A grumpy baby is often the product of a sleep cycle disrupted by bursts of wakefulness. No two babies are similar, and so there’s no single, perfect way of getting the baby asleep for longer stretches, especially during the night. Parents will have to engage in a series of trial and error to gather what does and what doesn’t seem to work while trying to get their newborn sleep while enjoying their share of resting hours.
A baby sleeping properly is a tolerant, happy baby, and this automatically makes the mother, less harried and more satisfied! Here are some tips for baby sleep to getting you started.
9 Tips on How To Improve Your Baby Sleep
1. Start From Where It All Began
If you find the baby fussing during daytime and waking up numerous times during sleep hours at night, screaming and thrashing in the darkness, then the first step to get the sleep cycle back on track is to revert to square one. Focus on the baby’s sleep for at least two weeks, like it was during the first few days of postpartum. You can use these sleeping hours to nap while making sure that the baby feedings run smoothly.
2. Watch Out For Baby Sleep Signs
Experts recommend studying your baby for what triggers his or her sleep signs, whether it’s a shift in mood or a full tummy so that it will help you ease your baby into a smooth sleep cycle. For instance, if you notice your baby tugging on the ears while yawning continuously, then it’s an indication of their cranky state and tiredness. Other baby sleep signs include staring off into space, sporting a red face, heavy eyelids, and hyperactivity.
3. Swaddle Your Newborn
From birth until the fourth or fifth month, babies can get startled in their sleep due to their innate startle reflex, in which they may experience a falling sensation. It may cause the baby to jerk and hence rouse them out of sleep. If you swaddle your newborn tightly, then there is a higher chance of them falling back to sleep in case the startle reflex caught them off guard.
4. Your Baby Needs One Place To Sleep, And One Place Alone
Babies shouldn’t be allowed to fall asleep wherever they please, such as the mother’s arms or in the stroller. Limit newborn sleep to one place, like the baby room or the bed where he sleeps at night.
5. Practice Visual or Verbal Sleep Cues To Introduce The Baby To Uninterrupted Sleep Time
Replacing regular diapers with cloth diapers for overnight hours, attaching a muslin snap bib, pulling down shades, or calling out a loud, “it’s sleep time,” can work as excellent sleep cues.
6. Babies Need Milk
One of the key newborn sleep tips a first week up to six months is making sure that your baby is properly fed during the daytime. If enough milk doesn’t reach their system, they tend to wake up in the middle of the night and remain cantankerous until they have their fill.
7. Restrict Baby Napping To 2-2.5 Hours During The Daytime
Waking a sleeping baby in their cute and angelic glory can be a hard thing to do, but letting them sleep for longer hours can rid them of sleep during night time. And this will undoubtedly affect your sleep time. So, tips for baby sleep include limiting your baby’s nap to 2-2.5 hours during the day, which would let you wedge in more opportunities to keep your baby fed and also help them sleep better at night.
8. Use White Noise To Lull Your Baby To Deep Sleep
White noise will mask sounds of traffic and boisterous neighbors. The whirring of a fan can produce white noise, good enough to engage your baby in dreamy, deep sleep.
9. Stick To The Eat, Wake, And Then Sleep Cycle
In the eat, wake, sleep cycle, the baby is fed on waking up, and typically only fed before sleep at the end of the day. Following this cycle has two benefits. Firstly, it promotes full feedings right after the child wakes up, giving him the much-needed energy to play for a few hours and going longer between intermittent feedings. Secondly, the baby avoids associating food with going to bed. It’s a great way to establish routine, predictability, and structure in the baby’s life.
Once babies recognize a pattern, they will get used to dozing during specific times throughout the day and enjoying deep sleep at night. As hinted earlier, what works for one baby doesn’t necessarily have to work for another, so trying a series of newborn sleep techniques and finding out what suits your baby perfectly is a good place to start.
The newfound sleeping habits will encourage your baby to sleep by itself once it has caught up with the routine. If your child wakes up startled in the middle of the night, then you can try settling them into a drowsy state first, by rubbing his back or placing a gentle, but firm hand on his chest, as he slowly drifts off, and his breathing deepens.