Does My Baby Sleep Too Much
Some babies are better sleepers than others. They might not wake up for meals in favor of sleep, though. Youll need to be extra careful during the first couple of weeks and assess their progress.
Keep an eye on your babys diapers. Their urine shouldnt be too yellow , and there should be an adequate number of stools of the right color. Mustard in color and seedy texture are normal.
A baby who doesnt sleep enough will be clingy and whiny. Or, they might be hyper and hard to soothe. A sleepy baby doesnt have these issues, but can make parents antsy by sleeping too soundly.
It takes at least six months for a baby to establish their own circadian rhythm. But if yours seems to be oblivious to any differences between night and day, a bit of help might be just what they need to get used to feeding at regular intervals and thriving.
If youre dealing with an overly sleepy baby, youll first need to make sure there are no medical issues causing them to sleep all the time.
Jaundice, infections, and any medical procedures, such as circumcision, can make your baby sleepier than usual.
Your pediatrician will check if your baby is gaining enough weight. If not, you might need to wake them up to eat every three hours depending on your doctors recommendations.
Here are some things you can try to promote regular sleeping schedules:
You can also try to monitor their rapid eye movement sleep stage. This is the light sleep stage.
Your Baby Is A Midnight Snacker
“This is probably the number one reason why babies have trouble falling asleep,” says Cathryn Tobin, M.D., author of The Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan. When you feed your baby immediately before you lay them in the crib, they’ll associate nursing with sleepingespecially if you let them fall asleep at your breast. That may not be a problem at 7 p.m., but it can become one when they wake up at 3 a.m. and need to eat in order to drift off again.
Sleep Solution: You don’t have to get rid of pre-bedtime nursing all together just move it earlier in the napping or bedtime routine, says Dr. Mindell. Try nursing, then doing a diaper change, then putting them down when they’re awake. And consider not feeding your baby in their bedroom they need to learn that the nursery is just for sleeping.
Eventually your baby will learn to soothe themselves when they wake up at night. But if they aren’t getting the hang of it, their stomach might actually be empty. Dr. Karp suggests packing in extra calories so they’re not hungry at night by feeding your baby every hour or two in the evening. For example, if bedtime is 8 p.m., feed them at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and at least one more before you tuck them in. Another option is doing a “dream feed”: Put them down for the night at 8 p.m., then wake them for a feeding before you go to sleep.
Reason #: Your Eliciting The Startle Reflex On Put Down
The Startle or Moro reflex is a primitive reflex that is present from birth. When a baby is startled by a movement or sound their arms, back and neck extend. You can read more about the Moro Reflex here. When you go to put your baby down, be sure to put her down feet, then bottom, then head. If you lead with the head that motion will elicit the moro reflex and potentially wake her up.
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Putting It All Together: A Checklist For Coping With Infant Sleep Problems
- Establish regular day-time cues. Make sure your baby is exposed to natural daylight and daytime activity. Include baby in the daily hustle and bustle.
- Establish regular night-time cues. As bedtime approaches, shift down from stimulating activities to more passive, sleepy, sedate activities. Dim the lights. And consider introducing special bedtime rituals, like reading bedtime stories or singing lullabies.
- Tank up before bedtime. As noted above, babies may sleep for longer stretches at night if you feed them shortly before bedtime.
- Keep your nighttime interactions calm and low-key. Be responsive, but boring. Avoid making noise, avoid moving your baby around, and avoid eye contact. Some infant sleep problems are caused by parents making too much of a fuss.
- Watch out for intervening too quickly when you think your baby has awakened. You might end up awakening a sleeping baby, or preventing your baby from falling back to sleep spontaneously.
- If your baby is over 6 months old, consider these opens in a new windowgentle sleep training programs. Because they dont require babies to fall asleep alone, they minimize distress for both parents and infants.
- If youre worried about a possible medical problem, or something just doesnt seem right, talk to your doctor. Most infant sleep problems arent caused by medical conditions, but some are. Read more about it opens in a new windowhere.
What Are The Signs Of Infant Sleep Problems
Once a baby begins to regularly sleep through the night, parents are often dismayed when he or she begins to awaken in the night again. This typically happens at about 6 months of age. This is often a normal part of development called separation anxiety, when a baby does not understand that separations are temporary. Babies may also begin to have difficulty going to sleep because of separation anxiety, overstimulation, or overtiredness.
Common responses of babies experiencing these night awakenings or difficulty going to sleep may include the following:
Awakening and crying one or more times in the night after previously sleeping through the night
Crying when you leave the room
Refusal to go to sleep without a parent nearby
Clinging to the parent at separation
Because sleep problems may also occur with illness, consult your baby’s primary care provider if your baby begins having difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep, especially if this is a new pattern.
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The 3 Keys To The Best Bedtime Routine
Calming activities: bathing, rocking, swaddling, etc.
Consistency: keep the routine consistent and it will become your baby’s “cue” that it’s time to sleep!
Simplicity: your routine should be easy to preform every night, in any environment. That way, even if you’re not at home, you can recreate the routine to get your baby to relax.
After your baby reaches the 6-week mark, its a great time to start implementing those good sleep habits. With a more predictable sleep and nap schedule, you can really hone in on that bedtime routine, which you probably tried to start during the newborn phase. Now, it will be a little easier to maintain.
Also keep in mind that your baby has and is continuing to undergo a lot of changes during this time so something that might have helped soothe them to sleep a few weeks ago, might not do the trick anymore. Your bedtime routine can include a warm bath, getting cleaned up , getting into jammies, cuddling, story time, swaddling, and a myriad of other things. As long as its an activity thats calm and quiet, do whatever seems to work for your baby.
Watch the video below to hear an example of a simple bedtime routine from Zen Mom Brianna.
A consistent sleep environment plays an important role in developing this routine and associated schedule as well.
No More Newborn Baby Screaming For Hours
Fastforward to a couple of years later, second time around and I was a pro wrapping Houdini-proof swaddles one handed while making spag bol with a toddler on my hip.
But here mamas, is the long and the short of it: we are not given enough correct advice on how important sleep is for a new baby. For any baby. On how vital it is to get your baby in a good sleeping rhythm from early on. On how exactly to teach and foster good sleep habits from the get go, so you then dont have to go through the drama of altering “bad” sleep habits further down the track. Well, Ill tell you right now
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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.
Coping With This Issue
Struggling with a setback in your kid’s rest habits can be exhausting for any parent. However, there are ways to cope. First of all, it helps to remember regressions are temporary, your and your child’s sleepless nights will not last forever, and bedtime will get easier.
Ways to mitigate these issues involve sticking with a schedule and keeping a nighttime routine, as deviations can cause stress or anxiety. Additionally, make sure your tyke is getting plenty of naptime during the day, as an overtired baby will be more difficult to settle come nightfall.
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Why It Happens That Some Newborns Wont Sleep Unless Held
There are 3 reasons this might be happening to you.
Is Your Babys Bedtime Is Too Early Or Too Late
When should babies go to bed? It can be hard to figure out.
Some parents overestimate infant sleep requirements, or try to force bedtime on an infant that isnt sleepy.
Thats bad for a couple of reasons. In the short-term, the baby resists bedtime, and everyone is unhappy. In the long-term, your child is learning to associate bedtime with the failure to fall asleep. It could be a recipe for developing bedtime resistance and insomnia .
Other parents keep their babies awake too long, making their babies irritable.
It can be an easy mistake to make, especially if your baby seems very active and energetic. Isnt that proof that your baby isnt yet ready for sleep?
Maybe, but there is another possibility: Your baby might be hyper-reactive or overtired. If so, youre babys behavior is deceptive: Hes not alert because hes well-rested. Hes alert because his stress response system is stuck on high gear.
What to do? If youre uncertain, review these opens in a new windowsigns of infant tiredness, and consult this Parenting Science article about the range of sleep times observed in normal, healthy babies. It will help you home in on your babys needs.
Then, if you suspect your babys bedtime is too early, try these opens in a new windowgentle infant sleep training solutions. They are safe to use, and dont involve any cry it out tactics.
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Your Little One Is Restless From Being Overstimulated
Exposing your children to various scenarios and different groups of people to acclimate and socialize them to the world is wise. It allows your little one to familiarize themselves with locations outside the home, practice being social, and explore new things. However, keep in mind your little adventurer probably has a sociability limit, so Its essential to keep tabs on how theyre feeling.
Many of us have seen a kid whos thrown a tantrum at the end of a birthday party, and its probably not because they had a terrible time. Just like adults, kids get worn out too.
Passing around your love bug at a gathering may sound splendid, as everyone will likely want to hold and bounce the baby however, be careful your little one isnt overstimulated. Too much fun can leave kids feeling overwhelmed and anxious, with crying fits. When your tiny party animal becomes overwhelmed, its challenging to put them down for naps or relax at bedtime if they start crying, keeping your baby, and you awake much longer.
How Long Will My Newborn Sleep
Newborns should get 1417 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Some newborns may sleep up to 1819 hours a day.
Newborns wake every couple of hours to eat. Breastfed babies feed often, about every 23 hours. Bottle-fed babies tend to feed less often, about every 34 hours.
Newborns who sleep for longer stretches should be awakened to feed. Wake your baby every 34 hours to eat until he or she shows good weight gain, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s OK to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.
The first months of a baby’s life can be the hardest for parents, who might get up many times at night to tend to the baby. Each baby has a different sleep pattern. Some start to sleep “through the night” by 23 months of age, but some don’t.
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Do Cry It Out Tactics Cause Problems
One highly-publicized study tested the long-term effects of sleep training on more than 170 babies, but did so by lumping together several different training strategies, including a program that didnt involve leaving infants alone .
Thus, we cant know if families who used graduated extinction experienced different outcomes than families who used other methods like those that kept babies and parents together in the same room.
In addition, this study failed to determine if parents in the control group attempted sleep training. This, too, is crucial, because it means we cant draw conclusions about a failure to detect differences between groups.
Maybe outcomes were similar because treatments were similar: Babies in both groups were exposed to a mixed bag of sleep training techniques.
A more recent study presents similar interpretative problems . The researchers took the helpful step of distinguishing between graduated extinction and other types of sleep training.
But they didnt measure what parents assigned to the control condition did with their babies. Nor did they keep track of where babies slept with respect to their parents alone or in a shared room.
Moreover, this was a much smaller study, and one marked by substantial amounts of missing data, as well as some discrepancies in the published numbers.
For example, at one time point during the study, almost half the families failed to participate. Researchers filled in the missing data with their own estimates .
My Baby Looks To Be Asleep But Wakes Screaming 10 Minutes Later
Chances are your baby has wind and needs to be burped. This can happen at bedtime and during the night, when your baby hasn’t had her normal awake time and been upright long enough for any wind to come up.
Keep her swaddled, pick and burp over your shoulder. Then put her back into bed and pat or sssh to help her get back to sleep if needed.
After her next bedtime or night-time feed, try to ensure you get all possible burps up, even if you sit for a few extra minutes with her upright to allow wind to come up more easily.
If you are having this issue we recommend the Baby Whispering DVD which covers burping techniques really well.
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They Don’t Know Day From Night
When infants are born, their circadian rhythm lacks development because for nine months your child was bundled up inside of a dark womb. Night and day mean nothing to them because in the womb, it didn’t matter. When they emerge they have no concept of this and, as a result, will take a bit of time to adjust.
To help develop this cognitive function, it may help to employ a few tricks to encourage sleep. Things like darkness and soft noise can help children to sleep and spur the adjustment of their internal clocks.
It can help to keep their bedroom very dark so when they’re inside it’s easier to sleep. Investing in blackout curtains may sound like a pain, but they come at a variety of prices and can be installed by even the clumsiest of humans.
Additionally, white noise machines for babies are known to help as well. You’d be surprised how loud the inside of a womb is, and it can remind them of this cozy time inside.