Sleeping Tips for Newborn Babies
The best gift your baby can give you is the gift of sleep!! After months of sleepless nights and getting up for 1 or 2 feeds a night when your baby finally sleeps though the night it can feel nothing short of a miracle! What most people do not realize is that babies do not just magically sleep though the night, they actually have to be taught how to sleep. You can be lucky and have a baby that sleeps perfectly from day one. But for most normal parents teaching your baby to sleep is a major challenge.
Here are a few tips for good sleeping habits for babies under 12 months.
- Swaddle or wrap your baby for the first 3 to 4 months. Babies make jerky movements and without being wrapped this will startle your baby and wake her up.
- Establish a routine suitable to the baby’s age and stick to it, your baby will soon get use to it and will like the predictability that a routine brings.
- Always put your baby to bed awake and let him fall asleep on his own without any aids
- Babies sleep better on a firm mattress so make sure you have one
- Try and ensure baby has 2 or 3 day sleeps at this age. If your baby does not get enough rest during the day she may not sleep well at night.
- If your baby has had a good feed, has been changed and is tired, letting her cry to sleep can be beneficial in teaching her how to get to sleep on her own
- Don’t react to every noise your baby makes, they tend to make lots of noises in their sleep. If you do not disturb them they will learn to resettle themselves.
- If your baby starts waking at night and normally sleeps though make sure he is not cold overnight. Use a sleeping bag and extra layers in the winter time will keep him warm.
- Make sure you have the support of everyone in the family in what ever approach you take.
- Establish a bedtime ritual before the night time sleep from about 7 months of age. Try to follow the same ritual and order of activities every night. Each family has there own unique bedtime rituals, here are a few examples of what you could do;
- read a couple of books and then say good night
- say goodnight to a few favorite toys
- sing a song to your baby
- have a special good night kiss, rub noses or kiss each cheek
- have a good night phrase such as ‘nighty, nighty’ or ‘I love you’