Firstly, congratulations. If you have found this post through a search engine, then you must have a precious new bundle of joy. Sadly, you may be suffering the common sleep deprivation period. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal, and there are very few parents who find themselves blessed with a baby that has a good natural routine. Here are some ways to improve your baby’s sleep routine.
There are ways you can improve the situation, although, once you have tried them if nothing works, you may have to accept that you have a strong willed baby who just wants to burn your candle at both ends. Before you read on, it is very important you chat about any sleep worries you have with your healthcare team. Sometimes things just don’t feel right, or you might be worried about the effects on your own health. Keep talking that is what they are there for.
So, how can we improve our baby’s sleep routine and, hopefully, our own?
The first steps start before your child is even born. If we are particularly restless and not sticking to a routine when we are pregnant, then the chances are we are keeping our baby unsettled too. That’s not to say you are at fault if your baby is still only catching two hours a night. It’s just one way you can help improve their quiet times. Try to make sure, especially in the last two months, that you are settled down and relaxed at regular intervals. Make these a part of your routine. Consider when you would like your baby to be more settled, perhaps during the afternoon and at night, then create your body into a complete chill zone every day during those periods. Of course, there is no guarantee this is going to make a difference, but it might help your baby settle some routine if you have one set before they hit the wide world.
Ok, so once they are born you can write off the first week anyway. It is important to get them into a routine as quickly as you can. However, it is virtually impossible to have anything that resembles routine when a new baby arrives. Visitors tend to ignore your requests of popping in at set times, and you will be stressed and emotional. So take it easy, focus on the amazing new bundle of joy you have and take advantage of visitors so you can have a little rest after the birth.
[amazon_link asins=’B00VRI8ON4,B004O25R8A,B014SF6MBI’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’famousp0c-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d271d4e1-7243-11e7-82e5-63a7a90ab97c’]
Choose a good feeding routine that fits you. A popular one is the six, ten, two. Essentially feeds fit around 6 am, 10 am, 2 pm, 6 pm, 10 pm and the dreaded 2 am. You will be working towards dropping the 2 am feed after a few months. Sticking to a routine like this helps you to ensure that your baby is getting regular milk and enough of it. Work a little like a machine. Feed, burp, nappy change then either sleep or activity. Researching the best cots and cribs will ensure you have a perfect night time set up in your nursery. At around 9 pm start a bedtime routine. Baths with lavender oil can be very good at relaxing your baby and making them calm before their bedtime feed. A massage can also help to create a really quiet and calm feeling. Feed them in their nursery and then after the burping and nappy changing lay them carefully in their cot. A night light or a gentle musical baby monitor can make your baby feel more comforted as they sleep. If they cry, try not to jump straight on it. Give them a few minutes and see if they can settle themselves. We can create bad habits if we attend to every cry, sometimes even babies just want attention. Stick to your routine no matter how hard it seems and master the art of peaceful parenting.
There is a very good chance that you are going to end up with a few months of interrupted nights and while that is very hard, stick to your routine and eventually, things will ease up. Take as much help as you can so you can keep on top of all the extra work you have and grab a few precious minutes for yourself. When you get stuck, don’t forget the parenting trade secret, pop your baby in the car seat and go for a drive. For most? It works every time. Might even be wise to ask Dad to do it so you can get some peaceful sleep yourself!