Baby sleeping is a tricky matter. You will have to find ways to manage your sleep patterns along with your little one, which will be really unusual and sporadic for the first few months.
Your baby will sleep a lot – up to 18 hours a day. However they will wake up periodically throughout the day in need of food. This is because your newborn is still developing, and a small newborn baby tummy doesn’t hold much food to keep them satiated for long.
Expect your baby to wake up a lot during the day and night for food. They will require to be fed in bouts around 10 times a day, more or less.
Every couple hours or so you will need to be on top of it. This is why plenty of bottles are part of the essential baby checklist – a baby bottle warmer is also very helpful.
As part of your essential baby gear check list, you should buy your crib as soon as possible – before little one arrives. However, as happens with most new mothers, you will probably find yourself sleeping with your baby in your bedroom for the first few months.
Nothing wrong with doing this, and there is nothing wrong with using the baby nursery and crib right away – do what feels right for you.
In any case, you should be prepared for the impending “I must keep my baby as close to me as possible” emotional reaction you may get when the time comes to try and sleep in separate rooms from your newborn.
—– In addition to a Baby Crib, in situations when you want to sleep in the same room, you can buy a Bassinet or a “Newborn Napper station” that can easily be used in your own bedroom.
When your baby reaches 6 to 8 weeks of age, you can expect the irregular sleeping patterns of your baby to start shifting. Less sleeping during the day and more at night.
At around 4 and 6 months of age things will get a lot easier (for your sleep deprivation that is) as the experts say this is the time your baby begins to sleep 8 to 12 hours through the night
How do you know when your baby wants to sleep?
There are common signs that babies show when they are sleepy and need to rest. As you bond with your baby you will learn to easily recognize their signs for hunger, sleep, etc.
But until you pick up on these yourself, things to look for when your baby is tired include…
- Pulling on their ears
- Rubbing eyes
- Being more fussy than usual
- Looking away from you
- Blinking and squinting
It is important that you spot the signs, as an over-tired baby as trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Timing is rather crucial for when princess (or prince) needs some shut-eye. Otherwise they will just stay up and fuss.
Establish a Sleep Routine Early
We people are creatures of habit, and your baby is no different. Setting up a routine, and establishing a “sleep is for night time” will ensure your baby will begin sleeping less during day, and understand that sleeping is for night time.
This will take time to develop of course, because your baby will still be sleeping irregularly for their first couple months. But it is never too early to start ingraining good sleeping habits.
You can try..
- Breastfeeding right before night time as a routine.
- Singing a lullaby or reading aloud to them
- Swaddling and cuddling to comfort your baby.
- Keep your lights bright during the day, and dim during the night.
- Bathing your baby before bedtime.
- Keep noise levels low – turn off the TV (or at least keep the volume very low.
Tips, Tricks and Products for Baby Sleep
- White Noise
After being in the womb for 9 months, baby’s are not used to silence. The inside of your body makes a lot of sounds, being inside the womb is noisy for a baby.
Having a light noise in the background can comfort your baby and help them sleep better. This could be a simple small fan, very low background music or a sound machine.
- Swaddling Blanket
One of the greatest baby products ever invented, and very simple too – the swaddling blanket. Swaddling blankets designed to remind your baby of the feeling of being in the womb, wrapping around them & hugging your baby as to comfort them. Works wonders.
- Ewan the Dream Sheep
Forget about counting sheep, the Ewan the Dream Sheep works way better. Designed specifically to help babies fall asleep, the sheep will mimic sounds of the womb and a mothers heartbeat & general white noise sounds to help foster relaxation and calm.
- Spot Signs of Discomfort
Your baby may have trouble falling asleep if there is any discomfort. Your baby may be experiencing gas, for example, and needs to be burped. Or they may be experiencing skin irritation as baby skin is very sensitive. Once your baby starts teething this could be another discomfort issue, which can be remedied with a good teether.
- Use a Pacifier
Pacifiers are rather magical in their ability to calm a fussy baby and help relax them, especially if your baby has entered the over-tired mode and decides that fussing about being tired is a better idea than sleep. Always have a pacifier in your baby arsenal.
— Note: It is recommended that you shouldn’t use a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established, as it may cause nipple confusion.