Let Your Baby Cry It Out
One crying-it-out type of sleep training is the well-known Ferber Method, also known as “Progressive Watching” or “Graduated Extinction.” The goal is to teach your baby how to sleep on their own and put themselves back to sleep if they wake up during the night. Richard Ferber, MD, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston, developed this method. He advises parents not to start this training until their baby is at least 5 or 6 months old. Heres an overview of how its done:
- Put your baby in their crib — drowsy, but awake. Once you’ve finished their bedtime routine, leave the room.
- If your baby cries, wait a few minutes before you check on them. The amount of time you wait depends on you and your baby. You might start waiting somewhere between 1 and 5 minutes.
- When you re-enter your babys room, try to console them. But do not pick them up and do not stay for more than 2 or 3 minutes, even if they are still crying when you leave. Seeing your face will be enough to assure your baby that you are close by so they can eventually fall asleep on their own.
- If they continue crying, gradually increase the amount of time you wait before going in to check on them again. For instance, if you wait 3 minutes the first time, wait 5 minutes the second time, and 10 minutes each time after that.
- The next night, wait 5 minutes the first time, 10 minutes the second time, and 12 minutes each time after that.
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.
Spring Into Action At The First Sign Of Sleepiness
“Timing is critical. Tuning into your baby’s natural biological rhythmsby reading her telltale drowsy signsensures that when she’s placed in her crib, melatonin is elevated in her system, and her brain and body will be primed to drift off with little fuss. If you wait too long, however, your infant can become overtired, so not only will she have lower melatonin levels, but her brain begins to release wakefulness hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This makes it difficult for your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep and can lead to early wake-ups. So don’t miss these cues: When your little one is still, quiet, disinterested in her surroundings, and staring off into space, melatonin is peaking in her system and it’s time to go to bed.” Jenni June, a sleep consultant in Los Angeles
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How To Calm A Baby Experiencing Moro Reflex
Your baby is still getting used to the outside world which is very different compared to the tight space inside the womb. So when experiencing Moro reflex, try drawing your baby’s stretched arms and legs closer to their bodies and hold them in place until they calm down.
A swaddle restricts the baby’s movements and helps draw their extended limbs back, and also helps recreate the womb environment, which can help soothe babies while experiencing this startle reflex.
This is why swaddling is practiced around the world as a common way to calm infants. For those who may not know, a swaddle is a fabric that wraps around babys body like a cozy cocoon.
|Real Mom ReviewShe slept better immediately in the Zen Swaddle. The startle reflex always woke her up before that but he Zen Swaddle kept her arms tucked like she needs. I recommend this to all my new mom friends!-Allison M. 10/11/2017|
Traditional swaddles are simple square blankets that require complicated tucking and folding to get a snug fit. The Zen Swaddle, however, uses secure fasteners for an easy, adjustable fit that wont come loose, keeping your babys tiny limbs in place so they dont startle awake.
Why Babies Resist Sleep
Babies arent born ready to sleep through the night for 8 to 10 hours. In fact, there are concrete and science-backed reasons why babies dont sleep as much as youd like. Here are a few:
- During the first few weeks, they dont even know its nighttime. In the womb, day and night werent really a thing, so how would they know?
- Newborns eat every few hours and shouldnt be going too long without a feeding. Breastfed babies will eat
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Master The Four B’s: Bath Book Bed Bottle
“A consistent bedtime routine can work wonders. The order is up to you, but it usually involves a soothing bath, a story, and one last feeding. I also like to add a quick massage with lotion, gently squeezing and releasing the baby’s knees, wrist, elbows, and shoulders, wherever there’s a joint. Then you might do a final ‘closing up’ of the nursery: Now we turn out the light, now we start the white-noise machine, now we sway beside the crib, now I lay you downand that’s the signal that it’s time to sleep.” Nalle
Send An Early Riser To A New Time Zone
“Waking at 5 a.m. is rough, and it’s one of the hardest things to fix. Parents often try making their baby’s bedtime later, but what you really need to do is shift his circadian rhythm, as if he’s flying to Bermuda and needs to function in a new time zone. That means everything needs to move to a later time. If you shift by 15 minutes each day, you can adjust his body clock in about a week.” Nalle
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How Can I Get My Baby Used To Night And Day
It’s a good idea to teach your baby that night-time is different from daytime from the start. During the day, open curtains, play games and don’t worry too much about everyday noises when they sleep.
At night, you might find it helpful to:
- keep the lights down low
- not talk much and keep your voice quiet
- put your baby down as soon as they’ve been fed and changed
- not change your baby unless they need it
- not play with your baby
Your baby will gradually learn that night-time is for sleeping.
Newborn Sleep Rhythms: Why Newborns Seem To Sleepand Wakearound The Clock
The timing of adult sleep is governed by circadian rhythms physiological changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. Many of these changes are influenced by your exposure to light.
For instance, when you expose yourself to sunlight during the day, you are helping your body calibrate its internal clock. Even if you are sleep-deprived, morning light helps ensure that you will be more alert during the day than you are at night.
Conversely, the absence of light at night helps your body wind down. When darkness falls, your brain interprets this as a signal to start producing melatonin, a hormone that triggers relaxation, paving the way for sleep.
You can easily disrupt this process by exposing yourself to artificial light sources in the evening especially sources of blue light . But as long as you stick with the program bright light during the day, and darkness at night you will likely find yourself in sync with the natural, 24-hour day.
And of course most adults are in sync. But its different for newborns.
Newborn sleep is not governed by strong circadian rhythms.
Things dont begin that way. Not when babies are still in the womb. During pregnancy, fetuses are tuned into their mothers physiological cues about day and night.
But after birth, this intimate hormonal connection is broken. Newborns must develop their own circadian rhythms of hormone production.
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Where Should Our Newborn Sleep
Your newborn can sleep in a bassinet or a crib. This can be located in a parents room, a siblings room or in the newborns own room. Its important that you have your baby sleep in a safe place. Your baby should not sleep in your bed with you. This is dangerous because of the risk of suffocation, strangulation and sudden infant death syndrome .
You can bring the baby into your bed for feedings, but should return the baby to a crib as soon as you are done. Many experts recommend feeding your child while in a chair to avoid any injury that can happen while sleeping in a bed with the baby. Room-sharing with your baby is recommended, but not bed-sharing.
Should I Wake Up With My Baby Every Time They Wake Up At Night
During the first 12 months, babies develop quickly, and their sleep patterns change rapidly. Its important to understand that all babies briefly awaken several times a night. Some babies are able to soothe themselves back to sleep after they wake up. Other babies learn to signal their parents for help to settle them back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night. However, it is best to let the newborn comfort himself or herself back to sleep rather than develop a need or association with a parent or guardian.
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How Much Do Premature Babies Sleep
Preterm infants can spend up to 90% of each day asleep. Although most infants younger than three months old tend to sleep between 16 and 17 hours per day, parents of preterm infants should expect their baby to sleep longer. Preterm infants are also more likely to act drowsy rather than alert when they are not sleeping.
Parents of preterm babies shouldn’t compare their baby’s sleeping habits to those of full-term babies. Instead, they should discuss their specific circumstances with a doctor if they have concerns.
Why Does The Moro Reflex Occur
Would you believe that the Moro reflex is present to protect your newborn in these early stages of development? As a newborn is unaware of cause and effect yet, this reflex acts as an alarm that is triggered when a baby receives excessive or sudden information via the senses.
The first phase of the response helps the baby react to an unpleasant stimuli. The second phase helps them cling to whatever is close, on many occasions their mother, as a way to protect themselves from falling.
FROM THE EXPERTS
Experts think that the Moro reflex evolved to keep babies closer to their caregivers, and to prevent falling. Its absolutely normal for babies to exhibit the Moro Reflex. If your baby cries when startled, keep him more comfortable by swaddling or holding him close.
– Jennifer B. Lemoine, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC
These two responses instinctively protect a child from whatever danger is associated with the stimulant. This is described in detail in this article. At birth all babies have a nervous system that is still developing. One sign of this development is that until 4 – 6 months of age infants startle easily as they experience a whole new world of sensations that were absent in the womb.
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
How To Get A Newborn To Sleep
Getting your newborn to sleep longer stretches at night is not a perfect process. There is an ebb and flow. Its all about trying new things and finding something that works well for your baby.
We used these tips for our daughter, and she slept so well during the newborn phase, my husband and I enjoyed a generous amount of time hanging out.
Heres the best part: When your baby sleeps better, you will notice a more patient, more tolerant, more engaging baby after a good nights rest or quality nap.
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Where Should My Baby Sleep
For the first 6 months your baby should be in the same room as you when they’re asleep, both day and night. Particularly in the early weeks, you may find your baby only falls asleep in your or your partner’s arms, or when you’re standing by the cot.
You can start getting your baby used to going to sleep without you comforting them by putting them down before they fall asleep or when they’ve just finished a feed. It may be easier to do this once your baby starts to stay alert more frequently or for longer.
The Bottle Feed At Night Trick
This trick is so easy to implement and it can really benefit your baby as well. In the beginning, training your baby to take a bottle can be difficult. I combined this trick with the dream feed to help smooth out the training process.
Heres how to do it:
Pump in the morning and feed that bottle to your baby at night, preferably during the dream feed . Your morning milk contains more proteins and can be the extra push your baby needs to sleep through the night.
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