Baby Sleeping

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baby sleeping Sleeplessness is one of the tough sides of parenthood and, no matter how happy we are to be with our babies, a good sleeping routine brings a healthier environment for the whole family. When you become a mum, start having reasonable expectations about your sleeping time. It is almost impossible to keep a newborn sleeping all through the night. This is, frankly, because of their need for food. Their food intake is so small and so liquid, they need to wake up regularly to top it up.

But if you wake up every hour or so, this will soon start to affect your normal functionality and disturb your ability to go through the day with 100% of your attention and dedication. This includes looking after your baby.


Sleep problems explained

Experience has proven that breastfed babies have a tendency to wake up more frequently than the bottle fed babies. Babies that have short and frequent naps through the day tend to wake up more frequently through the night. Babies who eat little, but more often through the day, tend to wake up more frequently at night.

It is hard to change the baby's sleeping patterns

Why? Because, as the author of the famous No-Cry Sleep Solution book, Elizabeth Pantley, explains, parents hope things will change on their own and when they don't, they're too tired to persevere in their determination. She also revealed that mothers especially treasure their night time quiet moments with their babies, no matter how sleep depriving they are. They love knowing that their babies are safe and they love comforting them back to sleep. All of a sudden, if your baby starts sleeping for long hours, the first thing you do is check if she's alright.

But, if after 4 months, your baby still wakes up every hour or so, it's time to make an effort about her night time routine.

Tips on what to do about the baby sleeping problems

Here are a few baby sleeping tips on how to settle a proper sleeping routine. You can start by making sure your baby knows the difference between night and day. Light, noises, movements in the house, they all help with making a difference. You can start shortly before bed time with quiet cuddling, reading, singing lullabies, telling stories. Don't start agitating your baby just before bedtime thinking she'll get tired and fall asleep on your back while riding horses around the living room, because she probably won't. This would send mixed messages about play time and bed time, too.

Learn to respect your baby's signs of tiredness and don't delay the bed time. If your baby shows sings of tiredness, like tired eyes, lack of interest in toys and playing, lack of interest in food, rubbing eyes, ducking into your chest or asking for a cuddle in any other way, use the momentum. Forget the bath time, forget the grandma's arrival after two weeks of holidaying, it's time for bed.

Try and rock your baby to sleep or try and make her a warm bottle, hopefully she will fall asleep before the last ounce is entirely gone.

You can also try to change your baby's nap routine. If she has 6 naps a day of 15 minutes each, it's obvious that she will find it hard to stay asleep for longer at night time.

You can try to change her eating routine, too. If you feed her all through the day with short snacks, it's likely that she will wake up more frequently at night, expecting to be fed. Three main meals a day is usually enough for a baby.

If your baby starts falling asleep sucking on a dummy or cuddling a comforter, don't worry about it and let her go on with it. In time, she will start creating her own comforting environment that works for her and that is the best thing that could happen for both of you.

As babies grow, you will find that they can go back to sleep on their own, without a feed. You will certainly know when your baby is hungry or she just wakes up out of habit. Try and comfort your baby back to sleep without a feed when you sense it's out of habit. In a few nights, hopefully it will start working and both of you will get longer hours.

If your baby is 1 year old or over and she is still breastfed and still wakes up through the night, maybe this is a sign of the right time to switch to the bottle or sippy cup. Don't be afraid to switch. If it improves your baby's sleeping hours, it is worth trying.

Read more about baby feeding, bottle feeding and breastfeeding on our website.