Every parent yearns to be able to sleep through the night, as they did before their little one arrived. However, that dream becomes almost impossible the first few months.
But the important thing is to know what is normal and what to do when nighttime sleep turns into a nightmare. Are you fighting to get your newborn to fall asleep? Quoting Parents magazine, here are some expert-approved strategies for putting your baby to sleep and not dying trying:
1. Get into a routine. About 30 minutes before bedtime, turn down the noise and dim the lights. “Our brain associates light and dark with being awake or asleep. Lowering the lights at night and exposing your baby to bright light in the morning will help advance this process, ”said Deborah Givan, MD, emeritus professor of clinical pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. Then take a hot bath and sing lullabies to him.
2. Let him fall asleep without doing rigorous rituals. Keep him in your hugs, but gradually stop whispering and rocking him nonstop at bedtime. “By five months, most babies can fall asleep on their own, and if we still do it for them, we’re getting in the way,” explained Heather Turgeon, a Los Angeles sleep consultant and co-author of The Happy Sleeper . This will make him learn to calm down and fall asleep and most importantly, without you doing rituals.
3. Separate mealtime and bedtime. Many newborns often fall asleep while eating. “However, at four to five months, if the act of falling asleep is separate from feeding, babies tend to sleep better,” said Amy Pate of Nashville, who breastfed her son to sleep for a year. .
4. Plan an hour to put the baby to bed. “If you keep them up late, they become overstimulated, dysregulated and harder to quit,” Turgeon said. Melatonin levels rise sometime around sunset, but since sunset can be anytime after 4:30 p.m., keep the clock and put your baby to bed around 6: 30 or 7:00 pm
5. Make sure he eats well, not just “snacks.” During the first eight weeks of life, a baby should be fed on demand every two to two and a half hours. But you have to make sure that the feeding is efficient. “If they eat for 20 minutes at night, but only five or ten minutes during the day, they are simply snacking rather than filling their bellies enough to sleep through the night,” Prueher stated. How to make him eat well? Separate your meals so you are really hungry every time.
6. Take naps seriously. For newborns, skipping a nap in the hope that they’ll get more sleep at night just doesn’t work: “When babies get too tired, their stress hormones go up,” Turgeon said. This is why regular naps are so essential.