Week : Look For Sleep Cues
Your cruising into having a 1-month-old! By now you might be feeling a bit more adjusted, recovered, and bonded to your infant.
Newborn sleep might be sporadic but now that you know your baby better, start looking for sleep cues. Take notice of the things your baby does to show that they are tired. Do they cry a certain way? Get fussy and then ratchet up the noise? Get extra snuggly or rub their eyes?
This newborn sleep tip will help you recognize when youre baby is telling you they want to sleep and will help you put them down with success!
Many times an over-tired infant is hard to get to sleep. However, when you see they are ready to sleep and you take action you will get better results!
St Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: When it comes to the first few weeks of life everything is about figuring things out. Both parents and newborns are in the introductory stagelike the getting to know you stage.
For your newborn, he or she is adjusting to life on the outside. Everything is new! Sounds, light, dark, feeding, touch, mom and dad or siblings its a brand new world. Your newborn is still developing too. Things like figuring how to latch or feed are new. Newborn eyesight isnt fully developed. Stretching their bodies out and moving arms and legs is a new sensation.
For parents, things are new too! Youre probably getting familiar with your newborns cues, like which pacifier works? What swaddle blanket does the baby prefer? What do your babys different sounds mean? How many diaper changes are needed and how should feedings be spaced out.
So where does sleep come into play? Here are newborn sleep tips to help you during this stage.
Put Them Down Sleepy But Awake
It can be tempting to allow your little one to doze off in your arms because you love the warm and cozy feeling as much as they do.
While snuggling is important, if your baby always dozes off in your arms, theyll struggle to learn how to fall asleep independently. Instead, try putting them down while they are drowsy and starting to fall asleep but are still awake.
This may involve rocking your baby until they are sleepy and then placing them gently in the crib so they can start learning how to drift off to sleep on their own.
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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.
What Sleeping Positions Are Best For A Newborn
Research has found a link between sudden infant death syndrome and babies who sleep on their stomach .
Experts now agree that putting a baby to sleep or down for a nap on his or her back is the safest position. Side-sleeping has a higher risk for SIDS than back sleeping. Other reports have found soft surfaces, loose bedding, and overheating with too many blankets also increase the risk for SIDS. When infants are put to sleep on their stomach and they also sleep on soft bedding, the risk for SIDS is even higher. Smoking by the mother is also a risk for SIDS, as are poor prenatal care and prematurity. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics made the “back-to-sleep” recommendation in 1992, the SIDS rate has dropped more than 50%.
Back sleeping also appears to be safer for other reasons. There is no evidence that babies are more likely to vomit or spit up while sleeping on their back. In fact, choking may be more likely in the prone position.
A task force of The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the AAP, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development offer the following recommendations for infant bedding:
The AAP recommends that parents room share but not bed share. The report advises the following:
To prevent overheating, the report recommends that the infant should be lightly clothed for sleep and the room temperature kept comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Avoid overbundling, and check the baby’s skin to make sure it is not hot to the touch.
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Establish A Bedtime Routine
Its never too early to get a bedtime routine started. Your bedtime routine should be simple and sustainable, so its easy for you to do every night. Even the smallest change in your babys routine can leave them feeling off, and suddenly waking more frequently at night. Include calming, soothing activities that your baby seems to respond to, like swaddling and shushing. The bedtime routine can be where you create positive sleep associations for your baby.
Why Does My Baby Cry When I Put Them In
The truth is that there are quite a few different reasons for which a newborn might actually cry as soon as you put them in the crib. Lets have a look at some of them.
One reason could be that your baby just isnt used to it. Maybe your little one has slept in your bed for months, and thats what he or she is comfortable with. As a new parent, it can be hard to put your baby down when they finally get to sleeprather than teaching your baby to be able to sleep on their own, though, you might be perpetuating the problem.
Their new environment, regardless of whether the crib is in the same room or not, might seem like a stressful place because they are not used to it.
Another might be acid reflux or food allergies. More than half of babies are estimated to experience acid reflux to some degree, which can be an unpleasant experience when laying down for the night especially. Now, its important to note that this is not always an issue, but some babies have certain food allergies which might actually make it rather impossible to spend time on their backs.
If you try to get your infant to sleep in the crib and he or she experiences this chronic heartburn, this is definitely going to result in a lot of crying. Be sure to check with your doctor if you think your baby has either of these problems.
It can be hard to overcome these issues, but its not impossible.
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How To Establish An Effective Bedtime Routine
Positively reinforcing a bedtime ritual to give your baby signals that it is time to sleep such as bathing, massage or singing a lullaby will help develop a relaxing bedtime ritual with a predictable sequence of events, explains Professor Gaby Badre, an internationally recognised expert in sleep medicine and spokesperson for ThisWorks.
A bath and gentle massage followed by singing a lullaby, reading a book, a goodnight kiss and putting them in their crib or bed drowsy, but still awake will help your baby learn to sleep on their own, i.e. self-soothing and not dependent on parental presence to fall asleep at bedtime.
For breastfed babies, remember that mums hormones fluctuate during the day and are passed onto the baby in the nighttime feed, explains Badre.
In the evening breast milk may be higher in melatonin which aids sleep, so if expressing milk for night-time feeds, try to time stamp a bottle and help signal your babys circadian rhythm to sleep.
Wind is a huge cause of difficult sleep for tiny babies, yet many parents are still told that breastfed babies in particular do not need to be winded or to wait for one burp, and then the baby is done.
My advice is always to wind as much as you can, advises Skudder.
During a feed, after a feed and before naps too. The more wind that comes up, the less likely baby is to wake up feeling uncomfortable.
Optimizing Sleep With A Routine
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Dont Feel Pressured To Burp Or Diaper Your Baby If Doing So Will Wake Your Baby Up
When your baby is sleeping or about to doze off the last thing you want to do is jolt her awake with intrusive care-giving. So can you wait? That seems likely.
In a recent study of more than 70 infants, researchers found no evidence that burping was beneficial to babies. It didnt make them cry less, and it actually increased a babys chances of regurgitating after a meal . And an earlier experiment suggests that babies arent awakened by the sensation of a wet diaper .
Follow The Eat Wake Sleep Cycle
The baby wakes from sleep and immediately eats. Then the baby is awake for a while to play. Then the baby goes back to sleep.
This cycle has several purposes. First, it encourages full feedings by allowing the baby to eat immediately after waking. The baby will have the most energy immediately after waking, making him more inclined to take a full feeding and go longer between feedings.
Also, by feeding the baby after sleep rather than before sleep, the cycle prevents the baby from associating food with sleep or using food as a sleep prop. When using this cycle, a feeding before bedtime is typically only feeding before sleep.
Of course, there were times where I definitely fed my baby before sleep. He needed a little TLC for a certain nap, and I was totally fine offering it when he needed it. But for the most part, I tried to avoid feeding him right before sleep.
Note: Newborns require frequent feedings and rest to ensure healthy growth a development in the early months. Always feed your baby as frequently as your baby needs to ensure healthy weight gain.
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Week 1: Move Beyond The 4th Trimester
3 months! A quarter of a year! Can you believe it?
You might have noticed the 4th-trimester essentials arent needed as much now that your newborn is 3 months old. Its okay to let these things go if your baby isnt needing them anymore.
Breaking out of the swaddle blanket? Your baby is starting to stretch out its limbs more! Sleepsacks or sleepers are a perfect replacement as it keeps your baby comfortable while they slumber.
Spitting out the pacifier? If its no longer needed to help with soothing let it go! You wont have to battle weaning your baby from the paci when they get older.
Any other 4th-trimester newborn sleep habits that dont seem necessary is okay to stop because your baby is growing.
Each week brings something different with your newborn. Parenthood is all about changing and adapting along with your baby. Try out these top 12 newborn sleep tips to get you through the first 3 months.
Emphasising The Difference Between Night And Day
Your newborn doesnt understand the difference between day and night. Its quite common for newborns to be wide awake during the night and then sleepy during the day.
In these first six months, here are some things you can do to help your baby get used to the idea that night is different from day, and that night is a good time to sleep:
- During the night, keep the room dark or dimly lit, and quiet.
- Use a dim light when you need to attend to your baby during the night. Try not to turn on a bright overhead light.
- At night, respond to your babys cries quickly, and settle or feed baby as soon as you can.
- Give night feeds in the bedroom. This will help to keep these feeds brief and make them different from daytime feeds.
- At night try to be soothing and quiet when youre with your baby. Try to keep play for daytime.
From three months on, try to make a quiet, dark place for your baby to nap during the day. Babies become more awake and alert as they get older, so they dont sleep as well in places that have a lot of light and noise, like the family room.
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