Most newborns need 16 hours of sleep per day, with 8 hours occurring during the day. If your baby suddenly starts crying in the middle of the night, give her a few minutes to fuss before you respond; she may self-soothe back to sleep. If she doesn’t, enter the room to check that everything’s okay, pat her on the head or tummy, quietly say a reassuring word and leave. If family and friends can offer help make the most of it. Loved ones like to feel useful. If you have help don’t struggle on your own – this is good for you and for your baby. Always place the baby down to sleep on their back in a cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months - and do this as part of their regular sleep routine, including daytime naps. Some babies hate transferring from your warm arms when feeding/cuddling to a cold moses basket or cot. To avoid this, put a muslin or blanket under them when feeding/cuddling and put it under them when you place them back in the cot: that way you’ve transferred some warmth and some of your reassuring smell. Experiments show that babies are especially attuned to — and aroused by — their mothers’ voices. In fact, some researchers claim that babies arouse more easily in response to their mother’s voice than to a smoke alarm. Likewise, brain imaging research confirms that eye contact triggers busy activity in an infant’s brain — especially in a part of the brain that processes social interactions.
Make sure that if your infant is falling asleep in a stroller, car seat, swing, or bouncer, swaddled or not, they are always within eyesight and earshot. Each year, babies die from asphyxiation when their chins tuck too closely to their chest from a seated position in their car seat. The same goes for any type of wrap or carrier—always be vigilant about making sure your baby is able to breathe easily. Ask for help. As you’ll probably be doing all the night feeds, ask your partner to help out with more of the nappies, washing or baths. When your partner is at work, can a friend or relative step in to help with cooking and chores? The safest place for your baby to sleep is by herself in a bassinet or crib. If you have multiples (twins, triplets or more), put each baby in his own bassinet or crib. Here are some do’s and don’ts about making your baby’s sleep space safe: For some parents, high-tech baby monitors offer peace of mind, while they’re an added stress for others. The same goes for baby soothers: some babies will love a cutting-edge approach, while others will be comforted by the sound of a vacuum cleaner and a familiar-smelling muslin cloth. Whatever gets you through the night is alright. Whether its something specific like sleep training or really anything baby sleep related, a baby sleep consultant can guide you to find a sleep solution as individual as your baby is.
Don't Rush To Feed Your Baby At Night
Babies’ sleep patterns change as they get older and fall into a routine. Every baby is different. Moreover, premature babies (preemies) may behave consistently with babies of a younger age based on how early they were born. Experts call this an adjusted or corrected age. All babies are unique and have different sleep needs. The range of normal is quite wide. So even if your baby seems to sleep more than others, there is a good chance they are just a super sleeper. Look at tweaking your daytime schedule a bit: increase face to face playtimes with your baby, get outside a bit more, and perhaps cut out one of the naps - especially if they’re not yet mobile. Try to stop them napping after 4pm, or at least keep it really short. You could also try making their bedtime slightly later. Fatigue makes adults sleep better, but it can totally backfire with infants and make them wired and restless. Your newborn baby will need to be soothed to sleep. Your older child should be going to sleep on their own. When kids older than 1 are waking up during the night it’s almost always because they aren’t falling to sleep on their own (generally because parents stay and cuddle until they fall asleep and then sneak out). The gentle approach and caring manner of a baby sleep expert allows them to assist you in the most preferable way to deal with sleep regression and to assist you and your family in any way possible.
Consider swaddling your baby at night so their arms and legs don’t move and wake them. You can also try putting them to sleep in a small crib, so they feel snug and secure. Although there is a huge array of baby products on the market, a firm flat surface and some bedding is all that is necessary to keep your baby safe. Place your baby on their back and ensure that their heads are not covered. This reduces the risk of SIDS. There is no need for a positioner or rolled blankets to keep your baby in this safe position. The number one cause of night wakings in babies is a feed-sleep association. How would you feel if you fell asleep on your pillow and woke up in the middle of the desert – you might scream too! Well, the more you feed your child to sleep, the more they need food to fall asleep, anytime they wake up. Every parent goes through stages of sleeplessness, it comes and goes with the territory. Babies need their sleep but for various reasons can struggle to sleep or wake and may be difficult to settle at times. Dreamfeeding can buy parents an extra hour or two of nighttime sleep, or at the very least get more calories into baby in each twenty-four-hour period. Generally speaking, dreamfeeding should be limited to babies who are swaddled and younger than sixteen weeks. A sleep consultant will take a holistic approach to create a sleeping system that you can manage and one which takes into account ferber method as well as the needs of the baby and considerations of each family member.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
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" (for 5–6 hours at a time) by 2–3 months of age, but some don't. 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 your older baby wakes up continually during the night avoid picking them up immediately. Leave it a few minutes to see if they go back to sleep. To help your baby to settle in their cot at night, try to avoid rocking or snuggling them to sleep on you or in your bed before transferring them to their cot, and instead have a cuddle with a story and then put them into their bed while they are awake. While infants feed frequently, they usually consume tiny amounts, as little an ounce or two at a time. Portions and sleep times will both increase as your baby gets older. There are multiple approaches to gentle sleep training and a sleep expert will help you choose one that is right for you and your family.
Your baby may have wind, be suffering reflux or even have a dirty diaper. It might be that your baby just can’t get comfortable enough to sleep. Caring for a baby can be very stressful and exhausting, especially when you are sleep-deprived, coping with opens in a new windowchildbirth trauma, or struggling with a baby that cries excessively. Get some rest yourself: Rather that stress yourself trying loads of different ways to help your baby sleep better, rest and nap when you can and conserve your energy for when you’ll really need it. One common mistake parents make is not ensuring that they have their child’s bedroom ready before sleep training begins. Implementing these simple recommendations can even aid in achieving better-quality sleep from birth. While they aren’t a magic bullet to solve night wakings and short naps, having a sleep-conducive environment will ensure that once your child does learn to fall asleep unassisted, their sleep will last longer and be of better, more restorative quality. It is not about being a selfish parent if you want your child to sleep, as that is often how it is perceived. A well-rested child is a precursor to a well-rested family unit – with huge benefits. If we are going to prioritise maternal health and wellbeing and also infant mental health, sleep has to be part of that conversation. Sleep consultants support hundreds of families every year, assisting with things such as 4 month sleep regression using gentle, tailored methods.
Dream Feeds Are Great For Your Infant
It can seem challenging to follow safer sleep advice when you are very tired and it may be tempting to do something different. Following safer sleep advice for every sleep; day and night, is key to reducing the chance of SIDS. Unfortunately, for some babies, doing something different such as sleeping a baby on their tummy on one occasion can put them at risk. By starting a bedtime routine, your baby will begin to associate certain activity with bedtime. Fit it in with your family's routine and decide roughly what sort of time you want to start putting your baby to bed. The most important thing is that your baby is getting the opportunity to have a good long night-time sleep, as well as daytime naps. The proper sleep environment will matter more and more as baby gets past the 6-week mark. Set up a room for your baby to sleep for naps and bedtime. The sooner your baby starts to associate darkness and loud white noise with sleep, the easier his or her life will be. Uncover further insights about Baby Sleep Consultants on this NHS article.