Be Strategic With Diaper Changes
Changing your babys diaper can be a stimulus for your little one, making it difficult for her to go back to sleep. If diaper changing is revving up your baby, you may want to choose to limit changes to just poopy diapers and diapers that are exceptionally wet. Lightly wet diapers can wait until the morning. The tradeoff will be longer, more uninterrupted sleep at night for you and your baby.
Let A Friend Or Family Member Watch Your Baby While You Take A Nap Even If This Means Your Breastfed Baby Will Take Some Meals From A Bottle
Lactation experts often discourage breastfeeding mothers from bottle feeding babies for the first 3-4 weeks. The worry is that supplemental feeds will lead to a decreased milk supply and endanger successful breastfeeding in the long-term.
But you need to balance this against the negative effects of severe sleep restriction. Lack of sleep puts parents at increased risk of illness and opens in a new windowpostpartum depression, which is bad for parents and babies. If you are at the end of your rope, get help.
Importance Of Sufficient Sleep In Kids
The body re-energizes itself during sleep. Thus, quality sleep is essential to keep your body functioning well. This is particularly true for babies above the age of 3 months, toddlers, young kids, and teens, who are in the midst of their developmental phase.
Inadequate or poor-quality slumber can compromise their mental and physical growth. Sleep problems in children have been associated with behavior issues, obesity, high-risk activities, and other serious concerns.
This, however, does not imply that any child who has trouble sleeping is bound to suffer lifelong problems.
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You Can Survive The 4th Trimester
These helpful newborn sleep tips are broken down week by week to get you through this season. Infants change and grow so much and you need tips that change with them. When you hit the 12-week mark youll be able to look back and see how much your newborn grew!
Youll also be able to look back and see how your newborns sleep patterns have changed.
Until then take things one week at a time so you can focus on using the right newborn sleep tips at the right time when your baby needs them!
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.
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Learn More: Sleep Training
Use these tips if youre having trouble getting baby to fall asleep. And remember, the Zen Swaddle and Zen Sack are effective tools for helping babies sleep better and longer and they could be the key to teaching your little one to self-soothe!
Feed Your Baby On Time
Newborns need to be fed every 23 hours. Feeding your little one right before bedtime can help him/her remain asleep on a full stomach for at least a few hours. Additionally, bedtime nursing can help lull your baby to sleep and prevent sleep disturbances due to untimely hunger pangs.
Babies that sleep for long, uninterrupted periods during the night need to be fed more frequently during the day to keep up with their nutritional demands. While feeding your child at night, maintain a quiet and calm environment that is conducive to sleep.
According to one study, timely feeds can ease the baby into better sleep, which also allows the mother to catch some hours of restful sleep.
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Prepare For Quick Changes
“Hunting for a fresh crib sheet after your baby soaks his diaper or spits up is miserable in the middle of the night, and turning on the lights can wake him up more fully, meaning getting him back to sleep can take an eternity. Instead, double layer ahead of time: Use a regular crib sheet, then a disposable waterproof pad, then another sheet on top. That way, you can just peel away the top layer and pad, throw the sheet in the hamper, and toss the waterproof pad. Also be sure to keep a one-piece, a swaddle, or a sleep sack nearbywhatever it is your baby needs to continue the night comfortablyso you’re not hunting through drawers every time your baby’s diaper leaks.” Aimi Palmer, a sleep consultant and cofounder of AB Child Solutions, in London
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.
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.
How Can You Help Your Baby Fall Asleep
Not all babies know how to put themselves to sleep. When it is time for bed, many parents want to rock their baby to sleep. Newborns and younger infants will fall asleep while breastfeeding. Having a routine at bedtime is a good idea. But if an older baby falls asleep while eating or in your arms, this may become a pattern. Your baby may then begin to expect to be in your arms in order to fall asleep. When your baby briefly awakens during a sleep cycle, he or she may not be able to go back to sleep on his or her own.
After the newborn period, most experts recommend allowing your baby to become sleepy in your arms, then placing him or her in the bed while still awake. This way your baby learns how to go to sleep on his or her own. Playing soft music while your baby is getting sleepy is also a good way to help create a bedtime routine.
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Swaddle To Get Your Newborn To Sleep Through The Night
Swaddling typically starts in the hospital and often continues through the first several months of a babys life. This soothing technique has been proven to help newborns sleep through the night, and babies who are swaddled tend to cry less than babies who are not swaddled. In addition to keeping your little one warm and toasty in those early months of life, swaddling also keeps your baby from being disturbed by her own startle reflex.
What To Do With Restless Baby At Night
How can I help my restless baby sleep?
- Swaddling the tight burrito feeling resembles life inside the womb which most babies find soothing
- Fresh air a walk outdoors or gentle swing time
- Pass gas sometimes tummy trouble interferes with a good nights sleep. Try to move her legs as if shes cycling or
- Consistent bedtime routine a consistent routine does can do
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Dont Keep Your Baby Awake Too Long
I figured babies simply sleep when theyre tired, but I couldnt have been more wrong. In fact, the times when I kept my baby awake for far too long were some of the most challenging times. Being overtired meant he had a difficult time falling asleep.
I later learned that babies cant stay awake for too long. That once the window is up, then you really need to do whatever it takes to get them to sleep and reset their bodies.
One of the best ways to make sure your baby isnt awake too long is to pay attention to his baby tired signs. For instance, any more than three yawns is already a sign hes overtired, so put him to sleep once he yawns.
The other way to ensure hes not overtired is to simply watch the clock. Note when he woke up, and dont let him be awake after a certain time period.
How long exactly is too long? Well, it depends on your babys age. You can download this free resource where I share the age and sleep guidelines, as well as share more tips about your babys awake time. Youll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:
Newborn Sleep Cycles: Why Newborns Are Light Sleepers
When adults first fall asleep, we pass through a couple of light sleep stages, and then plunge into a bout of deep sleep.
Afterwards, we switch into REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, a sleep stage famous for its association with dreaming, and the loss of muscle tone. We dont move much during REM.
When REM is over, we either awaken, or return to light sleep and begin the cycle again. For the average adult, a single sleep cycle lasts about 90-100 minutes. We may partially awaken many times during the night. But were more likely to wake up all the way during transitions between stages, during light sleep, and during REM.
Newborn sleep is also characterized by sleep stages and cycles, but there are crucial differences.
First, babies typically begin their sleep bouts in the newborn equivalent of REM .
Second, newborns in REM dont usually experience muscle atonia.
Unlike us, they may thrash around, stretch, twitch, and even vocalize. The results can fool parents into thinking their babies are waking up, when they are actually experiencing normal REM sleep.
Third, newborn sleep cycles are shorter around 50-55 minutes for the average infant and REM makes up a much bigger proportion of sleep.
Its not unusual for newborns to spend more than half their total sleep time in REM . Indeed, several studies suggest that, over the course of a 24 hour day, some newborns spent may spend as much as 75% of their sleep time in active sleep .
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Let Your Baby Lie Down Awake
I mistakenly assumed that the minute my babys eyes flew wide open after putting him down, that Id have to scoop him back up and re-do our routine. Only later with my twins did I realize that those were opportunities for him to fall asleep on his own.
Dont feel compelled to pick your baby back up if he goes from sleepy to awake when you put him down. He just might be able to put himself to sleep, especially if you give him a chance to. And given that hes not even crying, you have even less reason to get him out of the crib or bassinet.
Instead, let him lie down, even if hes awake. He might fuss a little, at which point you can try a pacifier or simply let him try to soothe himself. He just might surprise youas my twins didby falling asleep on his own.
Speaking of which
Newborn Sleep Patterns: Are There Any
To the sleepless parent, newborn sleep might seem totally disorganized. For example, consider these points.
1. Newborns never sleep for long.
Newborns sleep in short bouts typically ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours at seemingly random times throughout the day and night.
2. Newborns awaken easily.
In part, this is because they spend a large portion of their sleep time in active sleep, a light sleep state characterized by fluttering eyelids rapid, irregular breathing occasional body movements and vocalizations .
3. Newborn sleep times can vary widely.
In the first few days, the average newborn sleeps between 16-18 hours a day . By four weeks, newborn sleep averages about 14 hours. But the range is considerable. Some four-week-old babies sleep as little as 9 out of 24 hours. Others sleep for 19 hours a day .
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References: What Scientific Studies Say About Newborn Sleep
Anders TF. 1979. Night-waking in infants during the first year of life. Pediatrics 63: 860-864.
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.
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