ABC’s of Newborn Sleep
One of the trickiest parts of having a newborn baby, is getting them on a regular sleep schedule. It takes time, and patience is a much needed virtue. Once a newborn sleep pattern is adjusted life for you and your baby will become easier. Until then, you have to find what helps soothe your baby when it’s time for bed.
Here are the ABC’s to help you get your newborn sleep patterns on a regular schedule. Enjoy the latest tricks, tips and facts that revolve around your newborn sleep.
Avoiding Eye Contact
Try never to get your baby too excited before bedtime. Once they begin playing, it could prolong them from coming back to a state where they are tired enough to consider sleeping. It’s best not to make extended eye contact with your baby, as this encourages them to focus on you, rather than sleep. When putting your baby to bed, avoid looking straight at them. You can use this tactic when trying to calm them down as well.
A soothing bath will help your newborn sleep more soundly. During bath time, use a calm voice and don’t introduce any squirt toys. Use warm water, and gently stroke your baby with a washcloth.
When your newborn sleeps, you too should grab a nap. This will help calm your baby when you are next to them.
Dream time feeding
It is suggested that you feed your baby late in the evening just before your bedtime, while they are sleeping. This will held cut down on your little one waking up in the middle of the night hungry.
Empty the Crib
You never want to fill your baby’s crib with a load of stuff animals, blankets or pillows. This can cause a hazard to them, and be distracting as well.
Natural lavender has a calming effect that can help your baby get to sleep quickly and soundly. There are several brands that place lavender scent in their shampoos and body washes for this reason.
If your newborn sleep is disturbed with uncontrollable crying, they may be experiencing a common known issue called GERD. This is where the esophagus muscles do not function correctly. Acid will run up into the babies esophagus, which can cause discomfort. Other symptoms of GERD include spitting up, fussing, gasping, choking or gagging, and problems eating. If you think your baby has GERD it is best to consult your doctor.
Make sure that you gently put your hands on your baby to comfort them while placing them in their crib. The closeness can really help soothe your baby, and keep them asleep when being placed in the crib. Often times, if they start to wake up you can lay your hand on their stomach, and it is enough to soothe them back to sleep. The feeling of you being there is very comforting to your baby.
You know your schedule better than anyone, but realize that when trying to get your babies sleep patterns worked out, an overly tired baby is very hard to calm down and get to sleep. Decide on a time frame you find acceptable and gradually work your way towards it. Each night try to get your baby 10 to 15 minutes closer to that time frame.
Nothing is more cozy than warm pajamas. Unless those pjs make your little one itch. Be careful with synthetic fabrics and choose natural fibers when possible. To keep your sweetie safe, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reminds parents to make sure that the pajamas are flame-retardant or fit snuggly.
Being too hot or too cold can disrupt your baby’s sleep just as it disrupts yours. You should keep the room at a temperature of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep baby comfortable. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this temperature range can also help prevent SIDS.
When your baby is sleeping, do what you can to make sure the room is dark. Use blackout curtains and no night light during the day to signal it is time to sleep. When he wakes up from a nap and each morning, open the curtains so the daylight will tell his body it is time to wake up.
A massage before bed is not only relaxing for your baby, but it is great bonding time for you as well. As a bonus, if you learn more about baby massage, you can relieve discomforts from teething or gas with just the touch of your hand. Use oils that are safe for baby with soft and moderate pressure.
Your little sweetie needs to nap during the day. Not only will it usually prevent falling asleep at the dinner table or wicked meltdowns, but naps help her physical and mental development as well. Nap time is also a great break for you to recharge. Don’t make the mistake of cutting out naps so your baby will get more sleep at night, because this usually leads to an overtired, over-stimulated baby that doesn’t sleep.
A diaper that isn’t changed during the night can become really full and uncomfortable. It may burst open, leak, or wake your baby. The best plan for nighttime diapers is to only change them if your baby had a bowel movement, you are treating a diaper rash, or your baby wakes up for a feeding. To prevent discomfort and messes, use super absorbent diapers and diaper cream to protect your baby’s skin.
If your baby will take one, a pacifier can help him fall asleep and even protect against SIDS. If possible, take the pacifier out of your baby’s mouth once he is asleep so it won’t wake him when it falls out later in the night. The Soothie is a great nighttime choice because it doesn’t have any hard plastic parts that could be uncomfortable to lay on.
Sometimes the solution to your baby’s sleep problems won’t be in an infant book about sleep. It won’t be the popular answer provided by your pediatrician. Some parents find them driving around the block several times to put baby to sleep. Others resort to letting baby sleep in a swing all night. You may find your baby likes to be rocked to sleep. The important thing is that your baby sleeps safely.
A routine that signals your baby that bedtime is coming is one of the best things that you can do. Whether it’s a warm bath and a story, or rocking and singing a song, choose a ritual and always do it the same way each night. That way, when the pajamas come out and the lights go dim, baby knows that it is time to sleep.
Mastering the swaddle is one of the important parenting skills that you will add to your toolkit early in your baby’s life. A cozy swaddle mimics the feeling of the womb: warm and tight. A swaddle also helps prevent the Moro reflex that causes a baby to flail out its arms in response to falling asleep or a noise in the room.
Tell a Story
Reading a story before bed is a good bonding activity and can help your baby’s brain develop if you keep it up throughout childhood. Read in a soothing voice and save the excitement for during the day, so your baby stays relaxed and doesn’t get over stimulated.
When your baby is upset because she is tired, that often means that she has been tired for a while. Pay attention and learn her cues. Some yawn, some rub their eyes, and some can’t be still. If you learn your baby cues, you can make sure that she is on her way to sleep land before she has a complete meltdown.
Your baby spent several months listening to the sound of your voice while he was in your womb. Your voice is the most familiar thing to him and it brings him comfort. Use your voice to shush, or quietly talk your baby to sleep. This provides reassurance that you are right there for him as he falls asleep.
Many babies don’t do well with complete silence. Think about it, before she was born, your baby heard your heart beating or your stomach gurgling all the time. There was no completely silent moment, so now that she is on the outside, she isn’t comfortable with silence. A fan, low radio static, or a white noise machine may help her fall asleep.
Think about the positive and calming feeling a warm hug can give you. The same is true for your baby. Hugs and kisses are a great way to show your affection and bond with your baby. You will make your baby feel loved and secure so that he feels like it is okay to sleep.
You Are My Sunshine
Singing is another way to soothe your baby, and use your voice to reassure her of your love and protection. As a bonus, singing can help you unwind and de-stress as well. So choose a lullaby or the latest hit on the radio – it doesn’t matter what you sing as long as your baby enjoys it.
The silence of your baby sleeping is one of the sweetest things at the end of a long day. Enjoy it, rest, and relax yourself so you are ready for baby when he wakes.