Sleep for Babies
This is for all of you New Mothers, even previously experienced Mothers as there is always something’s
that might not have been tried or a new idea that would or could possibly help solve a problem that might arise with your new bundle of joy (maybe at the time not so joyful). As we all know, not everything goes to that well laid out plan, mainly because bubs
cannot read or follow what you have planned yet.
I also suggest that you should get your partner to read this as well, sometimes, but I’m not saying all, they are unaware of the trials and
tribulations that you have to go through just to survive the day long ritual. Some father’s do not have any trouble with helping mothers with what is needed to give you a break but as we know some really need to find out how hard it is raising bubs and
they might find some helpful hints here to help share with you.
In reference to the baby I have used Him or Her to describe them but this is not meant to say that it is just for one, this is meant
for either Him or Her.
So go ahead and check this post out and I do wish that you are able to use or find that particular thing that is or maybe troubling you.
Trial and error
Every mother, whether a first-time mom or an experienced one, has to make those decisions about what’s best for her
baby. You can start out with books by “experts” and of course friends and relatives always have advice for a new mother and baby.
These are a way to start, but if what you’re doing
doesn’t work, then you have to try something new. Try different things at bedtime to see what works for you and your baby. She’s unique and not like any other baby, after all!
try different types of foods at night, or the timing of her last feeding. Are her pyjamas soft and not scratchy? Be sure to use special detergents made just for baby clothes, especially in the beginning. Can you hang her clothes and bedding outside in the
sunshine to dry? Who doesn’t feel all cosy and comfy when going to sleep in bedding that’s been dried outside? Just make sure no critters get into the bedding or clothes.
Do you have
a ritual at night? Maybe it starts with a nice bath and then a feeding while holding her close to you. Nothing feels more wonderful than holding a baby right out of the bath when they have that wonderful baby smell. It’s just important to make this a
pleasant and relaxing time for both of you, especially when your baby’s very young, in the first months of her life.
If it takes a long time for your baby to wind
down, then you might need to start your rituals early in the day. If you’ve been playing with her beforehand, then it might take a little longer to get her to sleep. Again, those rituals of bath, feeding, talking and singing in a quiet, darkened room
will soon signal bed time for your baby (and hopefully for you too!)
a new mother, you probably will wonder whether your baby is sleeping enough, or sleeping too much. There are guidelines of what to expect, but of course these can vary from baby to baby. Even if you’ve had children before, each baby will be different.
Newborn babies usually sleep about 16-17 hours in a 24-hour period. Most babies will not sleep through the night until they’re at least 3 months old. There are several reasons why. First of all, their stomachs
are very small and they’ll get hungry faster, especially if you’re breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk is much more easily digested than formula, and your baby will need to feed more often, especially in the beginning.
Babies also have shorter sleep cycles than adults do and have shorter dream cycles. In general, though, a newborn baby should sleep about 8 or nine hours during the day and 8 hours or so at night. These won’t be in 8-hour
cycles, of course. In the beginning, those sleep times will be very short.
As the baby gets older, up to about 2 years of age, she’ll still be sleeping 13-14 hours, but the amount of daytime
sleep will diminish month-by-month. By age 2, your baby should be sleeping through the night with a 2-hour nap during the day. Again, this will vary by child. Your baby might need a slightly longer nap or two short naps. At this age though, try to discourage
naps too late in the afternoon, as this can make it harder to get them to sleep a few hours later at bed time.
Once a baby begins to regularly sleep through the night, parents are often dismayed
when he/she begins to awaken in the night again. This typically happens at about 6 months of age and is often a normal part of development called separation anxiety, when a baby does not understand that separations are temporary.
Sleep issues 4-7 months
Your baby should start sleeping through the night at
about 3 months. But babies are learning and observing all the time and your baby could soon start to associate sleep time with time that mommy isn’t there. It’s called separation anxiety and it’s a normal part of development for many babies.
But it can be especially trying for parents, as babies can be particularly strong-willed, especially about bedtime!
You may be introducing some baby foods at this time, and this can help your baby
feel sleepy. Remember to introduce new patterns gently and slowly. If the baby isn’t going to sleep or keeps waking up and crying for you, then she needs to learn to self-comfort, but not all at once. Ease her into the habit of sleeping alone.
Don’t change your rituals at bedtime. You can still start out with a warm bath and feeding. Rocking and snuggling, singing or reading – these are all bonding times for mother and baby. If the baby doesn’t
fall asleep right away, try putting her in her crib with the rocker or glider right next to the crib, singing or reading to her. You can stand at the crib and rub or pat her back.
In a week or
two, move the chair a short distance away from the crib, so the baby can see you. You can talk or read or sing. If she cries for more than 10 or 15 minutes, then get up and comfort her, but put her back down in the crib and go back to your chair.
In another week or two, move the farther away, towards the door. Even these minor changes could be hard for your baby, but be patient. This is a time when you can fold her laundry and put it away; talking to her, so
she’s aware of your presence, but your attention isn’t focused entirely on her. This way she can get used to the idea of separation gradually.
issues 8-12 months
At the ages of 8-12 months, your baby will begin to need less sleep during the day and should be regularly sleeping through the night. But there’s also much more activity
and stimulation during the day – babies are eating up the world at this stage, they’re learning so much.
If you’re feeding him baby food during the day, and decreasing bottles,
make the last bottle feeding at night-time. You can also have a bottle in the night to soothe him if he wakes up. Babies are teething at this time as well, and that can cause them to wake up in discomfort. You may be weaning the baby from breastfeeding, and
that can be a difficult transition as well.
There are different schools of thought on handling babies who are a challenge to get to sleep. Some recommend letting the baby cry it out, but this is
hard on the parents, especially on mom who may have been comforting and bonding with the baby all day long. It can see cruel to just let the baby cry himself to sleep. He’s just a little guy, after all.
Take extra care at this time to make sure the nursery is conducive to sleeping. Make sure his diaper is clean and his sheets are clean and soft. If he’s teething, use a topical pain treatment that’s safe for the baby. You can also
invest in some homeopathic tablets that ease teething naturally. Make sure his nose is clear and not stuffy. If you use a foam wedge to keep the baby from sleeping on his stomach, sleep with a spare one night and then put that in his bed so that your
scent is close to him at night.
Make sure the room isn’t too cold or too hot; keep a humidifier in the room to maintain a good moisture balance, especially in the winter when rooms can dry
out. Your baby just might be stubborn about sleeping, but try to figure out if there are physical problems that you can alleviate first.
1-2 years old
As your baby gets older and turns into a toddler, they’ll start to need less sleep during the day, but about 11 hours or so at night. You’ll be transitioning to fewer naps
and even a cranky tired baby can have difficulty getting to sleep.
If your child will to go to bed only if you're around, he's forming bad habit that will be hard to break later. The best lesson
you can teach them is how to soothe themselves to sleep. Follow a nightly bedtime ritual (bath, books, and bed, for example) so he knows what's expected of him and what to expect at night. You can tell him that if he stays in bed you'll come back in five minutes
to check on him. Let him know that he's safe and that you'll be nearby.
Toddlers are great negotiators, and they're no different when it comes to bedtime. And because they so enjoy the time they
spend with you, they'll do what they can to prolong the time they have with you. Your child may take his time doing his usual nightly routine, ask repeatedly for a glass of water, or keep requesting that you come to his room because he needs something. If
you suspect he's stalling, don't let him. Tell him it's time for bed and that he can finish working on his art project the next day or find the stuffed bunny the following morning. Make the night-time routine more “business like” when you
kiss your baby and tuck him/her in. Don’t wait around for your baby to fuss. Just leave and close the door and wait about ten minutes before you go back in the room.
it’s just a battle for control. Your toddler wants to control his environment as much as possible. You can’t force him to fall asleep. Try reverse psychology and tell him he doesn’t have to go to sleep, but can play in his crib. Eventually,
he’ll fall asleep on his own.
There are many different methods from
the “experts” on dealing with sleep problems in your developing baby and child. Again, do what works best for you and what you feel comfortable with.
The Ferber method involves letting
the baby cry themself to sleep, on the theory that if you’re firm about bed time, and she’ll learn to comfort herself to sleep. This doesn’t mean just plunking the baby down in her crib and walking away. It differs from what you may already
be doing in that it encourages you to put the baby in her crib while she’s still awake, so she gets used to falling asleep without you. But this might also mean letting her cry it out for a few weeks. This can be stressful for everyone in the household.
Another method is the controlled crying method. Again, this involves your usual bedtime rituals of a bath, perhaps a snack and a story, rocking and cuddling. Put your baby in her crib and kiss her goodnight. If she
starts to cry, wait 10 to 15 minutes before going in to comfort her. Try to resist picking her up, just shush her quietly and pat her on the back. Some experts suggest not talking, as this can reinforce the waking and crying behaviour. You want to reassure
your baby that you’re there, but you still want to encourage sleeping.
After the first half hour of crying, increase the intervals before you check on the baby by a few minutes each time,
up to about 15 to 20 minutes between checking. This can take some time, and can be trying on your nerves, but in time, your baby will learn that you’re not going away and that you’re nearby. This teaches your baby self-comforting, but also gives
her the confidence and security that you’re there for her.
A new baby needs
a lot of sleep and when they’re not sleeping, they can be hungry or need a diaper change. It’s a little hard to know in the beginning what’s making your baby cry or if he’s tired. But as you both begin to settle into your routines,
you’ll begin to notice the cues that your baby needs to nap. You want to make sure he gets in good naps during the day and at appropriate times so that you won’t have as much trouble getting him to sleep at night.
Even a very small baby will rub his eyes when he gets tired. He’ll yawn; perhaps he’ll get fussy. As children get a little older, their activity levels may pick up as they get tired and try to avoid sleep.
Try to keep to regular nap times during the day. If you’re baby is napping 3 times a day, then a mid-morning, early afternoon and late-afternoon nap is appropriate for a baby with a 7:30 or 8 PM bed time.
Often babies get tired towards dinner time, and then parents are faced with a dilemma. Do you let the baby sleep and risk not getting to sleep at bedtime? Or you do you try to keep him awake through dinner and perhaps
put him to bed a little bit earlier?
Most parents will opt for trying to keep the baby awake a little longer in favour of keeping to a regular bed time. But if it’s been a busy day for the
little guy, let him have a very short nap and then wake him up gently for dinner or a feeding and some light play before putting him to bed for the night.
Remember to make rituals for naps as well
as bed time so your baby gets used to sleeping at regular times.
There’s only so much one person (or two) can do to get a baby to go to sleep. There are things you can use other than your own shoulder to help lull your baby to sleep.
baby swing can be a good idea and leave your hands free. Set the swing at a slow and gentle rock; you don’t want this to be an exciting or stimulating experience. You want to make it relaxing so your baby can fall asleep.
A glider or rocker is restful for both of you. And a good pillow support, like a Boppy® pillow is good for late-night breast feeding. It’s a nice U-shaped pillow that provides good support for your baby, as well as
for your back.
If you’re on a budget, some parents swear by putting their baby in a baby seat and putting it on top of a dryer. If you do this, be sure to put the dryer on air only –
you don’t want to overheat him.
A motorized cradle or bassinette can also be soothing for a baby. As a last resort, you can always bundle the baby into his car seat and drive around the neighbourhood
until he falls asleep. Many experts don’t recommend artificial aids like this however, as it’s impossible to sustain it and you won’t get the baby used to sleeping on his own.
are also many ambient noise machines on the market that can also help mask household noises and provide a soothing environment for the baby (and for many adults). You can usually set them for a variety of noises, like rainfall, wind chimes or ocean sounds.
You can also leave the TV on quietly in another room so the baby doesn’t feel completely isolated in his room.
Remember your baby is used to a dark, quiet environment in the womb. She’s not used to the usual cues of night-time sleeping. Night-time, at first, is what
she’s used to asleep or awake.
One method of getting your baby used to sleeping at night, or in the dark, is to be sure she’s exposed to lots of sunlight during the day. When it’s
time to nap or time to go to sleep at night, part of your ritual can be dimming the lights, simulating dusk and night-time, even if it’s an afternoon nap. This way, she’ll get used to day and night cycles and learn that night-time and darkness
are for sleeping.
There are clocks called dawn simulators that will gradually dim into total darkness over a period of about half an hour. This can be a way to gradually dim the light in the baby’s
room. You can start while you’re still rocking her to sleep. When you start putting her in her crib when she’s still awake, you can set the clock to start to dim when you leave the room, or leave part way through the cycle. This way you’re
not just flipping out the light and leaving her alone in the dark.
You can do this for nap times too. The clocks will cycle on slowly in the morning as well; you want to be sure that you mute the
actual alarm sound, though, so you don’t wake the baby up with a shock.
If you combine any of these devices with your usual routines, you’ll help teach your baby’s the cues for
going to sleep at nap time and at night. These are gentle methods that many parents prefer to just letting the baby cry it out.
Avoid Stimulating Your
Baby during Night-time Feedings
As your newborn baby grows, it is slowly acclimating to sleeping at night and being awake during the day. Also, as baby's stomach is growing and holding more breast
milk or formula, it will be able to go for longer periods between feedings at night. At approximately three months of age your baby will likely sleep about 15 hours out of each 24-hour period, and two thirds of that sleep will take place during the night.
Most babies will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three sleep periods during the day, followed by "sleeping through the night" for 6 to 7 hours after a late-night feeding.
help adjust your baby's body clock toward sleeping at night by avoiding stimulation during night-time feedings and diaper changes. The act of breastfeeding itself provides frequent eye and voice contact, so try to keep the
lights low and resist the urge to play or talk with your baby. This will reinforce the message that night-time is for sleeping. Keeping the door closed to keep out well-meaning but vocal older children, spouses and pet will
also keep reduce stimulating your infant. Avoid the use of musical mobiles or toys as a way to lull your infant back to sleep after night-time feedings. This will also help to reinforce that night-time is for sleeping.
And, as with adults, overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping than those who've had an appropriate amount of sleep during the day. So, keeping your baby up thinking that he or she
will sleep better at night may not work. You may find that when your infant sleeps at regular intervals during the day, it will be easier to put them back down to sleep after night-time feedings.
Thank you for checking out this post and I hope this has been
help to you and yours.
Plus as a special Free Download for you just in case this was not enough information or suggestions for getting
your baby to sleep, check the following out and feel free to download this for yourself.