It is pretty exciting to have a baby joining your family. However, adjusting to life with a baby can take a long time and cause a lot of distress. The responsibilities might be terrifying for the parents. Especially when it comes to sleep, you sometimes think that you can’t handle it. Here are some tips to help you on this long journey.
1 – TIMING
It is actually more about reading the drowsy signs of your baby. Many babies will show certain signals of being tired. If you miss the signs and wait too long your infant can become overtired and this makes it difficult for her/his to fall asleep or stay asleep. It can also cause early wake-ups. Reading the signs and right timing will solve these problems.
2 – DURATION
If you make your baby sleep more than he/she needs to sleep during the day, this will shorten his/her night sleep. Or, if you allow more than 3 hours of block sleep during the day, he will wake up frequently at night because you allow him to sleep in the daytime for the block sleep that he should do at night.
3 – QUALITY OF SLEEP
Especially after the 6th month, the uninterrupted sleep of babies affects the quality of sleep. If they are able to return to sleep in partial awakenings do not affect the quality of sleep.
4 – COMFORTABLE ROOM
Is your nursery comfortable for your baby? Lighting and heating of the room are very important. Some babies might afraid of darkness while some babies like it. So you need to check both for the night sleeps. Having some daylight in your nursery might be helpful since daylight and darkness set babies’ biological rhythms. Lighting is important for the production of (the powerful sleep hormone) melatonin. The temperature of the room should be 20-22 centigrade because sweating usually makes the babies sick. Baby sleeping bags are ideal for babies who do not like to be covered.
5 – BEDTIME ROUTINES
You need to establish a bedtime routine for your baby. A relaxing bath-infant massage-feeding might be good options for the newborns. Reading a book and wishing good night to the household might be also added for the older ones. Consistent routines, activities that happen at about the same time and in about the same way each day, provide comfort and a sense of safety to babies and children.
“She sleeps in my arms and wakes up when I put her into the crib…”
Touching cold sheets after her mother’s warm arms could wake your baby up. You may warm up her bed by using a hot water bag carefully. She might also be waking up because of the sudden change in her position. So wait until they are in a deep sleep and try putting them with a curvy pillow first and lay them down very slowly. This will remove the feeling of falling.
“After night feeding or in a random time in the middle of the night she wakes up with a wet diaper and does not back to sleep after changing”
Before the night sleeps you might prefer to use bigger-sized diapers. The bigger-sized diaper will reduce the wetness. Or you can use two diapers at once, one on top of the other. When the inner one gets wet you can take it off slowly without taking the extra one and let her continue to sleep in a warm diaper.
“She wakes up crying…”
A quick checklist… Is she hungry? Is she wet? Does she have a fever? Is it too cold for her? Or is it too hot? Did she hear a loud noise? Is she searching for me? If the answers are OK then remember that the babies mirror the mothers’ reactions. So it is pretty normal for your baby to cry when you are looking at her with a stressful expression on your face.
Seda Ozcan – Baby Sleep Consultant