7 Gentle Natural Ways To Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Better
Your baby in his first year would require a lot of sleep. This blog gives you tips to help your newborn baby sleep better. Your baby is exposed to a lot of new things and new surroundings. He would be trying to grasp as much as possible. This is the reason why your baby would require more sleep than you. Your little one would be processing a lot of things during this time.
Sleep basically for your baby would be a way to rejuvenate himself. In other words, your little one would be recharging himself. It is a simple equation, good sleep will make your baby active and an active baby automatically grows well. Hence, sleep is very important for your baby’s growth.
As a newborn, your baby would require 16-18 hours of sleep. After 3 weeks, you would see a slight change in the pattern. Your baby would remain active during the night and sleep more during the day. This is because, when your little one enters this world, he comes out all confused on the day and night concept. Generally, babies are not born with an internal clock; your baby would find it very difficult to differentiate between day and night.
Tips to help your newborn baby sleep better
Here we would discuss tips on how you can help your newborn baby sleep better:
Create a schedule
The first step towards helping to your newborn is to set his internal clock or circadian rhythm that is, create an age-appropriate schedule for your baby, like a schedule for napping, activity, and sleeping.
Time the sleep
You need to fix a particular time to put your newborn baby to sleep. Pick a time which would be convenient for you and which you would be able to follow regularly. When you follow the same routine of putting your baby to sleep at the same time every day, your baby’s mind is automatically tuned to sleeping at that particular hour.
Just like how you would want to be prepared mentally before doing any of your activities, your little one also needs to understand that sleep time is nearing. You can do that by introducing a bedtime routine. This routine can be anything of your choice, it may include bathing. Warm water tends to make your baby drowsy, a soothing massage to calm and relieve your little one of any pain, nursing, singing a lullaby or anything which you feel works the best for your baby. It is best if you could follow the same routine every day this makes your baby aware that his sleep time is nearing.
The environment where your baby sleeps is very important to have a sound sleep. It is preferable that the room is dark and calm. The environment should be conducive to sleep. You can have a soft blanket, a small pillow with a soft toy in his crib which soothes your baby and calms him down. It is easier to put a calm baby to sleep than a baby who is fussy or cranky. Try to avoid using light emitting objects like a mobile or light emitting toys, etc. as this may distract your baby.
Sleep Cues of your little one
Every baby is different and the ways of showing that they are sleepy would be different. As a parent, you would slowly start understanding the cues given by your little one that he is sleepy. Immediately, you can start preparing his bed and keeping all the things which are needed for his bedtime routine. If your baby gets too sleepy, then he may become very fussy and cranky. Your little one will lose interest and may refuse to feed or sleep. So take the cue and put your baby to sleep as soon as possible.
Stages of sleep
Once all the preparations are done and you are putting your baby to sleep, you would see that your little one’s eyelids start drooping and would start to doze off in your arms or in the cradle/rocker. His little eyes would be closed, yet the eyelids would flutter, he would sleep grin, twitch or do the sucking action. This stage is called as the active sleep stage where your baby is still not fully asleep. At this point, it is best to continue with the normal bedtime ritual which you follow maybe swing him in your arms, rock the cradle/rocker or nurse. This takes your little one to the next stage which is deep sleep where your little one would be calm and is in his deep sleep. The chances of your baby waking up soon are high if your baby is still in the active sleep stage. Hence it is important that you wait till your baby is in deep sleep mode. Most of the brain development happens in deep sleep.
One of the last tips is to ensure that your baby is well fed before putting him to sleep. As a parent, you would take utmost care about this. In case of breastfed babies, mothers should take care of the food intake when consumed close to bedtime. Certain food rich in sugar, preservatives, and caffeine may affect the sleep of your baby as whatever you consume is present in the milk which your baby feeds on.
The best way to train your baby and help him to adjust to our system is only through repetition. It is advisable that an age-appropriate schedule is planned and followed on a daily basis. This helps your baby to settle down soon.