Nothing quite says sleep deprivation like a new baby. While you’re likely pining for a proper night’s sleep, so too is your baby. Newborn babies sleep from anywhere between 8 to 18 hours a day. It’s hard not to be envious of them with that mount of shuteye, but this can be disrupted more easily than you think. Making sure that your baby is settled and ready for sleep is one of the challenges many parents face, however, there are a few things you can introduce to better help with this.
One of the best ways to get your baby to sleep better is by sticking to a daily routine. At around 3 months old, your baby will be starting to establish more of an internal body clock and if this isn’t addressed, it can cause serious trouble when it comes to their sleep. Things like bathing your baby, getting them in to night clothes and reading a bedtime story should help to establish an obvious bedtime. Similarly, dimming the lights to create a cosy, relaxed environment will encourage sleep. It’s a good idea to get the baby’s room sorted before they arrive, so make sure you’ve got some good quality blinds or curtains and low wattage bulbs installed.
Sleeping in the Same Room
It is recommended that for the first 6 months your baby sleeps in a sperate cot in the same room as the parents. This is for both the baby and the parents benefit as it allows for you to easily comfort them if they wake in the night and they feel safe and secure. Past the 6-month mark, babies should ideally be moved to their own room. This helps to promote healthy independence and has also been proven to help babies fall asleep far quicker, for longer and deeper.
Don’t Force Sleep
A baby that won’t stop crying can be incredibly stressful for any parent. While you may have a routine in place, there can be some days or nights when your baby simply doesn’t want to settle down. Maybe they slept or napped more during the day than usual for example, in which case they won’t feel the need to sleep more. Try to avoid forcing your baby to sleep if you can as this can cause irritability and further crying. While its frustrating for you as a sleep deprived parent, stay awake with your baby and soothe them in a calming environment until they naturally start to feel sleepy again.
While not every baby is the same, these few lifestyle changes should help to ensure your baby is getting enough good quality sleep to encourage healthy mental and physical growth. Some babies do exhibit some bad sleeping habits through no fault of the parents and if this is the case there is plenty of help and information available to help babies to break these behaviours.