Baby sleep is tricky! But, there are a few ways that mamas can help encourage babies to sleep in a way that is easier on the whole family. This series will troubleshoot several common problems.
The first.... Having Days & Nights Mixed Up! Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips! Enjoy!
#1. Keep rooms well lit during the day (even when baby is napping), so the brain is getting those signals that it is day time.
#2. Keep rooms DARK during the night (even when feeding) and avoid stimulation, so the brain is getting those signals that it is night time.
#3. Limit naps during the day to 2-2.5 hours. If baby is consolidating his/her sleep during the day by sleeping big chunks of time, he or she probably isn't doing so at night (when you want them to), Wake him/her up to feed after 2 hours has gone by. This way, not only are they not getting those huge chunks of sleep during the day, but they are also tanking up during the day!
#4. Create a daytime routine. Note: This is NOT a strict schedule, and you ALWAYS feed the baby when he/she is hungry. But, I think a daytime routine is a way to, again, signal to the baby that it is a separate time! The routine that I like the following:
* Feed upon waking
* Play for a few minutes -- newborns can only handle a short amount of wake time (45-60 minutes, this includes nursing/feeding, before they *need* to sleep again)
* Nap Time
#5. Create a bedtime routine. Each night before your chosen nighttime bedtime, do the same (or similar thing). It can be a relaxing bath (which is awesome!) and a book then bed, or whatever works for your family.
#6. Make sure the sleep environment is optimal:
* Swaddle the baby (nice and snug!)
* Try a sound machine (newborns were used to the sounds in their mama's wombs, it was quite loud, so they love hearing the "swoosh" of a sound machine!)
#7. Try cluster feeding in the late afternoon/early evening. Nursing every hour or so in the late afternoon or early evening can help baby get lots of nourishment before (hopefully) going several hours without at night.
#8. Be patient. It *will* happen -- your baby will someday get things straightened out!
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