Keep A Calming Ambiance
Ambiance can be everything! Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, make sure it stays dark, and even try adding some white noise in there! The softest of sounds can disturb your baby at night, the white noise will provide a consistent, soothing sound for them to fall asleep to, and it will drown out any other noises happening around the house.
Helping Your Newborn Sleep
Newborns follow their own schedule. Over the next couple of weeks to months, you and your baby will begin to settle into a routine.
It may take a few weeks for your baby’s brain to know the difference between night and day. Unfortunately, there are no tricks to speed this up, but it helps to keep things quiet and calm during middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. Try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby. This will send the message that nighttime is for sleeping. If possible, let your baby fall asleep in the crib at night so your little one learns that it’s the place for sleep.
Don’t try to keep your baby up during the day in the hopes that he or she will sleep better at night. Overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping at night than those who’ve had enough sleep during the day.
If your newborn is fussy it’s OK to rock, cuddle, and sing as your baby settles down. Swaddling can also help to soothe a crying baby. For the first months of your baby’s life, “spoiling” is definitely not a problem.
Establishing Routine With A Newborn
Newborn babies will sleep on and off throughout the day and night. It can be helpful to have a pattern, but you can always change the routine to suit your needs. For example, you could try waking your baby for a feed just before you go to bed in the hope that you’ll get a long sleep before they wake up again.
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Start Weaning The Night Feedings
Once you get the okay from your doctor to stop night feedings, you should slowly start to reduce them. In many cases, feeding becomes a sleep association because you fed your baby every time they woke up. Just because thats no longer necessary, doesnt mean your baby wont want it anymore. Slowly wean them off the night feedings , feeding them less and not as frequently over a few days or a week to get them used to not feeding every time they wake.
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.
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Understanding Baby Sleep Cycles
Adults have four sleep stages that they cycle through during the night. Newborn babies, between the ages of 0 to 3 months, only experience two of the four stages of sleep: stage 3 and stage 4.
- Stage 3: This stage is deep, regenerative sleep. Your body repairs and rejuvenates the immune system, muscle tissue, and sparks growth.
- Stage 4: Stage four is REM rapid eye movement sleep. Your brain kicks in to consolidate information and memories throughout the day. REM is when you dream.
Once asleep, your newborn can be put down without waking most of the time after you rock him because he jumps right into a deep sleep stage. Around four months old, babies transition through all four stages rather than just two sleep stages.
These cycles last 30 to 45 minutes each, on average, for your baby. So, naps can last for an hour to two hours as he cycles through the two stages.
Change Your Babys Diaper Strategically
Changing the diaper before a middle of the night feeding prevents the baby from waking up too much after a feeding is finished. When the baby wakes up change the diaper and re-swaddle to prepare him for sleep immediately following a night feeding. If you change the diaper after the night feeding, the baby may become too awake, making it more challenging for him to fall asleep.
Now, Ive also heard from parents of very young newborn babies sharing that the baby poops right after a night feeding. This is very common during the early newborn phase when babies are still working out the flow of their digestive tracts.
If your baby is consistently stooling after a night feeding, then certainly, just wait to change the diaper until after the feed. Once your babys gut matures and he or she stops stooling immediately after a night feed, you can go back to changing the diaper before the feed.
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How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Tip : Learning Your Babys Sleepiness Cues
In the first 3 months, babies don’t follow a set schedule for sleep. That is why we need to learn to read their tiredness signs, or “cues”. By 3 – 4 months of age, a sleep pattern will emerge and you will get better at reading their cues.
At any age, you want to watch for over-tiredness. A common myth that the longer you keep them awake during the day, the better they sleep during the night. Thats like suggesting that if you starve them during the day they eat better at night. Unthinkable, right?
Sleep is just like that. In fact, babies that are overtired will take a lot longer to fall asleep. So keep watching for their tiredness cues. Here are some of these cues, some more subtle than others:
Yawning: The easiest way to tell you baby is sleepy is if your baby yawns.
Rubbing Eyes, Ear or Head: Consistently scratching the ear or rubbing the head or eyes is a common sign of sleepiness.
Looking Away: Your baby may not hold your gaze and may look away.
Jerkiness or Fussiness: An overtired baby also gets fussy. The cry may vary from a soft whimper to harsh shrill, depending on how tired the baby is. Listening for cues earlier in the process will help preventing them from getting to this dangerous point. Once crossed this point your baby may take a lot longer to sleep making it a painful experience for both you and him.
How to Soothe an Overtired Baby
What About You Tips For Improving Your Own Sleep
Newborn sleep patterns take their toll on parents. In a study tracking the sleep patterns of mothers from pregnancy through the postpartum period, maternal sleep worsened after childbirth and continued to deteriorate until about 12 weeks postpartum -the time when newborn sleep patterns begin to show marked circadian rhythms .
Twelve weeks isnt forever, but it can seem like it when you are severely sleep restricted. As you struggle to cope with newborn sleep patterns, dont forget to look after yourself. Here are some tips to help you cope.
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How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Tip : Don’t Try To Do It All
Moms always want to do it all – it’s part of our nature. But when you’ve just had a baby, “doing it all” is more exhausting than it normally is…and somewhat impossible. This tip is mainly to help you get the rest you need but is also a reminder that your attitude and exhaustion can rub off on your baby.
If you’re cranky and tired and you’re trying to soothe your baby to sleep, they’re going to pick up on that. That’s why it’s sometimes a good idea to pass baby off to someone a little calmer and more relaxed when trying to get your baby to sleep. If you are calm, your baby will clam easier as well.
Since stretching yourself too thin doesn’t do any good for you or your baby, don’t feel like everything is up to you! Ask a friend or family member to babysit for a few hours so you can go take a nap or get out of the house.
If you don’t feel comfortable handing off any newborn duties quite yet, let go of some of the other things on your plate and delegate them out. The laundry, vacuuming, cooking, walking the dog…these are all things you can either ask a friend or family member for help with, or hire someone to do for you. While you might not normally spend money on these types of services, with a new baby at home it will save you time and your sanity.
Friends and family are always looking for ways to help new moms. So tell them what you REALLY need when they offer.
A Bed Goldilocks Will Love
Create a comfortable and cozy oasis that no baby can resist falling asleep in. Be sure babys co-sleeper or bed isnt placed in a direct path of air vents. Add extra plush layers under babys sheets, or invest in a soft night-light. Whatever drifts them off to dreamland. Of course, this excludes putting an overabundant amount of blankets and toys in the crib with your baby, as this could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .
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How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Tip : Swaddling Your Baby
Ever heard of Moro Reflex? Its more common nickname is Startle Reflex, and its an infantile reflex that virtually all babies are born with. You know that feeling you get, when youre falling asleep in your desk chair, or halfway asleep in bed when suddenly, you feel like youre free falling off a cliff and your body jolts awake. Yeah, that happens to babies too. And unfortunately for you, it tends to happen a lot during nap and bed time, causing babies to flail their arms and legs and startle awake.
Moro reflex is present to protect your newborn in the early stages of development. Its almost like an alarm that is triggered by any sudden changes in sensual stimulation . The absence of Moro Reflex can indicate a problem in your babys nervous system. But dont worry, we summed up everything you need to know about Moro Reflex here.
Swaddling has been proven to significantly help calm babies when experiencing Moro Reflex. Swaddling keeps their arms and legs tucked close to their bodies, so they stay in place until the baby has calmed down. Not only does the Zen Swaddle keep your babies arms snug, it also provides the comforting pressure and security of a parents loving touch with the gently weighted pads on the chest and sides.
Real Mom Review
She 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
How To Help Your Baby Sleep Better
ByIndia Bottomleypublished 17 February 22
Is your baby struggling to sleep? From feeding schedules to what creates the perfect sleeping environment, find out how to help your baby sleep better
Whether youve just brought home a newborn or your older babys sleeping pattern has changed, trying to get a good nights sleep is essential for both your baby and the people they live with. From struggling to get to sleep, to waking up several times during the night, early childhood sleep problems are varied and can lead to stress and exhaustion for everyone involved.
Perhaps youre looking for the basics of creating a sleep routine for your baby? Or maybe you want to know how to go about creating an environment that promotes sleep, including the best temperature and humidity levels in the air? We asked an expert for their top tips to help you get your baby to settle into their sleep routine.
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Trust Your Instincts And Get Help When You Feel Stressed
If something feels wrong with you or the baby, talk to your physician. And remember that your own mental health is crucial.
Coping with sleep deprivation is very stressful, especially if your infant opens in a new windowseems to be especially fussy or prone to crying. Watch for signs of opens in a new windowpostpartum stress and opens in a new windowpostpartum depression, and reach out to others for support.
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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How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need
Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, usually in 3- to 4-hour periods. Your baby needs to eat every few hours, which is why she doesnt sleep for longer periods of time. Your baby may get cranky or overtired if she doesnt get enough sleep.
Dont be surprised if your baby can only stay awake for an hour or two. Over time, her body gets into a sleep pattern. She starts sleeping for longer stretches, even during the night. If youre worried about your babys sleep, talk to her health care provider.
How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Tip : Do What Works
Help can come in many forms. Perhaps its your partner taking some night shifts, a family member or friend coming over during the day so you can get some long hours of uninterrupted sleep, or it could be using a sleep aid- like a white noise machine, swing, pacifier, etc. Moms might be wary to try any of these with fears of developing sleep associations or becoming dependent upon those aids. But lets get real: sleep is a priority. If you can avoid using a sleep aid with your baby, thats great! But these products exist for a reason, so dont beat yourself up for using them. If it works, let it.
Even lead sleep coach and President of The Baby Sleep Site, Nicole Johnson, says in the first six to eight weeks, you do what you have to do:
FROM THE EXPERTS
In an ideal world, we wouldnt use sleep crutches but every stage a baby goes through a parent needs to use different tools from their toolbox, whether its a swaddle, white noise machine, swing , a pacifier, etc. That doesnt mean your baby will need these aids forever or that you wont need to transition away from them later, but in the newborn days sanity is the priority and the most important thing you do with your newborn is bond and part of that is making sure their basic needs are met.
– Nicole Johnson, The Baby Sleep Site
So, when you find yourself in need of a sleep crutch, feel free to lean on us! Learn more about how our Zen Swaddle works here.
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