Sleep Hygiene

Newborns may sleep as much as 18 hours a day,   2-3 hours at a stretch. There tummy being small could hold up only little feed, enough to last 2 -3 hours and they wake up hungry. Some babies wake up to pee or poop and may twist, make their face red or cry to pass flatus or poop. This twisting, arching, crying is normal and this doesn’t mean they are in pain. They do all this to build intra-abdominal pressure to evacuate or release themselves.

It’s normal and healthy for babies to wake up during the night to feed

As your baby gets older, she will stay awake longer during the day and sleep for longer stretches at night.

Babies, just like adults, need the right cues to learn when it is time to sleep. For example, if you always put your baby in her crib to sleep, she will learn that this is the place where she sleeps. This may not work right away, but over time, your baby will come to understand.

Sometime after 3 to 4 months, your baby’s sleep habits will become more predictable and you can expect a more regular schedule. Trust your baby’s cues – she will let you know when she is tired.

Healthy sleep habits for your baby:

  • An overtired baby has more trouble sleeping. Napping actually helps a baby to sleep better at night, so keeping your baby awake during the day will not help your baby sleep longer at night.
  • Put your baby in bed when he is drowsy, but awake. Remember to put him to sleep on his back in his crib, on a firm, flat surface. Keep soft items like pillows and stuffed animals out of the crib.
  • It’s okay to cuddle and gently rock your baby. You cannot spoil a young baby by holding them.
  • Your baby will move, winge, stir  during the night. Give him a few minutes to try and settle on his own before going to him.
  • Avoid stimulation during nighttime feedings and diaper changes. Keep the lights dim. Please don’t feel obligatory on your part to play with your little one in the middle of the night just because the baby wants it.
  • For babies less than 1 month old do not expect them to have any sleep pattern. So manage your sleep along with baby’s nap. It’s very important that mother is not sleep deprived during that period. A sleepless, tired, anxious mother may also have a sleepless colicky anxious baby. It becomes a vicious cycle. Try to sleep much as possible with baby sleep times.

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