To get a good night’s sleep is a dream to most new and not-so-new parents. Trust us, we have been there! Did you know that sleep deprivation can lead to serious side effects such as:
In worst case scenarios it can even lead to hallucinations and paranoia. Specially as parents, these symptoms are nothing to take lightly. While it is very unlikely you will get a full 8 hours of sleep with a newborn, there are a few tricks you can use to get a good night’s rest. Here are the ones that worked for us to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep...
Did you ever experience the scary feeling of falling while you were sleeping? It's a horrible feeling which makes you wake up immediately in distress. Babies until about 4-months-old possess a startle reflex, which makes them feel as if they are falling, causing them to wake up. To avoid this simply wrap your baby tightly in a cotton cloth (think Burrito style) , this will stop the jerking movements they experience due to the startle reflex and will help it sleep tightly for longer.
Is your baby a night owl? Sleep all day and won't close its eyes in the night? This might be due to too long naps during the day.
A baby should not sleep longer than 2-2.5 hours during nap time. It's quite possible that your baby will take a longer nap of around 4 hours sometime during the 24 hours of the day. Make sure it does so at night.
Light breaks down the sleeping hormone, Melatonin. If you expose your child to enough daylight it won't want to nap as much and will most likely sleep more at night. Make sure to protect your baby's skin if you expose it to direct sunlight.
Some babies are very light sleepers and can wake up to any little noise, to avoid this we have found white noise to be very useful. You can buy a white noise machine or simply place a fan close to your baby's bed, it will create a gentle hum that can mask other sounds. There are also free white noises available to listen to online, on channels such as youtube.
Set your bedtime routine and use it for at least 3 month. Start your routine with a calming warm bath and put the baby in its jammies. We have found that adding 2-3 drops of lavender oil to the warm bath water a great way to calm our baby. Once your baby is bathed and in its jammies, make sure you calm your baby by gently rocking it in your arms, you can tell a story or sing a calming song. Place your baby in its bed and lay next to them to help them settle down.
What works with your baby? We would love for you to share!
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