As a new parent, there will be a lot of changes you will now experience in your lifestyle and daily routine, mostly revolving around your newborn. One of the biggest challenges that most parents of a newborn face is to help baby sleep through the night.
If you just nodded yes, or if you are preparing for your newborn’s arrival, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Why Doesn’t Your Newborn Sleep Through The Night?
1. The Body Clock Is Still Not Established
For the first few months of life, your newborn will not be able to establish a routine that can mark a clear distinction between day and night. This means that there is still no body clock that will tell your newborn when to sleep and when to wake up. As a result, your newborn will keep waking up through the night as if it were just an afternoon nap.
2. Night-time Hunger Pangs
While you are still establishing the breastfeeding routine with your newborn, your little angel will need a feed in almost every two hour or so. This pattern will also continue through the night, for at least the first few months. At this small age, your newborn’s tummy and digestive system is still developing, so it can store very small amount of food (milk) at any given time. Hence your newborn will experience a number of hunger pangs through the night and wake up as a result.
3. Natural Way To Avoid SIDS
One of the safest position to make your newborn sleep in is on the back. While it will not give your little one the best sleep, it will ensure your baby wakes up a few times through the night. This is a natural way or your newborn to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and stay safe through the night.
4. Not Comfortable
Often, there are certain factors that may make your newborn uncomfortable and prevent a full night of sleep. Your newborn could be afflicted with gas formation, the room may feel too cold or too hot, the bedding may not be right, or there may be some distraction that wakes your baby. Sometimes, if your baby consistently wakes up in the middle of the night and cries without any obvious reason, it could also signal an oncoming illness. Please visit the doctor immediately.
Helping Your Newborn Sleep Better
Be prepared for the fact that your newborn will NOT sleep through the night in the first few months. However, here are a few things that you can definitely try to ensure your baby’s sleep is comfortable and helps in the growth process.
1. Dress Your Baby Comfortably
Often parents end up bundling the baby into too many clothes, which can make the little one sweat and feel uncomfortable. Set the room’s temperature to such that it is not too warm or cool. Keep the clothes light and comfortable. The best bet is a sleep suit which will also keep the toes and fingers snug. Also, try and swaddle your newborn for a comfortable sleep.
2. Keep The Noise Levels Down And Lights Dim
Try and avoid as much as noise and light as possible. The more relaxed the environment, the easier it will be for your newborn to sleep. Also, it will create a clear distinction between the lively day time and the quiet and comfortable night time.
3. Do Not Encourage Play
Even if you feel like playing with your newborn at night, resist the urge and just stick to feeding. Once you start talking or playing with your newborn in the middle of the night, it will disrupt sleep and make your little one more awake and playful.
4. Encourage Your Newborn To Fall Asleep Independently
Instead of trying to do the entire fall back to sleep routine, let your baby fall asleep independently. Once you have finished feeding, place your baby on the bed on the back and leave it at that. Your newborn will soon learn that it is a cue to fall asleep.
5. Stick To Routine
Your newborn is not too young to be given a night time routine and in fact, the best time to start a routine is right now! Once it is evening, give your little one a clean-up and change into night clothes. Start dimming out the lights and the noise so that you can create a relaxing atmosphere. All these simple steps will help to create a relaxing routine that will slowly show your newborn that it is bedtime.