Getting your baby to sleep is one of the biggest challenges which parents face. We may not have experienced it, but we all have heard that newborn baby keeps waking up. They sleep during the daytime and are awake during the nighttime. But as your baby grows, you want your baby to sleep properly during nighttime, so that you also can have your sleep. So, how to get a newborn to sleep at night?
Sleep is actually a learned skill. You as a parent have the biggest responsibility to teach your baby when to sleep, and when to be awake. Their tiny stomach gets emptied soon, which makes them feel hungry and they wake up. So, let’s understand what are the newborn sleep pattern and how we can make our little one sleep at night properly.
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What is the newborn baby’s sleep pattern?
Before, we go to the section where we discuss how to get a newborn to sleep, let’s understand what are the newborn sleep patterns.
1. They never sleep for long-
Newborns do not sleep for long, they have the habit of waking up easily. They sleep for typically 30 minutes to 3 hours at random times.
2. They awaken easily-
Just a slight noise and your baby will wake up. Newborns do not sleep deeply, they have a light sleep state which consists of fluttering eyelids, irregular breathing, occasional body movements, etc.
3. Sleep times can vary widely-
In the starting, the newborn sleeps for 16-18 hours a day. By four weeks, the sleep starts to reduce to 14 hours. So, as the baby ages, their sleep pattern and routine get changed.
How to get the baby to sleep through the night?
We have brought to you some of the simple techniques which can help your newborn sleep longer and better. These are not the perfect methods but are tried and tested. You may even have your own new techniques. The ultimate goal is to help babies sleep better and longer.
1. Swaddle For Sleep-
Swaddle means to bind your newborn with a long, narrow strip of cloth to avoid any free movements of hands and legs. Swaddle gives your baby the exact feeling it used to have when in the womb. From being born to four months, babies often dream of falling down, which wakes them up suddenly. Keeping a tight swaddle helps the baby to prevent getting awake startled and also makes them sleep properly.
Yes, you get it right Dreamfeed means to feed the baby in dreams. This will help your baby to sleep for longer and also will give you rest. Or else, when you finally decide to sleep, your baby wakes up which becomes a nightmare for you.
So, when you are about to go to sleep, you can dream feed your baby so that he sleeps longer. You can use this dream feed technique only until 4 months.
3. Limit the daytime naps-
During the daytime, if your baby is sleeping for long, it is possible that your nighttime is going to be disturbed. Allow your baby to sleep only for 2-2.5 hours in the daytime, though it is hard to wake up a sleeping baby, it is necessary. After a proper amount of time, wake your baby up, feed him, and play a little with him then again you can lay him down for another nap.
If you feel, your baby has a hectic routine, you can extend one nap longer. But then again start the routine and stick to it.
4. Use white noise-
Using white noise is good as your baby is not distracted from the noise of the outside world. You can also try putting on fans in the babies’ rooms so that even with the little noise of the fan, your baby does not get distracted.
5. Have pre-nap and bedtime routine-
Babies’ world is very chaotic, to set a proper routine in their chaotic world is necessary. Routine is necessary to help newborns get proper sleep.
6. Pre- Nap Routine:
The pre-nap routine may include getting the baby to his room, making it dark, and singing a lullaby.
7. Bedtime Routine:
For a Bedtime routine, you can include bathing, massaging, tucking the baby in a blanket.
You can choose any other routine if that works for you. But always stick to a routine, so that your baby understands it and gets settled.
8. Understand how your baby sleeps-
Every baby is different, and even their sleep pattern is different. The more your baby sleeps, the more they will sleep. Sometimes, your baby gets overtired and that is the reason your baby sleeps less. Often we as parents think, making our babies tired will make them sleep better at the night, but when they get overtired, they face difficulty in both falling asleep and staying asleep.
9. Lay your baby down awake, but drowsy-
It is necessary for you to teach your baby to sleep independently. Since babies do not know how to sleep independently when they wake up at the night, they start crying. So, always put your baby to sleep independently when they are drowsy, and to make them feel secure lay your hand on their chest.
10. Don’t rush in it-
Sometimes when our baby wakes up at the night or even in the middle of sleep, we being impatient rush to the baby to console him. You should not rush in this process, give your baby a little time to see if he goes back to sleep by himself.
A normal waiting time for your newborn to settle is from 2-10 minutes.
11. Keep a calming ambiance-
Just like sleeping ambiance matters to us a lot similarly, it matters to newborns also. Have a comfortable room temperature, make sure no light is coming in the room. You can also add some white noise in the room.
12. Stick to a proper bedtime-
It is very necessary to establish a proper bedtime routine for newborns. Don’t think that making your baby sleep late at night so that he will wake up late in the morning, will work. Till 3 months it is difficult for the baby to have a sleep schedule but after three months trying to build a sleep schedule according to your routine.
Reasons Your Newborn is not sleeping in Night
You understood how to make your baby sleep, but did you give it a thought why your baby is facing sleep issues. Some of the reasons are-
- Your baby does not know whether it is night or day- When your baby is in your womb it sleeps during the day and is awake at the night. The sleep schedule gets reversed, so it’s parents’ responsibility to make their children understand when to sleep and when to be awake. Things to do:
- Keep your baby awake a little longer during each waking period, this will help him to sleep properly during nighttime.
- Get your baby outside in the sun, natural light helps to reset the internal clock of the baby.
- Keep lights low at the night, so that your baby understands that it is night.
- Swaddle your baby at night, so that their arms and legs do not move.
- Your little one is hungry- The tummy of your newborn is small and gets emptied soon. If your baby is having trouble sleeping, it is possible that he might be hungry or thirsty. Breast milk will help calm him.
- Your baby does not feel well- Third reason your baby is not sleeping well at night is, he might not be feeling good. Chances are your baby maybe-
- Have Gas
- Have cold or allergies
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Above are some of the ways you can do to make your newborn sleep properly. Being a parent calls for many challenges, one of them is to give your baby and yourself proper sleep. The methods described by us are just some ways in which you can help yourself and your baby.
How do you get your newborn to sleep?