If you have ever had to deal with a newborn, you must have noticed that they seem to be on reverse timing. Asleep during the day, and fussy, crying and awake all night long! It is one of the most frustrating experiences. You are tired, you probably haven’t had a minute to yourself, and the baby just won’t sleep. So, what can you do? Is there a way you can manage to keep them asleep for just a few hours if not the whole night?
The answer is yes. There are some steps you can take to ensure that your baby gets a few more hours of sleep. Please note that sleeping through the night may not be possible during the first few months of your baby’s life, because they constantly need to keep waking up to eat all the time.
A newborn baby’s tummy is not big enough to accommodate a good amount of milk that can keep them asleep for a long time. As such, they tend to keep waking up every few minutes to eat. Now, because the baby doesn’t really understand what they feel at first, they tend to be extremely irritable and cry a lot.
Also, when your baby hits the fourth-month milestone, they experience what is known as “a growth spurt,” which happens in their bodies and brains. This causes them to be fussier than usual, and sleeping through the night is almost impossible. Do not worry, in this review, we are going to give you practical solutions for helping your baby sleep through the night, or for a few more hours each night.
Tricks To Help Your Baby Sleep
Lay The Baby Down, Even If They Are Still Awake
Because your baby understands what is known as cause and effect, they will understand that when they cry you rush to pick them up. Therefore, they will try to always make a big fuss when it’s time to go to bed. It is a good idea to experiment on how to teach them to be self-reliant, and let him self-soothe before falling asleep.
Develop A Schedule
Newborns usually sleep for around 16 – 18 hours each day, and this is often stretched out into a few hours at a time. Although it may be hard to form a pattern at first, working towards developing a consistent sleep schedule will go a long way in helping your child nap for longer periods between feedings.
By 3 – 4 months, your baby should be getting at least 5 hours of sleep per nap time, but, please do not worry if this has not happened for your baby yet. During the first year of a child’s life, they develop at different rates, and within no time, your baby will catch up to the schedule and the rhythm.
Sleep With Your Baby In The Same Room
Your baby should sleep in the same room as you, in their bassinet or crib, for the first six months at least. If you can, have them sleep with you for a year. This helps reduce the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS, and also helps them sleep longer at night.
Don’t put them in your bed, as adult beds are not really safe for the baby. The baby can be trapped and even suffocate on the space between the bed and the headboard. You may also suffocate them, by accidentally rolling on them.
Follow A Consistent Bedtime Routine
Do not overstimulate your baby, especially at night, because this can make it difficult for them to settle down before they sleep. Try to come up with a routine in the evenings such as singing, cuddling, or bathing him. You could even leave them in their room with some quiet and relaxing music which clearly shows that you need your baby to sleep.
Give The Baby Time To Relax And Settle Down
If you have a fussy baby who cries before they can find a comfortable sleeping position, try giving the baby time to find a comfortable position all by themselves. Do this rather than picking them up and cuddling your baby until they sleep. You could also try checking up on your baby often after leaving them in the room because your presence will reassure and help them calm down.
Use A Pacifier
The AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends the use of a pacifier when the baby is sleeping as it also aids in preventing the risk of SIDS. When your baby is having trouble settling down, the pacifier might help do the trick and cause them to sleep for longer.
Keep Nighttime Disruptions Minimal
When the baby needs to be fed at night, you can go into their room to feed them, but use low and soft voices, and also avoid bright lights. Keep your movements calm so as not to startle the child and cause them to wake up crying. This will also make it easier to help your baby get back to sleep.
As a mother, and most especially a new one, you must always remain calm and take things one step at a time. Even if your neighbor’s kid is sleeping through the night already, and yours isn’t, it doesn’t mean that it is a measure of you as a parent. Kids develop at different times and going with your child’s development schedule can help avoid disappointments and stressful situations.