Decoding a newborn’s sleep is no easy feat and certainly one that new parents do not want to mess up but what if you are doing everything to help baby sleep and nothing is working? Baby late night rave parties are less than desirable for sleep-deprived parents and by avoid these little boo boos may help your baby go down easier..
In This Article
- Put Baby Down Too Late For Her Naps and Bedtime
- Start Assisting Baby to Sleep Immediately
- Soothe Baby to a Very Drowsy State and then Put Down
- Let Baby Take Very Long Naps During the Day
- Remove the Swaddle too Early
- Keep a Night Light Switched On All Night
Until about 3 months, a newborn may only be able to stay awake for 35 – 45 minutes before you need to put her down for a nap. It is common for new parents to keep baby up for 1 to 2 hours, as the baby “does not look tired”. Usually when babies look sprightly after a long time, and is hard to put down, your baby has missed her sleep window and some adrenaline has started to course through her body to keep her awake.
Take this opportunity to establish a pattern for the day to also keep your sanity in check. Here is a sample schedule to guide you through the day more systematically.
If you whip out all the big guns immediately to assist your baby to go to sleep, you are actually depriving the chance of letting your baby fall asleep by herself.
Immediate rocking, latching or patting at put down will condition your baby to associate these actions with sleeping, even from this young age. Inadvertently, she will need these same props to help her fall asleep and to stay asleep when she is trying to connect sleep cycles.
Always give your baby 5 to 10 minutes to try to self soothe and go to sleep herself first. If after 10 minutes and she is still struggling, start by shushing and patting first. If she can be calmed by that, continue until she has fallen asleep. If she gets more upset, then pick her up to continue to soothe.
Ensure that your baby is not over-soothed before you put her down. An over-soothed, super snuggly baby will appear to be falling asleep in your arms (eyes closing and minimal movement) and likely will protest once you put her down in her cot as she expects to stay in your comforting cuddle.
Watch for early sleepy cues about 10 to 15 minutes before your targeted put down time.
Do not let naps go longer than 3 hours to ensure baby receives sufficient day feeds to match nutritional needs and establishes a consistent tempo of the day. If at 2 months, your baby is still sleeping ALL DAY and not at night, start to set a Desired Wake Time in the morning, ranging from 7am to 8am.
Over-napping during the day will keep your baby up partying all night! Let some natural light into your baby’s napping space if she seems to have day/night confusion.
Until about 3 months of age, the startling reflex (often known as the Moro Reflex) is still very strong. This jerky reflex is a result of weak muscle tone and also an involuntary development response against abrupt body imbalance. Keep your baby swaddled for nap and night sleep until at least 4 months old, or until she starts to show signs of turning and rolling to her side.
Try to free one arm from the swaddle first to let her get use to the change plus, she may start to self soothe with that one arm out.
A night light is definitely an essential item for those night feeds and diaper changes but if there’s continuous light in the room at night, your baby may have a tough time figuring out if its day or night. Keep her night sleep space dark after 7pm and ensure you invest in some good blackout curtains to prevent those sneaky light leaks that come in at 6am to trigger early wake ups.
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At SleepKraft, we apply sleep methods and scheduling advice that is unique to your baby and your family. If you are struggling to improve your baby and your family's sleep, chat with us today so that we can offer the best possible sleep solutions.