Babies and Sleep: 4 Tips To Better Sleep For Your Newborn

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Sleeping Newborn

Working Out the Bed Bugs

Since sleeping is such a major part of a newborn’s life, parents who implement some key principles to infant sleeping will have a happier and healthier baby. Particulars of sleeping needs will change throughout development, but certain principles and habits will remain constant. By learning tips and good practices you can help a baby sleep tight and not let the bed bugs bite.

How Much Should You Expect Your Newborn to Sleep?

A newborn is still growing and developing at a very fast pace during the first few weeks after birth. This means lots of sleep as you can imagine. The hard part is that a newborn needs to feed often and will naturally sleep for about two hour increments. In the case that your baby doesn’t, for at least the first two weeks, you shouldn’t let a baby sleep for more than four hours at a time. This schedule includes nights. If he isn’t waking up on his own you should wake him up to feed. If he is hard to wake up or acts dis-interested in feeding it may be a good idea to contact your doctor. See 5 mistakes parents make with newborns. After the first two weeks, this becomes less of a worry. Some babies will start sleeping all the way through the night as early as 6 weeks but you shouldn’t expect it for the first two months. Between 3 to 6 months a baby will start sleeping at longer stretches of eight to twelve hours.

Tips to Happy and Healthy Sleep Habits for Your Newborn

Babies will sleep about every two hours for a total of roughly 16 hours per day. You can still expect quite a bit of volatility and irregularity amid the gradual changes as the baby grows. However, even at this early stage, an infant can learn good habits and adapt to them as they are practiced. Wise is the mother who properly and steadily guides this process for each of her children. The following tips make for a happier baby and you can start as early as the latter part of week one.

  1. Don’t keep your baby up when he is tired. Instead, put him down to sleep when he first starts showing signs that he is tired. It can be harder for him to fall asleep or to stay asleep when he is overly tired. Fussiness, rubbing of the eyes and yawning are obvious signs, but look for other signs as well to know before he is too tired. This may be pulling at the ear or looking away from you. As you consistently pay attention you will quickly come to recognize these signs.Remember, this guideline applies to daytime naps as well as night time sleep. Don’t keep your baby from taking all of his naps during the day and expect him to sleep longer or better at night. However, you can wake him up if he is sleeping too long into the morning.
  2. Encourage your child to fall asleep independently. If you create early habits of your child fallingasleep while nursing or being rocked, why would that change later on? At some point you will find yourself frustrated that he can’t return to sleep in the middle of the night without you or that he wakes up when you want to lay him down. Keep him awake while he is nursing until he is finished and give your infant awake time after eating and before laying them down to sleep. When you lay them down to sleep, lay them down when they are tired but still awake. That is the key. Teach your infant to fall asleep on their own. If your infant is a little older, say several months, you may have to endure some crying for a couple of days but in the long run you will both be happier.
  3. Teach your newborn the difference between night and day. This is done by creating a different experience at night. During the day interact and play with your baby often. Of course, they will get drowsy, in which case lay them down to nap, but don’t turn the lights down or quiet normal noises.
  4. Build a bedtime routine. It can be very simple and short but it will put you on track for a future regimen and signal bedtime to your infant. Find a relaxing activity. Try singing or humming a song.