How Often Should You Change Your Babys Diaper At Night
Sleep comes at a premium for you and your baby. Thats why you might find yourself asking this question in the middle of the night: Do I need to change my babys dirty diaper?
During the day, thats a straightforward question. But at night, its slightly more complicated. On one hand, your baby may have soiled her diaper while sleeping . And on the other hand, you dont want to wake them unnecessarily to change them. So if your baby is still asleep, should you risk waking them to change the diaper?
Luckily, the answer is simple, and will mean you can get the most rest possible. Unless your baby is extremely wet or has pooped, you can probably let them sleep. Believe it or not, theres no need to wake your baby every time they wet their diaper a little. Many of todays diapers are so absorbent that your baby may be able to sleep through the night, or as long as theyre capable, even if theyve wetted one. When they wake up on their own, or you need to wake them for a feeding, youll have a chance to clean them up and put on a fresh diaper. Until then, you can probably rest easy .
Now I know what youre thinking, Okay smarty pants, I get that I dont need to change my babys diaper every single time they wet it in the middle of the night, but what about when I do need to change them at night? What then? And can you tell me in an easily digestible listicle format? Well, thats an oddly specific request, but dont worry, weve got you covered.
Helping Your Baby Fall Asleep
Babies may not be able to create their own sleeping and waking patterns. Surprisingly, not all babies know how to put themselves to sleep. And not all babies can go back to sleep if they are awakened in the night. When it is time for bed, many parents want to rock or breastfeed a baby to help him or her fall asleep. Creating a bedtime routine is a good idea. But don’t let your baby fall asleep in your arms. This may become a pattern. And your baby may begin to expect to be in your arms in order to fall asleep. When your baby briefly wakes up during a sleep cycle, they may not be able to go back to sleep on their own.
Babies who feel secure are better able to handle separations, especially at night. Cuddling and comforting your baby during the day can help him or her feel more secure. Other ways to help your baby learn to sleep include:
Helping Your Baby To Sleep
Some babies sleep much more than others. Some sleep for long periods, others in short bursts. Some soon sleep through the night, while some don’t for a long time.
Your baby will have their own pattern of waking and sleeping, and it’s unlikely to be the same as other babies you know.
It’s also unlikely to fit in with your need for sleep. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps.
If you’re breastfeeding, in the early weeks your baby is likely to doze off for short periods during a feed. Carry on feeding until you think your baby has finished or until they’re fully asleep. This is a good opportunity to try to get a bit of rest yourself.
If you’re not sleeping at the same time as your baby, don’t worry about keeping the house silent while they sleep. It’s good to get your baby used to sleeping through a certain amount of noise.
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How To Survive Your Babys Four
Just when it seems like babies are getting the hang of the whole sleep thing, they stop sleeping. Dont worry, sleep regression is realand its normal.
Delphine Nicholls Golan knew some damage control was in order. So by the door of the apartment unit next to hers, she placed a bottle of wine, a box of earplugs and a note: Dear Neighbours: Apologies in advance for any late-night screams. Im learning to sleep through the night, signed Aleph, 4 months. The Toronto mom of two was in the throes of the dreaded four-month sleep regressionthat phase when infants who have been sleeping longer stretches at night suddenly stop. Aleph went from sleeping three and a half hour stretches to waking every 45 minutes, she says. You start to go crazy.
All babies experience numerous sleep setbacks in their first two years, but the four-month mark sleep regression feels especially cruel. Youre massively sleep-deprived from caring for your newborn around the clock, and just when you think you might be inching toward a full night of sleep, the regression hits.
How Can Parents Help Their Babies Sleep Through The Night
In addition to a consistent bedtime routine, two strategies have been demonstrated as effective in helping babies sleep uninterrupted during the night: bedtime fading and graduated extinction.
Bedtime fading is putting the baby to bed 15 minutes later each night to compress sleep and limit time in bed. If the parent checks on the baby 15 minutes after putting them to bed and they are asleep, bedtime no longer needs to be delayed.
Graduated extinction is the process of creating longer and longer gaps between when a baby cries and when the parent responds to the cry. The parent waits for two minutes after the baby first cries before responding, then waits four, and then six minutes after the next cries. These waiting periods are gradually extended over time until the baby has learned to self-soothe.
Not all strategies work for all babies. Consult your pediatrician for suggestions that are right for your child.
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Middle Of The Night Potty Breaks
Until your puppy is potty trained he will likely wake you up because he needs to go outside. Lincoln says lining your puppys crate with a pee pad is a good idea. Although dogs usually dont like to soil the area they sit or sleep in. If hes in a crate next to you hell probably wake you up first and let you know before he goes, she says. If you or your puppy is an especially sound sleeper you might even want to set an alarm to avoid accidents in the crate.
Remain as neutral as possible when you get up to take him out. Dont let him think its playtime, says Lincoln. Talk to him in gentle tones. Dont make it fun. Be as boring as you can be. Stand in one spot and wait for him to go and then say, good dog.
When you take him back inside Lincoln says you should do so calmly, without making a big fuss. You just put him back in his crate and close it like youre closing the cupboard door. Then you just walk away and get back into bed. Giving your puppy too much attention in the middle of the night can lead to him waking you up just to get that attention, even if he doesnt have to pee.
If you find that your puppy doesnt hold to this type of schedule or suddenly increases the frequency of his bathroom trips it could be a sign that he has a bladder infection or other health problem and you should consult with your vet.
Put Your Sleepy Baby To Bed
Starting when your baby is 6 to 12 weeks old, soothe them until they are drowsy. When they are on the verge of sleep, put them down and let them drift off on their own. Don’t wait until they are fully asleep in your arms this could be a behavior that may become a struggle to get rid of later in their life.
This routine will teach your baby to soothe themselves to sleep, and you won’t need to rock or cuddle them to sleep every time they wake up during the night.
If your baby has trouble settling down, try moving their bedtime earlier, not later. Being overtired can make it hard to nod off.
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You Discuss The Need To Learn Your Babys Sleep Cues Why Is That Important
Your baby will give you signs when she is tired. Reading these sleepy signals correctly is critically important, and will affect the results of every other sleep solution you use. If you miss the window of tiredness, your baby will quickly become overtired. An overtired baby is cranky, cries more, and ironically, wont fall asleep easily or for very long. On the flip side, a baby who is not yet tired will reject any efforts to sleep, and will fuss over your insistence! Dancing between just tired enough and too tired is a fine line, but if you know what to look for, you can find the perfect moment with your baby.
A Note About Differences
As much as we might want to schedule our lives, for about the first 6 months of their lives, babies have different ideas. They have sporadic sleep patterns that can be puzzling and even change from one week to the next. They may sleep up to 17 hours in a day, sure but perhaps only for 12 hours at a time in some cases. This can be disheartening for new parents.
But keep in mind that your newborn still has a small stomach. Theyre waking up throughout the night because theyre hungry. And just like you, theyre vocal when they need food.
Theres no one-size-fits-all timeframe for when your baby will sleep through the night disappointing, right? but it will happen. While some babies sleep through the night at 6 months and this might be considered the norm, others wont until 1 year but either way, theres more consistent sleep in the future for both you and baby.
Every baby is different, so try not to compare your babys sleep habits to someone elses.
Lets take a deeper dive into what to expect.
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Your Childs Age Is A Factor
Newborns: Your baby is a newborn a couple of months old
- You want to get lots of calories in during the daytime to help with longer stretches of sleep at night time
- During the day, donât let her go more than 4-4.5 hours between feeds,
- Wake your child up if sheâs sleeping longer than 4 hours between feeds during the day
- You want to stack the calories during the day so she can sleep longer at night
- At night time, if sheâs gaining weight well, I would not wake her up and let your child naturally wake up for a feed
Babies on 2-4 naps, ages 4 months to 14 months
Your child is between the ages of 4 months and ~14 months, when she starts to transition to 1 nap.
Toddlers on 1 nap:
- So important to protect that 1 nap
- At this age, car naps can be painful
- If she falls asleep for just 30 minutes she wonât transfer from the car to the crib and itâs impossible to get her to nap again for the day
- Youâre left with a tired cranky toddler who wonât nap
- Protect your 1 nap
- In general, I wouldnât let your toddler nap past 4 or 5 pm
- If your toddler had a rough day and didnât fall asleep until 3 pm instead of the usual 1 pm, I would wake her up at 4:30pm
- There is some variation between 4:30 and 5:00 pm based on when her bedtime normally is
- For example, if you have a toddler who goes to bed at 8 pm, gets up at 7 pm, her nap will be later in the day compared to a toddler who sleeps 7 pm to 6 am.
- Thus that 4 pm or 5 pm cut off varies according to the child.
What Are Some Key Things New Mothers Can Do To Get More Rest
I would say the most important idea is to learn whats normal and stop hoping for something else. The early months with your baby are about getting to know this new little person and finding your place as a parent. Whether this is your first baby or your sixth baby you should honor these early months with the time and peace that they deserve. Dont let the outside world prevent you from taking the time you need to learn all you can about your brand-new baby. In the early weeks, avoid having too much company, too many outings and too many distractions, as these can get in the way of focusing on your baby. Relax your housekeeping standards. Whittle down your to-do list. Remind yourself every day that your number one priority is getting to know your baby. If you remove outside pressures and cue into your baby then both your infant and you will get more rest.
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The Psychological Benefits Of Cosleeping
Meanwhile, anthropologists observed that all mammals and primates, as well as the majority of non-Western societies around the world, coslept. Therefore, it was likely that the practice had some biological advantage.
One of McKenna and his colleagues greatest scientific contributions has been to show how parents serve as a kind of biological jumper cable, or outsourced regulator, to a newborn baby when she is completing her gestation outside her mothers body. When parents and babies sleep together, their heart rates, brain waves, sleep states, oxygen levels, temperature, and breathing influence one another.
To a biological anthropologist, this mutual influence implies that the offsprings growth is intended to occur most safely inside that biological system, near an adults body, especially in the first few months of life while the babys own physiology is the most immature. For example, animal studies found that when baby monkeys were separated from their mothers, their bodies went into severe stress. A small study of 25 four- to ten-month-old babies who were separated for sleep training showed that even though the babies behavior quieted on the third night, their levels of cortisol remained high.
How Does Breastfeeding Affect Safe Sleep
Breastfeeding for at least the first 6 of your babys life can reduce your babys risk of SIDS.
Its OK to breastfeed your baby in your bed. Before you start feeding, move any bedding and pillows from your bed in case you fall asleep. If you do fall asleep, move your baby to his crib or bassinet as soon as you wake up. Breastfeeding your baby in bed is safer than on a sofa or cushioned chair.
Babies often fall asleep while breastfeeding, especially when they get full. If you think your babys asleep and hasnt finished feeding, try to wake him gently by rubbing his back, tickling his feet, burping him or switching him to the other breast. If your babys not latched on correctly, he may fall asleep. You can break the latch by putting your pinky finger in the side of his mouth. Ask your lactation consultant to help you make sure your baby has a good latch. Latch is when your babys mouth is securely attached to the area around your nipple for breastfeeding.
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