Unless your baby isn’t sleeping! What’s a mama to do?
Here are a few tips to help establish good sleeping habits for your baby but before we get into that, how is your sleeping hygiene? We’ve discussed sleep in previous articles but remember, lack of sleep affects everything. If you are struggling to get quality of sleep, especially postpartum, you are setting yourself up for depression, anxiety, moodiness, poor food choices, and even relationship problems. Sleep is truly one of the most important things we can all do for ourselves.
Now, back to baby…
- Keep your baby on a schedule. If your little one gets overly tired, it will be more difficult to calm them and settle them down. Watch for cues they are getting sleepy. An infant should be getting long stretches of sleep.
- Use a white noise machine. White noise helps a baby from hearing all the noise in the house and can mimic the sound of the womb. Babies can’t sleep when they are over stimulated, a noise machine helps neutralize all of that extra sound. Some experts believe that a sound machine helps your baby associate those sounds with sleep. The sound machine could be used as loud as a running shower. Did you know that in the womb, the sound a baby hears is typically at 72 Decibels?
- Maintain calm in the house. Too much stimulus will interfere with your baby’s sleep patterns and rhythm. None of us do well in an environment with too much going on.
- Learn the art of swaddling. Nearly all babies love to be swaddled. The warm, safety of a swaddle will have them falling asleep in no time. They may fuss while you get the swaddling started but they will soon calm right down and feel secure enough to sleep.
- We all love a full stomach, including baby. Make sure they are getting enough food throughout the day that they aren’t falling asleep on an empty stomach. This will surely keep them awake and very uncomfortable.
- Let them nap. We often make the mistake of trying to keep a baby awake in the afternoon so they will sleep in the evening. This is a myth. A rested baby will be a good sleeper. If your baby has been awake for 60 – 90 minutes, it’s time for a nap.
- Stick to a routine. We all love a routine and babies do as well. Just because they slept all through the trip to Target doesn’t mean they were getting restful sleep. Plan your day accordingly to keep baby in a rhythm and routine the best you can.
- Babies like a firm, flat bed for sleeping. It is also the safest and healthiest way for them to sleep.
Sleep is just as important for infants as it is for us as adults. Sleep is when our bodies heal, grow, and transform. Babies are growing so rapidly and they need their sleep. If you are having issues with your baby getting restful sleep, it’s well worth it to consult with a sleep specialist or your child’s pediatrician for help. It will make a night and day difference and help you during the healing process of post partum.