It’s really hard to operate on no sleep, especially if your baby isn’t just an “up to feed” whimperer but a true night owl. If your baby isn’t sleeping it can not only affect you and your partner, but the family as a whole.
Read on to find out how to nip sleeping problems in the bud, and help your baby to develop a better routine for a restful night’s sleep.
From the moment parents bring home their bundle of joy, sleep is on the brain. Getting enough rest can be trying even with a good sleeper — during a full night's sleep, your baby will pass through several sleep cycles, but may not yet have developed the ability to link sleep cycles together yet. But when your baby develops sleeping problems and habits, the stress inevitably starts to rise.
Sometimes babies can’t sleep due to colic, or might even have their days and nights mixed up. But luckily there are a few possible solutions for your baby's sleep problems.
While there is no sure-fire cure for colic, there are several ways to soothe your baby back to sleep. Firstly, it can help to feed in a more upright position, and make sure you wind your baby, gently by patting or rubbing her back.
Gentle movement can make all the distance, so try bouncing or swinging your baby in your arms to help work stubborn gas out of tiny tummies. Some colicky babies also love swaddling, which may help them feel more secure when you put them back down.
Day To Night Fixes
If your baby has their days and nights mixed up, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Adjusting bedtime a little at a time will help to correct the problem.
Try to get outside during the day so you can both enjoy some natural light, and make sure things are darker and calming before bed or overnight to avoid overstimulating your little one. A night-time bath, massage or reading a story can help settle down reluctant sleepers.
Trying to fix a routine within one day will only tire you and baby out and set yourself up for failure. It can take up to a month to get your little one back on track. Nap when you can and rest when time allows. This will help you keep from going on burn out.
Babies who wake often at night may be falling asleep too fast to get full. They may also be waking for comfort. Gently stroke your baby’s face to keep them awake during feedings, at least long enough to get full.
It may also be worth adjusting nap or bedtimes - sometimes, babies and children have trouble with sleep due to overtiredness; and try to put your baby down when drowsy but not yet fast asleep.
When it comes to sleep problems, every child is different, but with a little patience with both yourself and your child – and a whole lot of love – you’ll be catching zzz’s in no time!
In the meantime, go easy on yourself. Try to get as much sleep as possible and ask for help when you need it. And if you've tried a few things and you're still concerned about your baby's sleep, talk to your doctor, public health nurse, or a sleep specialist.
Emily Elphinston. “Baby Sleep Problems And Solutions”.