Having a baby can mean kissing goodbye to your beauty sleep. Even though new moms tend to be terribly sleep deprived all the time, it needn’t be that bad. Good sleeping habits developed in the baby since infancy can work wonders and can give the moms some much needed shut-eye.
Image source: Healthline
A newborn sleeps for 16-17 hours a day, but only manages to sleep for 2-4 hours at a stretch. Also, day or night does not matter much for the baby. But as the baby grows, the number of hours it sleeps steadily decreases and she stays awake for longer periods of time. A baby is capable of sleeping through the night between 4-6 months. So it is advisable that moms start instilling good sleeping habits in babies during this period.
Day vs Night
Babies don’t understand clocks and have no concept of day and night. As a result, some babies might blissfully sleep during the day and keep their moms awake at night. To overcome this, teach your baby the difference between day and night.
During the day, keep the lighting in the house bright. Play and talk with the baby and take her out for a stroll. Let the baby nap, of course, but don’t go out of your way to keep the house too quite. Let her get used to the usual sounds typical of a day. As opposed to this, dim the lights at night. Don’t play with the baby, rather talk to her in calm, soothing tones. Keep the noise level down. Encourage the baby to sleep, and discourage playing at night. Soon, the baby will start getting used to sleeping during the night.
Set a Routine
Image source: BabyCenter
Follow a bedtime routine. For example, every evening at the same time, start by massaging her followed by a warm bath. Then talk to the baby in soothing tones and put her to sleep. During the initial months, swaddling the baby can help her fall asleep quickly and sleep longer. Initially, the baby might not want to sleep, but eventually, she will get used to the routine and fall asleep quickly.
Consider Sleep Training
Image source: BabyCenter
Around 4-6 months, moms would want to train their babies to fall asleep on their own. This involves following a bedtime routine, but then not helping the baby sleep by rocking her or carrying her around in the arms. The idea is to let the baby calm down on her own. It helps to look for signs that the baby is sleepy such as rubbing the eyes, yawning, or being cranky and put the baby to sleep accordingly. Too much delay can lead the baby to be overtired. An overtired baby finds it difficult to calm down and sleep.
Sleep training could be a difficult phase, but sticking to a routine helps the baby understand all the cues and soon, she will be falling asleep easily.
A baby keeping you awake at night could be a tiring and frustrating experience. But, motherhood becomes a tad bit easier when the baby gets into a predictable sleep routine. However, every baby is different. So while some babies quickly settle into a sleep pattern, some others take more time. And while the babies are put to bed for the night, the mommies can also get the much needed rest!
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