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How to establish good sleeping habits in your newborns

How to establish good sleeping habits in your newborns
September 09
08:43 2014

General sleep pattern of babies:

Newborns sleep a lot. Parents and the friends and family have to wait for longer hours if they want to see what eye color he or she is born with or if they want to play with him or her. In general, a newborn baby can sleep for up to 18 hours in his first few weeks. However, at a time, he or she won’t sleep for more than 3 or 4 hours day or night. Therefore, you and your partner should be prepared for some sleepless nights, in the starting.

This is an essential phase for your baby and doesn’t last long, though you may feel that you have not been getting enough sleep from ages. Sleep cycles of babies are much shorter than yours. He or she will spend more time in REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), which is light, easily disturbed sleep. This is essential for the change that takes place in his or her brain.

Once your baby is between 6 weeks and 8 weeks, he or she will probably sleep for lesser duration during the daytime and stretched periods during night. But he or she will stake wake up for food during the night. He or she will have more strong, non-REM sleep.

At 8 weeks, it is likely that your baby may sleep during the night. But there are chances that you will be disturbed during nights for at least the initial few months. By encouraging clear habits from the beginning, you can get your baby to sleep through the night.

How to promote good sleeping habits:

From as early as 6 weeks, your baby can develop good sleeping habits. Here are some techniques that you can use to help your baby enjoy a sound sleep.

Recognize the signs that your baby is tired:
During first 6 weeks to 8 weeks, your baby possibly won’t be awake for more than two hours at a time. Don’t wait much longer to put him down or he will be overtired and won’t sleep easily.

Give first few months, to understand the signs that your baby is sleepy, like, if your baby:

  • Rubs eyes
  • Flip his ear with his hand
  • Develops faded, dark circles under his eyes
  • Cries and whines at the least provocation
  • Blankly stares into space
  • Stretches and yawns a lot
  • Loses curiosity in his toys and people
  • Becomes still and quiet
  • He may also not take interest in things that he or she generally finds tempting and fun
  • Bury his or her face in your chest

If you see any such signs of drowsiness, try putting him or her down in his cot, crib or Moses basket. Soon you will get acquainted with his daily patterns and rhythms and know when he or she is ready for a nap.

Make your baby understand the variation between day and night:

Your baby may be a night owl and gets in playful mood when you badly want to get confined in bed. You can start to teach him the variation between day and night, once he or she is about 2 weeks old.

In the daytime when your baby is alert:

  • To signal the start of a new day, change his or her clothes
  • Play with him as much as possible
  • Make feeding times social. Communicate with him or her as you feed him or her.
  • Keep the house and his or her room bright and light
  • Let him hear noises of daily chores like washing machine or vacuum cleaner
  • If your baby nods off during a feed, wake him or her gently

During night:

  • Stay quite while feeding your baby
  • Keep noise and lights low, don’t talk to him or her much
  • Change him into comfortable sleepwear to show the end of the day
  • All these things will assist your baby in understanding that night is for sleeping.

Give your baby a chance to try to sleep without any help:

You can also teach your baby to fall asleep on him or her, once he or she is between 6 weeks and 8 weeks old. When he/she is sleepy, put him/her down, stay with him/her if you wish, but be ready to do the same whenever he/she gets up at night.

How you make your baby sleep is also significant. If you cuddle him or her or sing lullaby every night for the first two months, then he or she will wait for the same afterward as well. In addition, if you let him or her fall asleep on his or her own then he/she will expect that too.

Some specialists suggest feeding or rocking your baby to make him or her sleep. It is up to you to decide what type of schedule best suits you and your bundle of joy.

If you want to build an usual pattern, you will have to adopt the same pattern every night.

By implementing these tactics you can help your baby enjoy a sound sleep and ensure smooth nights for you too. If at all, your baby sleeps a lot or very less, then consulting your doctor is recommended.

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