3 TIPS TO GET BABY ON TRACK FOR SLEEPINGBaby
This is a tough topic. Something every mama dreams of, but winning the lottery feels more likely. Some are super nervous at the thought of giving baby sleep skills and some just plain opposed, but the common ground is that most mamas are tired.
Sleep is a very personal topic, just like parenting. It is not up to anyone else to decide how your family should be sleeping. It is only a problem if it is a problem for you.
The reality is, it can be a big challenge to get a young baby to sleep through the night. Babies around 13 pounds and 3 months of age can physically sleep through the night, but developmentally may struggle without (ie: lots of crying in the night). Here are some tips you can try with your baby to get him on track for sleeping through the night when he is ready. There are many different ways to teach a baby sleep skills, and choosing one and being consistent is key. Consistency is a huge factor with babies. They are learning and the more you show them repeatedly makes it easier for them to adjust. Have this discussion with your partner, explore your options and agree together (to do nothing at all, or to move forward together). It is so much easier to parent if you are on the same page with your partner.
Look at bedtime
A later bedtime does not necessarily mean your baby will sleep better. In fact, usually the opposite is true. Running your baby like a puppy all day will usually end up with a miserable baby, lots of crying and lots of night time wake ups. Most babies over six months of age are in bed around 7pm. Much later than this and it is likely he will be up every hour till midnight.
Look at naps
As your baby gets older, be mindful of when his last nap of the day is. A baby over 6 months should be awake by 4 pm to be in bed by 7pm. Sleep over the supper hour is extremely rejuvenating and your baby will struggle to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Wake your baby by 4pm and watch bedtime get easier. Babies younger than six months do sleep a little later for naps and that’s okay.
Look at feeds
Feeding and sleep go hand in hand. Babies need a full belly in order to sleep well. There is a way to teach your baby to sleep longer stretches without pulling feeds. Watch your baby! That is the biggest trick. Big sucks and swallows equal a hungry feeding baby. As he starts to slow down and get drowsy, encourage him to stay awake and keep feeding. When he starts to get drowsy and you can’t get him to keep actively feeding, stop the feed, burp him and put him in his bed, awake. You can then help your baby fall asleep in his crib by patting, shushhhing, or comforting him. This will help him sleep longer stretches!
Your baby is unique and it’s up to you to decide on what works best for your family.