Newborns have a hard time distinguishing between day and night, which is why they have breathtaking short periods of 24-hour sleep. But once your baby is a few weeks old, you can start teaching him or her. difference and establish healthy sleep patterns while you're at it. These expert tips can help you:
Use light strategically
The light activates a biological button in your child to stimulate him. On the other hand, darkness triggers the brain to release melatonin, a key sleep hormone. Keep your baby's days bright and his nights dark and he'll quickly know when it's time to sleep.
- During the day, let plenty of sunlight into the house or take it outside. Place your baby in a well-lit room (unless he has difficulty falling asleep during nap time).
- To promote nighttime sleepiness, consider installing dimmers on the lights in your baby's room, but also in other rooms where the two of you spend a lot of time. Lower the lights at night (up to two hours before bedtime) to set the mood. .
- It's fine to use a nightlight in your bedroom, but choose a small nightlight that stays cool to the touch. (Do not plug it in near bedding or curtains.)
- If your child wakes up during the night, do not turn on the lights or carry them to a well-lit room. The shift from darkness to light tells his brain that it is time to move on. Instead, comfort him to go back to sleep in his dark room.
If the morning sun makes your child wake up too early or has trouble taking an afternoon nap, consider installing blackout shades in the room.
It's a tall order, especially for breastfeeding moms, but master the timing and you and your baby can rest easier. Babies who fall asleep on their own are more likely to learn to calm down to sleep.
Try putting your baby to bed while he calms down, just before he falls asleep. Experts suggest creating a drowsiness scale of 1 to 10 when your baby is 6 to 8 weeks old.
Wait a while before going to see your baby
If you jump at every squeak you hear over the baby monitor, you're only teaching your child to wake up more often. Wait a few minutes to give her time to go back to sleep on her own. If she doesn't, and it looks like she's waking up, try to reach her before she starts screaming at the top of her lungs. If you intervene before the collapse, you'll catch her before she's too tired to go back to sleep.
Either way, lowering the sensitivity of your baby's screen is normal. Adjust the volume to be alerted when she's in distress but can't hear all the gurgling sounds.
Try not to look your baby in the eye
Many babies are easily stimulated. Just meeting your baby's gaze can grab their attention and signal them that they are playing.
Parents who come into eye contact with sleeping babies inadvertently encourage them to come out of their sleeping zone. The more interaction between you and your baby during the night, the more motivated they need to get up.
What to do instead? Stay discreet. If you are going to see your baby at night, don't look him in the eye, talk excitedly, or put his favorite song on your belt. Keep your gaze on his stomach and soothe him so that he falls back to sleep with a calm voice and a soft touch.
Give slack in the rules on diaper changes
Resist the urge to change your baby every time he wakes up, he doesn't always need to, and you'll push him around just to wake him up. Instead, put your baby in a high-quality night diaper at bedtime. When it wakes up, sniff it to see if it is dirty and change only if there is poop. To avoid waking him up completely during night shifts, try using wipes that have been heated in a towel warmer.
Give your baby a dream feed
If your baby is having trouble sleeping, waking her up to feed her late at night (between 10 p.m. and midnight, for example) can help her sleep longer.
Keep the lights dim and gently lift your sleeping baby out of bed. Put him to bed or get a bottle. He may wake up just enough to start breastfeeding, but if he doesn't, gently tap his lips with the nipple until it clicks. When he's done, put him back to bed without burping.
Wait until he is ready for sleep training
Follow these tips to establish healthy sleep habits, and you can get started in your baby's first month of life. But as desperate as you are, your baby won't be ready for formal sleep training until he's at least 4 months old. By then, not only will he be ready to fall asleep for longer stretches, but he will also be much more receptive to the techniques you use.
Stick to the rules in case of sleep regression
If your baby wakes up again during the night, don't panic - it's probably just a temporary hiccup. Babies and toddlers often have minor regressions in sleep around major developmental milestones or routine changes, such as travel, illness, or a new sibling. Many parents notice that sleep problems start around 4 months old when babies become more mobile and their sleep patterns change, and again around 9 months old when separation anxiety increases.
Getting out of it, back to basics: Stick to a predictable, consistent schedule during the day and a soothing bedtime routine at night. If your baby is old enough, choose a sleep training strategy and try it for a week. If you don't see an improvement, reassess and try a new approach. Today's info: read our brief Spy camera before going to buy it.