I have had babies who slept well, and babies who slept terribly. There have been crazy sleepless night, and restful sleeping most nights. I co-sleep with them and enjoy every snuggly minute. When most people hear that phrase, they think about cry-it-out CIO. When babies are born, the entire world is confusing to them. They are not sure what is good and what is bad.
Not sure what they need to get rid of their bad feelings like being hungry, wet, or tired. Not sure what is day or night, how to move from asleep to awake, or really how to make sense of anything around them.
These are unsettled newborns, and they need help learning about the world. They need a loving parent to teach them what life is about and how to manage their most basic functions.
The more intense and loving work you do in teaching them to sleep in the early days and weeks, the more sleep you will both get later on. This is entirely without crying, and actually involves quite a lot of sacrifice from you.
When my fourth was born, I could sense his confusion and his worry in the first couple of days.
I held him almost constantly and nursed him every 10 — 15 minutes, whenever he wanted to. By day 3 or so, he began to relax a bit more, nurse a bit less often, and seemed like he had decided the world was okay.
Whereas with my other three, I breezed through the newborn period in a fog of uncertainty and sleep deprivation, this time I knew what I was doing — and it shows, in that I have my calmest baby yet. Then, you need to convince your baby that the world is an overall good place.
Once you have done these things, you will teach the baby gently how to calm down and fall asleep in a variety of ways, and how to develop a general routine. Babies thrive on routines. We all ebb and flow and baby will be the same way.
You manage him, carefully and joyfully, until he is ready to take over the job. Baby Sleeping Phases There are a few things you need to know, first, about how sleep happens. Days 1 — 2: Baby sleeps almost all the time, unless he is eating. Baby will not do this again for several weeks at least!
Day 3 — 1 month: Baby is very unsettled and may have trouble falling asleep, especially if he gets over tired. Some days baby may sleep all day, some days baby may be rather wakeful. Baby may be awake for stretches in the middle of the night and asleep all day. Months 1 — 4: Baby now has some sort of rough routine, and is much more settled and roughly predictable, but still needs help sleeping. Month 4 — Baby should also take 1 — 3 somewhat regular naps each day. Ages 1 — 2: Toddlers go from still unpredictable and often having interrupted sleep from teething, colds, etc.
How to Teach Baby to Sleep The nitty gritty! How do you help your baby to learn to sleep?
Ideally you would be reading this before your baby arrives. If not, see below…. Hold your baby constantly, and baby will root when he is hungry, squirm when he is wet, and fuss a bit, then sleep when he is tired. Mostly, baby will sleep.
Your body will regulate his temperature, breathing, heart rate, and more. But, start to vary the tactics that you use to help him fall asleep.
A comfortable baby sleeps far better than one who is not. During the day, keep windows open or lights on, and at night, keep lights off. Allow the baby to fall asleep in a number of different ways: I have had two of each. Place the baby in the position in which he is most comfortable. Sometimes, let the baby sleep on or with you. Other times, put the baby down to sleep.
Sometimes, wear the baby in a carrier while sleeping. The idea is to show the baby gently that there are lots of ways to fall asleep. This lesson is a good one to try when the baby is just starting to feel tired.
But, sometimes you will miss the early cues. Sometimes you will see them, but baby is uncomfortable for another reason and you will still miss that window. Whatever the reason, baby becomes overtired and very unhappy, and cannot seem to calm down enough to fall asleep.
There are a few things you can do at this point. First make sure you have checked all sources of discomfort: Bounce and Pat Hold the baby over your shoulder, curled against you. Make sure baby is well-fed, changed, not in pain, etc. Bounce the baby gently but quickly as you pat his back. Keep it going constantly until baby relaxes, quiets, and begins to sleep. Slow down once you are sure baby is asleep but keep patting. Offer a finger or pacifier to suck, if Offer a finger or pacifier to suck, if baby will take it.
Stand up and put baby on his side, curled against your body. Then start to swing your body back and forth in small, rapid circles.
The baby should be tightly curled against you, so this will not hurt him.
At first the baby may fight, but will slowly quiet down and begin to relax. Stop or slow one thing at a time, starting again if baby begins to wake. This will probably take 5 — 10 minutes to work. Basically, try different combinations of cuddling, rhythmic movement, sucking fingers, breast, pacifier , swaddling, white noise, or positioning until baby calms down. Sometimes reclining and setting the baby facing out on my lap worked. Try different things until you find what your baby likes best.
If you can get through these few weeks and help the baby fall asleep, you will be well-set for the next phase. Months 1 — 4 If you have done your job, your baby is more settled in the world, adjusted to life, and can fall asleep in a variety of ways. This gives you a good framework for the next step. This is what babies seem to do when they do not know how to fall asleep, yet they are older and aware of the world around them and are distracted by it.
My second baby did this! Keep it simple, they are still little! Look for signs of tiredness and move towards a bit of a routine. It is still very common for babies to nap sporadically, in 20 — 40 min. This will change usually by 6 months. Babies will sleep better — longer and more soundly — if put to bed, instead of staying downstairs in the chaos of the home or in your arms.
Traditional cots are smaller than cot beds. For some reason he obviously just needs you more at that time. This is the closest there is:
At bedtime you will probably see a longer stretch emerging by the end of this time — baby may go to bed at 8 or 9 and sleep until 1 or 2 before needing a feeding. Some will then sleep another long stretch, and some will need to be fed every two hours, and many will go between the two. But, you should be getting some decent sleep. Since we co-sleep, we usually choose to put the baby to bed in a bassinet next to our bed to start the night, and baby joins me when he wakes the first time.
Baby may sleep in later than other kids, if you have older ones. My older ones are usually up around 7, but the littlest one sleeps until 8 or 9. I put him back in his bed when the other kids get up.
A cot is provided that has a frame having a shape of a continuous loop. Okay I just read the title and it sounds pretty funny
Months 4 — 12 By now you should have some semblance of a routine. If not, go back and start with the newborn tips again. Teach your baby that, first, he can trust you to meet his needs.
Help him learn a variety of ways to fall asleep on his own. That created a nightmare situation where he woke every 40 minutes, all night long, for almost a year, and never really took naps except in the swing or a carrier.
We still got him in his own room and sleeping fairly well by 18 months and great by age 2. So, there is hope. Daddy fell asleep some nights laying on the floor in front of the crib, but it worked. What he needed was to know it was okay to fall asleep and someone was there.
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