Whoever invented the phrase “Sleep like a baby” clearly didn’t handle a newborn. As a newborn adjusts to the world outside the womb, your biological clock can get messed up. The newborns can’t differentiate day and night. They can’t sleep when they are hungry. They have tiny tummies that get empty quickly. So, many parents suffer from sleep deprivation during the first few weeks of a baby’s life.
A Step towards Better Wellbeing
Many parents think that a baby should be sleep trained for the betterment of both the child and parents. While the others have a view that babies should eat and sleep on demand. There is no right or wrong answer to developing sleeping habits in a newborn. Whichever way you choose, developing a sleep routine is healthy for their development.
Tips to help Your Baby Get the Best Sleep
At Cuddledown, your sleep matters to us. So, we want to make sure the new parents have the best chance of restful sleep. Following are some do’s and don'ts according to the experts’ opinions to help your newborn get the best sleep, so you can too.
- Help them differentiate: A newborn is unable to make a difference between day and night. So, you need to help them make it. During the day, keep your home fully lit and bright (even in winters). Be as noisy as you can. Don’t worry they’ll still take their naps. While at night time, keep things slow and quiet. Dim the lights and even if they aren’t sleeping, help them learn that this is a quiet time.
- No Stimulation: It is so hard to not respond to their cute cooing, sweet smiles and contagious giggles. But the best practice is to avoid engaging with them. When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, only feed them and change them but don’t talk or engage in an activity with them. This helps them understand that it is time to rest and not play.
- Avoid mixing sleeping and eating: Most of the babies fall asleep when they are eating. Try to keep them awake when feeding. Tickling their toes, talking to them and stripping them down to their diapers only can help keep them awake.
- Recognise when they need a nap: Don’t let the baby get overtired. If they get overly tired, it gets harder to put them to sleep and they don’t sleep well. Follow their lead. A baby will give cues like yawning, rubbing eyes and looking away when they need a nap.
- Overfeed your baby: Babies’ tummies are the size of a ping pong ball. They can’t hold extra food. You might think that feeding them extra would help them sleep longer but it makes them uncomfortable. Imagine sleeping with an overly full tummy yourself, it isn’t pleasant; is it?
- Let them sleep with a bottle: When you’re trying to teach them to sleep on their own, it is a common practice to let them have a bottle when they sleep. But this poses serious health problems and even choking.
- Try Sedatives: Many parents become desperate for sleep. And some parents even pay heed to opinions from others that they should try giving their babies medicines. This is a bad idea and even if it comes from your parents who claim to have safely done it with you— it’s a NO-NO!
- Ignore if the baby is distressed unusually: If your baby is fussier than usual, or it is very hard to put them to sleep, there may be an underlying reason. They may be colic or worst case, suffering from an infection. It is best to discuss your concerns with your doctor/health visitor.
Congratulations on your new baby. Although it’s hard now but try to enjoy them when they are little. They grow up so fast.