 76:608-13.
Cubero J, Valero V, Sánchez J, Rivero M, Parvez H, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C. 2005. The circadian rhythm of tryptophan in breast milk affects the rhythms of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin and sleep in newborn. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 26:657-61.
Cubero J, Narciso D, Terrón P, Rial R, Esteban S, Rivero M, Parvez H, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C. 2007. Chrononutrition applied to formula milks to consolidate infants sleep/wake cycle. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 28:360-6.
Custodio RJ, Junior CE, Milani SL, Simões AL, de Castro M, Moreira AC. 2007. The emergence of the cortisol circadian rhythm in monozygotic and dizygotic twin infants: the twin-pair synchrony. Clin Endocrinol . 66:192-7.
Dement W and Vaughan C. 1999. The promise of sleep. New York: Random House.
Doan T, Gardiner A, Gay CL, Lee KA. 2007 Breast-feeding increases sleep duration of new parents. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 21:200-6.
Image credits for Newborn sleep patterns
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