Teaching your baby how to sleep
Even sleeping has to be learned – a lot of parents experience this with their babies. A little help can get your baby to sleep through – and you will return back to peace.
Babies need lots of sleep and rest. This is important for their health as they process new events and memories that it has gained throughout the day.
Did you know?
Some babies sleep for up to 18hours per day at the initial stage
In the first few weeks, your baby will not know the difference between day and night. His body clock might be adjusted after giving birth to a nocturnal sleeping patter- your help will be needed.
The time period between sleeping and waking differs from baby to baby. Because in order to be able to sleep through, the sleep centre in the brain of your baby needs to develop first, therefore it does not make sense to compare babies and their sleeping habits. Babies are all individuals. Some are “long sleepers” while others have a shorter sleeping time frame.
Most babies use the first 4-6months to differentiate between day and night
Most children sleep for about 11 hours from the 6 to 12 month. But do not worry if your baby needs a little more time. Hunger plays an important role in the initial stages of waking up. However, it may later have other reasons on why your baby is restless at night. Development thrust – so called “jumps” may be responsible for the restless sleep. There are quite a number of things that you can do as a parent to help your baby fall asleep.
Some children are often tired while others are often awake.
- Put your baby to sleep in a peaceful environment.
- Sleep rituals such as a lullaby, finger playing or tightening of pyjamas indicate to your baby that it is time for bed.
- Gentle background noises and dim light usually seem more reassuring in new-borns.
- Show your child that different rules apply at night. Keep it to a still environment with no noise if possible, do not talk too much.
- Wrap your baby at night only when required – only let in light as required for security of your child.
Babies need to learn to fall asleep alone again after drinking at night. Comfort your baby if it fusses and let it be quiet on its own
How can you support your baby?
In the first 3 months of life, you should be completely adapted to the rhythm of your baby: sleep when your baby sleeps. When your baby is older, it can usually get along the night for some time without food – this is assuming that it has eaten enough during the day or at night.
The sleep times will shift slowly to night phase from the 4th month. Support your baby by feeding it between 9 to 11pm for the last time before wrapping him up and doing the daily ritual for sleep moments in his bed. Have some patience as it may not go to sleep right away. This is because babies learn to fix bed times only from about the 6th month of age.
Rituals can help you fall asleep
If your baby is still restless or has a hard time trying to fall asleep even after a few months, you can help him by having a very uniform daily routine- a walk or fixed times for playing and bathing.
If your baby cannot seem to sleep, you can soothe it by singing, speaking softly, stroking or massaging lightly. Avoid raising your baby out of the bed so that it can get back to sleep alone in the horizontal position if possible. This learning process can be delayed if you allow your child to sleep on your chest or arms
It may seem like a small consolation when your child sleeps, which is an issue with a majority of parents. In any case, you should remain optimistic. Nights will usually be much quieter when your baby has learned to sleep.
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