Every new mother craves for a good night’s sleep and this is only possible when your baby sleeps well. It is very important to inculcate some good sleeping habits in your newborn from day one so that your family does not have to spend many sleepless nights in a row. Here are a few tips that will make your life easy with your baby and help your baby to sleep well and safely.
Difference between day and night:
A newborn is sometimes confused between day and night and she may sleep more during the day as compared to night. If your baby does so, you need to help her learn the difference between day and night. 18 hours of sleep in a day is good for a baby. You can help her learn the difference by keeping her room bright during the day and trying to gradually increase her waking time during the day. Let her hear noises in the day such as people talking, sound of washing machine or the vacuum cleaner. Play with her when she is awake. Dim the lights during the night. Turn the volumes down. Don’t switch on the light even for night feedings. You can use a night bulb.
Don’t make her overtired:
Do the changes slowly. Many people would advise you to keep the baby awake for long hours during the day or before bed so that she will sleep during the night. This will not help at all and your baby may turn more cranky and fussy during the night due to overtiredness. A small baby cannot handle an awake time of more than one and half hour or two. Learn to recognise her sleep signs and put her to bed when she feels sleepy. Good naps during the day help the baby to sleep well during the night.
Make a consistent sleeping routine:
It is very important to fix the nap and bed times for a baby. Make her go to bed at the same time every day. Six to seven is the appropriate bed time for all babies. Same goes for daytime naps. Let her nap at the same time each day. Make some relaxing steps in same order before bedtime such as a massage or bath, followed by a song or something that the baby finds relaxing. Just make sure that you do these in the same order and about the same time each day. When the baby knows what is coming next, she settles herself fast.
Though co-sleeping is not advised in some cultures, research shows that it might help your baby to sleep well. Newborns find the warmth and smell of the mother very comforting and they wake less during the night when the mother co-sleeps with her. However, co-sleeping has its disadvantages like the baby may not want to move to her own bed when she grows or there are chances of sudden death due to suffocation.
Dress the baby comfortably:
The baby should neither be too hot or too cold at any time of the day and same goes for sleeping. She only needs one extra layer. If she is too hot or too cold, she will wake up frequently. Dress her in layers, so that it is easy to remove one layer when she is very hot. Too tight clothes may also lead to frequent wakening at night.
Along with these, you should also take care that the baby sleeps safely. If you are making your baby sleep in a different room, use baby monitor. Choose a good cot or bassinet that follows all safety guidelines. Do not put the baby near any stuffed toy, pillow, choking hazard or below heavy quilts. And the most important one NEVER LEAVE YOUR BABY UNATTENDED!