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Most sleep consultants will only work proactively on sleep after the age of six months, so that they can be sure that the baby has developed mature sleep cycles and the capability to sleep for longer periods. Some babies sleep much more than others. Some sleep for long periods, others in short bursts. Some soon sleep through the night, while some don’t for a long time. A baby bedtime routine signals to your little one that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. The best routine works with your family's schedule and can be implemented consistently, bridging the transition from busy day to tranquil night. These moments may become the coziest and calmest you spend with your child every day. Some babies get their first teeth and four or five months, and they can cause real irritation and discomfort. Try massaging their face around the jawline and under the chin to soothe it, or try a teething gel. Some babies will only settle for a feed, though. Understanding your newborn’s sleep needs, and why they wake so often, can be extremely beneficial to your own sleeping patterns too. Initially, sleep whenever your baby does – this will be one of the best ways to catch up on some much needed sleep when they are sleeping frequently in the day. All babies are different: some seem to get by on very few naps, others seem to have read the same baby book as you and fall into regular naps as if by magic. If your baby is happy without much daytime sleep, and is sleeping well at night then don’t fret about napping. They might be one of those babies who discovers the art of napping at around 6-8 months old then sleeps happily for 2 hours at a time.
You don’t want to keep your little one guessing when it comes to where, when, and how they will sleep. Although there are exceptions (e.g., vacations, visitors, holidays), try to keep the sleep experience as consistent as possible for your baby. Sleep is essential for good health, growth and brain development. Problematic sleep is one of the most common discussions in relation to new babies and lack of sleep for parents can be really challenging, but what is ‘normal’ and when do you need to ask for help and support? Decide on where your baby is going to sleep. Try to decide where your baby is going to sleep for the long run by 3 months of age as changes in sleeping arrangements will be harder on your baby as he gets older. For example, if your baby is sleeping in a bassinet, move him to a crib by 3 months. Always practice the ABC’s of safe sleep: Babies should always sleep Alone, on their Backs, in a Cot. Sleeping through the night is usually defined as baby getting 7 to 12 consecutive hours of shuteye—which is a dream stretch for any new parent. But how do you and baby get to that point? Routine is key and consistency above all. Many methods will work, but no method will work unless everyone in the household applies it consistently. If you need guidance on sleep training then let a sleep consultant support you in unlocking your child's potential, with their gentle, empathetic approach to sleep.
Learn Your Baby’s Sleep Cues
If your baby's under 3 months, swaddle them, feed them, and ease them into the crib. For babies who are beyond the swaddle, try a sleep sack. If your cutie still protests, stand next to the crib for a few minutes with your hand on their tummy to soothe them. A belly rub is fine, but avoid picking her up. It will confuse her. It’s no secret that adjusting to life with a newborn on little to no sleep is one of the most difficult parts of becoming a parent. All babies have different sleep patterns, and figuring out what techniques and routines works for your itty-bitty nap-fighter is no easy feat. Some parents hope keeping their baby awake during the day will help them sleep at night. But like other sleep training, this ignores normal infant sleep development and risks not observing the cues your baby is giving about their needs. Some parents also feel that their baby becomes ‘over-tired’, which can be really stressful in itself. Babies who are able to soothe themselves back to sleep (“self-soothers”) awaken briefly and go right back to sleep. In contrast, “signalers” are those babies who awaken their parents and need help getting back to sleep. Many of these signalers have developed inappropriate sleep onset associations and thus have difficulty self-soothing. White noise, a dark room to make the most of your child’s melatonin release can all prove helpful. It’s a myth that it can be helpful to get your baby used to napping in a brightly lit room. At first your new baby *will* nap anywhere, but as she begins to produce her own melatonin, it will be important for her biological systems that she naps in a dark room. There are multiple approaches to ferber method and a sleep expert will help you choose one that is right for you and your family.
You can never underestimate the staying power of a bedtime story. There is no reason why you can’t read to a newborn - they will know your voice and as they get older, they will look forward to a nightly story with mum or dad and learn to associate it with bedtime. Many parents find the idea of co-sleeping (keeping your baby in bed with you while you both sleep) appealing, and feel that it provides comfort to the baby and helps both mum and baby get more rest. It is, however, associated with a higher risk of SIDS (although the risk is very low). It may help to remember that all babies over 5 months of age wake 4-6 times during the night, as they come to the end of each sleep cycle. This is normal, and also occurs with older children and adults. It's the falling back to sleep that can be difficult. By three or four months, most babies’ brains are mature enough to sleep for at least a six-hour stretch without needing to be fed. But if you insist that sleeping through the night means snoozing from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M., you’ll need all the routines I describe in the next two chapters. Without that help, up to 30 percent of infants still can’t sleep eight hours straight by their first birthday. Avoid sleep-inducing activities, if at all possible, during the day. Don’t fight your baby’s need to sleep. But if you can keep them out of the car seat for a bit, that extra time awake will help them later. Having a baby is a steep learning curve and aspects such as gentle sleep training come along and shake things up just when you're not expecting them.
Understand Your Baby's Sleep
It is not unreasonable for an 18-month-old whose language skills are rapidly increasing to have heightened attachment needs. They want to keep you close and they will often wake more in the night to ensure their proximity to you. Teething is a common recurring cause of a baby or toddler waking throughout the night. Teeth cutting through the gums is very painful and more noticeable at night without other distractions so your baby may need some help settling. There are many products on the market to help ease teething pain so worth finding out what most helps settle your little one back to sleep. If you have a partner, ask them to help. If you’re formula feeding, encourage your partner to share the feeds. If you’re breastfeeding, ask your partner to take over the early morning changing and dressing so you can go back to sleep. Today’s new parents have little experience with babies - amazingly, many have never even touched a newborn in their lives! So they seek answers from the piles of sleep manuals on bookstore shelves. (Over the past twenty years, more sleep manuals have come and gone than any other type of parenting book.) If your child is ill, stressed, or really hungry, it’s fine to give him some warm milk in the middle of the night (just a few ounces—or nurse on one breast so he doesn’t fill up so much that he has less appetite in the morning). For sleep regression guidance it may be useful to enlist the services of a sleep consultant.
It’s perfectly fine to keep your baby in the same room as you while you watch TV or relax in the evening. They can lie on you or in a moses basket. If your child does not need a nighttime feeding, offering them one will make it extremely difficult for them to understand why some wakings are responded to with a feeding and others are not, leading to a bad cycle of crying and more wakings. Your baby associates sleep with being held and the smell of you. This does not apply in the early few weeks and babies need reassurance and comfort. As their cognitive function developments then they become aware of being held and cuddled by different people and what they are 'used to.' Most babies fall asleep in their strollers or car seats sometimes. Just aim to consistently put your baby to sleep in his crib at around the same time, even for naps, starting when he's a couple months old. It’s important not only to help your baby sleep more soundly, but also to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Lying on a motionless bed may seem appealing to you, but to your baby it’s odd and unnatural. And for the 10–20 percent of all infants who are motion lovers, the stillness is almost intolerable. Whether its something specific like 4 month sleep regression or really anything baby sleep related, a baby sleep consultant can guide you to find a sleep solution as individual as your baby is.
Developing A Rhythm
Help baby bond with a security object – choose a baby blanket or stuffed animal and keep it near you for a while, so it takes on your comforting smell. If you’re breastfeeding, you could even try expressing some breastmilk onto a small piece of muslin, then popping it in their cot. Babies have a strong sense of smell, so if they wake suddenly, your familiar smell may help them settle again. With babies of all ages, feeding your baby to sleep can be lovely. Baby is snuggled in your arms, having a delicious cuddle. It's great for bonding and lovely for both mum and baby. When it comes to children and sleep, tired parents want to know how to help their child sleep better. The problem is, where to begin? Discover extra details regarding Baby Sleep Specialists on this Wikipedia entry.
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