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How I established a healthy sleeping habit for my baby
Healthy sleeping habit for my baby
As a mother, I can vouch for the fact that newborn babies sleep a lot. In the first few weeks, as per my observation, a healthy baby sleeps somewhere between 16 to 18 hours per day. A baby’s sleep cycle will alter between 3 to 4 hours as he/she needs to be fed well, when awake. It undoubtedly means sleepless nights and days for parents. This phase moves on quickly although it might feel like an eternity. As per my observations and research, babies undergo light & easily disturbed sleep rather than sound sleep most of the time. This kind of sleep helps with the baby’s healthy brain development.
Change in sleep patterns with gradual growth
Between 6 to 8 weeks, the baby sleeps for long spells during the night. However, he/she needs to get fed during the night as well. Start training your baby to sleep more hours at night gradually and safely by encouraging healthy habits.
Encouraging good and healthy sleep habits in babies
As discussed above, the baby develops sleep habits from as early as six weeks. From a certain time period after the 6-week mark, babies start developing the natural circadian rhythms that help him/her to process and regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Tactics to help your baby sleep healthily
On average, a baby sleeps for 2 hours in the first 6 to 8 weeks. Overtiring a baby by not putting him/her to sleep within this 2-hour window can be stressful and tiresome, which will affect the sleep cycle.
Spotting the signs to know if my baby is tired or not is one way I make sure that I won’t disrupt the sleep cycle, and this tactic works like a charm every time. The signs include rubbing the eyes, flicking the ear, whining & crying, appearances of faint dark circles under the eyes, staring blankly into space, yawning, stretching, and losing interest along with becoming quiet. A baby will most often turn his/her face away from moving objects and people.
Check these signs of sleeplessness, stress, and tiredness and put him/her to sleep as soon as possible. With practice, we all will know about the daily rhythms and patterns of the baby. This is the first and most important tactic to keep an eye out for.
The second tactic for healthier sleep is to make your baby understand the difference between day and night. Start training your baby slowly about the differences between day and night, maybe after a 2 week period. During day time take him/her for an outing, change the clothes when he/she awakes, play as much as possible, chat and sing while he/she is being fed, and keep the house and his/her room bright. Wake the baby gently when he/she nods off. During the nighttime, change to nightclothes, keep all-natural noises down and dim all the lights. All these could make the baby understand between day and night.
The third tactic is to let the baby fall asleep without any help. After your baby crosses the duration of 3 months, he/she should be trained to sleep without any help from the parents. Place your baby on the bed when he/she is sleepy, but still awake. Stay with him/her until the baby drifts off to sleep. Train him/her to sleep at night and be awake in the day on a daily basis. Setting a routine plays an important part as the baby will expect it to continue for a prolonged period. Read a story, sing a song, feed, or rock the baby at your convenience. Adopt the same strategy every night to make it a routine. Regardless of the people around you, make your baby’s sleep healthier by allowing him/her to fall asleep without any external help. This helps in building healthier sleep habits, which gets continued for a lifetime. This routine can help develop self-confidence in babies at a very young age and will be fearless & innocent from the get-go. Right interactions with the babies will make them more playful and confident in their activities.
Beware of sleep problems that can happen at a young age
Now that we looked into and discussed the tactics that can be used to instil a healthy sleep pattern in babies, let us delve into the sleep problems that can disturb your young charmer. It might be hard to identify the sleep problems in a baby at an early stage. This is because of the rhythm difference between your’s and your baby’s daily routines when it comes to sleep. During the baby’s first months, he/she require plenty of cuddles and night-time feeds.
If possible, sleep with the baby matching his/her rhythm so that he/she will always feel safe, secure while you are nearby. As per my observations and understanding, coping with nighttime waking gets easier if the baby is on the same bed as you or on a small cot/cradle at an arm’s length. This way, a new mother can feed the baby whenever the need arises regardless of the time while staying half-asleep keeping an eye on the baby every time as much as possible.
When the baby starts feeding on a formula diet, you can switch between the feeding timings ensuring that you and your baby stay healthy all the time. In the first few weeks, make it a practice to swaddle the baby in a warm cloth.
These are some of the observations and understandings I made while raising up my baby. Following these will help any couple to put their baby to a healthy and sound sleep, which is very much necessary for your little bundle of joy. Also, the above-discussed ways are by which I established a healthy sleep habit in my baby.
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