Most newborn babies do not sleep through the night. In fact, it is normal and healthy for a newborn baby to wake a few times during the evening. However, sleep challenges often occur for parents when their newborn wakes several times during the course of an evening and has difficulty settling back into a restful sleep. As a result, parents become sleep deprived and have difficulty functioning throughout the day.
When sleep challenges occur over an extended period of time it can be extremely difficult for the parents and will ultimately affect almost every aspect of their day. While there is no guaranteed way to get a baby to sleep through the entire course of an evening, there are several tips to encourage baby to have a restful sleep for extended periods of time during the night.
Reasons Newborn Babies Wake Through the Night
A newborn’s stomach is very small, which is why a baby requires numerous feedings during the day and the evening. Most newborn babies will wake during the evening for one or more feedings. As a baby grows and develops he or she will require fewer feedings during the night, even you choose breastfeeding or infant formula for them.
A newborn baby also has no concept of day or night. In fact, a newborn has the tendency to sleep for short periods of time throughout a twenty-four-hour period. It takes time for a newborn to settle into a routine or sleep cycle similar to that of his or her parents.
Newborn babies have short sleep cycles and require numerous feedings which ultimately impacts their ability to sleep through the night. Over time a newborn will settle into longer sleep patterns during the evening and fewer naps during the day.
Tips for Getting a Newborn to Sleep
There are several steps that can be taken to support a newborn during the evening and to encourage a baby to sleep for extended periods throughout the night.
When it is time for a baby to go to bed make it a point to put him in his crib while he is sleepy but still awake and aware of his surroundings. This will help to establish a routine for the baby. He will eventually learn that the crib is associated with sleeping and when he wakes up during the night, as most babies do, he will recognize his surroundings and will fall back to sleep.
Make it a point to only put the baby to bed when she is sleepy. A baby who has lots of energy and is wide awake should not be placed into the crib. Encourage a lot of activities and interaction during the day so that when it is time for bed the baby will be sleepy.
Swaddling is a great way to help a newborn baby feel safe, warm and secure. In fact, swaddling has been a common practice for thousands of years and is a safe way to create a calming and comfortable sleep environment for babies.
Check the temperature when putting an infant down for the evening. Being too cold or hot can prevent a baby from falling or staying asleep.
You can also try to sleep with your child. Co-sleeping can help them feel safe, increase motherhood, and let you have more time to take care of them.
A Sleep Time Routine Will Help a Baby Fall Asleep
Set up a bedtime routine that involves a feeding, a bath, a story and then bedtime. A subtle night light and soft music can also encourage a restful and peaceful sleep. The key element of a bedtime routine is to begin the routine when the baby is showing signs of being sleepy and ready for bed. Yawning, stretching, suckling, thumb sucking, and eye rubbing are sleep time or nap time cues to look for in a baby.
Every child is different, and some have the tendency to sleep for longer periods of time than others. A sleep routine and a comfortable and calming sleep environment can encourage a newborn to sleep for more extended periods of time during the evening and eventually sleeping through the night.
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