There is no denying that one of the most difficult parts of being a new parent is dealing with the sleepless nights. The regular feeds every three to four hours means that there is no getting away with waking up during the night, perhaps more than once. While the nighttime feeds may last for a few weeks for many parents, for some it can continue for longer as their babies struggle to establish a good routine. If you happen to be one of these parents, you are probably desperately searching for tips and tricks to help your baby sleep better.
Establish a Night and Day Routine
Babies are not born knowing night from day, so it is up to parents to help them get into the routine of sleeping more at night than they do during the day. This can be difficult initially as babies tend to spend most of the day asleep too.
Once your baby starts to stay awake for longer between feeds, it is important to teach them day from night. This means doing things slightly different at nighttime. So, while it is great to interact with your baby during daytime feeds, try to keep this to a minimum at night. Keep the lights low and avoid putting the TV on.
This can be a difficult suggestion for many people because the idea of letting their babies cry themselves to sleep is hard to take. However, if you run every time baby cries, you are teaching them to do just that. Try putting your baby in the cot to sleep after their feed, regardless of whether they are asleep or not. Avoid rocking them to sleep and then placing them in the cot as this can be a hard habit to break. Always place baby on their back when you put them in the cot to avoid the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You can then keep an eye on them from a monitor. It is best to get baby into the habit of self-soothing as soon as possible.
Use a Sleep Sack
Many babies wake up during the night because they have scratched themselves with their sharp nails. Others suffer with itchy skin because of conditions such as eczema. If your baby is struggling to sleep because of an itch, why not try placing them in a CozeeCoo swaddle sack. This is a wearable blanket made from a breathable organic cotton which will keep arms gently restrained while still allowing for freedom of movement.
How Long Should Your Baby Sleep?
It is important to remember that every baby is different and while there are guidelines in place regarding the average amount of time a baby should sleep, your own child may differ from this. The National Sleep Foundation says that babies up to the age of three months should sleep for between 14 and 17 hours per day. If you have developed a good sleep routine, your baby will likely have two or three naps during the day with a longer sleep at night.
Where Should Your Baby Sleep?
Your baby should sleep in your bedroom for the first six months, although some parents do not move their baby to their own room until they are least twelve months old. Your baby should sleep in their own bed. Never allow your baby to sleep in your bed as this can increase the risk of SIDS. If you want your baby to be close to you, you can buy a bed that attaches to your bed.