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Regular waking in the first few months is nature’s way of keeping the baby alive so parents should have very low expectations of sleep and concentrate on building the trust bond. Go with the flow. You need the early weeks and months to simply get to know each other. A travel cot is an ideal place for a baby to sleep when away from home. The mattress on a travel cot may seem thin but this is perfect for your baby to sleep on. Extra padding for the mattress isn’t needed as it makes the surface to soft which can cause a risk to the baby if it moves. It can also get too hot. As babies can’t regulate their own temperature this can lead to over heating. Babies need a firm flat sleep surface. Though it’s possible, through sleep training, to encourage your baby not to bother you at night, try to remember that, to an extent, night waking is simply a part of being human. Babies are not ready to operate independently at birth, and since separation from the caregiver is one of the surest life-threatening situations, it’s no wonder the infant brain and nervous system is primed to protest. To help your baby to settle in their cot at night, try to avoid rocking or snuggling them to sleep on you or in your bed before transferring them to their cot, and instead have a cuddle with a story and then put them into their bed while they are awake. That way - they fall asleep in their bed without the need for cuddles or rocking. This is especially important as during the light REM sleep phase they will wake needing the thing that settled them to sleep, rather than gently stirring and falling back to sleep unaided. It’s not advisable to put anything into your baby’s cot while they sleep under seven months. However, as they get older it’s OK to try an activity centre attached to the side of the cot. Therefore, if they wake and it’s still early they may be able to entertain themselves for a while longer. Research shows a clear link between overheating and an increased risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy, so it is important that parents and carers know how to dress baby for sleep.
Put your babies on a flexible schedule. During the first month (corrected age), keep naps under two hours and wake after four hours of night sleep to feed. The second month (corrected age), you can extend night sleep to five or six hours—and longer after that. Before your little one was born, he lived in total darkness and became accustomed to snoozing the day away (since that’s when you were most active, lulling him to sleep with your movements) and kicking his heels up at night. Happily, his nocturnal ways are only temporary. Baby sleep can be somewhat controversial, particularly with the growing number of social media accounts claiming to be experts in the field. The reality is, no-one is an expert on a baby’s sleep other than the parent themselves. New parents now have a massive range of baby products to choose from and it can be really confusing to know what is needed. Our advice is simple: the safest cot is a clear cot. The gentle approach and caring manner of a baby sleep expert allows them to assist you in the most preferable way to deal with ferber method and to assist you and your family in any way possible.
Consistency Is Key
Parents who respond soothingly to their children’s emotions report fewer infant sleep problems, and this is the case regardless of a family’s sleep arrangements. Whether children share a bedroom with their parents, or sleep elsewhere, they sleep better when their parents are sensitive and responsive. After the age of six months, some babies can manage without a night time feed; however they may continue to wake up out of habit. If your baby seems obviously hungry then feed them but if you are confident they have eaten enough during the day and they are gaining weight, you can help your baby to outgrow this habit by leaving it a few minutes before you pick them up as they may fall asleep again naturally. Don't pressure yourself to impose a bedtime routine as soon as you get home from the hospital with your newborn. After all, he has to recover from the effort of being born — and so do you! Plus, newborns don’t have enough of a sense of day and night to have any predictable patterns. Designate the nursery as a room for sleep, not play. Keep the area around the crib free of toys and other fun knick knacks The last thing you want is a child who’s not ready to unwind when you are. While you can’t force a child to fall asleep at your command, there are things that soften the bed, so to speak. For gentle sleep training guidance it may be useful to enlist the services of a sleep consultant.
When it comes to sleep training, don’t be hard on yourself if things aren’t always perfect. There will be times when your baby finds it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. When babies are born they need darkness to switch off because they are used to the darkness of the womb and a dark room will stimulate the sleep hormone melatonin. Very young breastfed newborns need to feed every 1–3 hours, and sometimes even more, so they may wake very frequently to feed. After the first few months, a baby may not wake as often to eat. Try various ways of swaddling your baby at night. In the early months, many babies like to “sleep tight,” securely swaddled in a cotton baby blanket. Older infants like to sleep “loose,” and may sleep longer stretches with loose coverings that allow them more freedom of movement. Oftentimes, dressing a baby loosely during the day, but swaddling him at night, conditions the baby to associate sleep with swaddling. Avoid cots with missing slats, net siding, or a space between the mattress and side wall where your baby’s head can be trapped. If you're looking for a compassionate, effective and evidence-based approach to sleep or just advice on one thing like sleep regression then a baby sleep specialist will be able to help you.
Develop A Realistic Attitude About Nighttime Parenting
Some babies sleep better with the washing machine or the vacuum cleaner running, so feel free to go about your regular routine during naptime or after bedtime. The regular noise is soothing and will help your baby sleep. In a few months, your baby will start to use crying to manipulate you. But for now, you actually want him to learn that whenever he cries, you’ll come. Your predictable support during these early months nurtures your infant’s trust and security. And that trust will become the solid foundation for all his loving relationships, throughout the rest of his life. Think your baby is waking up? Be cautious about intervening too soon. Your baby might be asleep, or ready to resume sleeping on his or her own. It’s normal for sleepers of all ages to experience many partial awakenings at night. Establishing a baby bedtime routine All babies and children need to be supported to develop a good sleep routine and good sleeping habits. It is a process that will take time and can’t be achieved in a few days. This can be a struggle, especially when you are sleep deprived and feel constantly tired yourself. All babies are different and will start sleeping through at different times. There also needs to be a degree of flexibility around sleep routines. Having a baby is a steep learning curve and aspects such as sleep training come along and shake things up just when you're not expecting them.
Most healthy 2 month-olds can get by with 2-3 night feeds. This means your baby will go 3.5-5 hours between feeds overnight. This is welcome news for tired parents who are up feeding their baby every 2 hours! Getting enough sleep is crucial. But that can be hard when you’re struggling for hours to soothe a screaming baby or to persuade your wide-eyed toddler to go back into her room. In your frustration, you may be tempted to think your child is being willful and defiant, but there may be a biological factor undermining your child’s sleep: the ticking of her inner clock. Take lots of daytime walks to get extra sunlight exposure. (Indirect light is best in the summertime, to avoid sunburns.) If it’s too cold to go out, get lots of light exposure at home, especially during the early morning, to help set your baby’s circadian clock. Your partner may have to go back to work fairly soon after your baby is born, so might feel entitled to a good night’s sleep during the week. However, if you are exhausted from night feeds, you may struggle to cope with looking after your baby during the day. If baby isn’t sleeping well at night then you might want to try cluster feeding. Cluster feeding is both extremely stressful (if done all day) and extremely useful if done right (at night before bed). You don’t want to get into the habit of cluster feeding all day long every day as a general routine. If you need guidance on 4 month sleep regression then let a sleep consultant support you in unlocking your child's potential, with their gentle, empathetic approach to sleep.
Baby's Sleep Routine
Coping with night feeds and trying to keep going during the day while struggling with tiredness on top of recovering from giving birth can leave you feeling emotionally drained and physically worn out. It’s important to recognise your own needs. Make the most of your baby’s daytime nap to catch up on your own sleep. Limiting the lengths of naps to no more than two hours in the early days and weeks is the single best thing parents can do to resolve day/night confusion quickly and to encourage baby to have longer stretches of overnight sleep. It is important to know that for babies who are given a lot of love and attention during the day, letting them cry while they learn to fall asleep has no negative impact on their development. In fact, babies who learn to get a good night’s sleep tend to be really well adjusted, happy children. Stumble upon more insights relating to Baby Sleep Consultants at this NHS page.