You have awaited this moment with anticipation and nervousness...the arrival of your new bundle of joy. Babies are a true miracle and bring so much joy into the lives of their families. Along with this joy, however, often comes many sleepless nights. It is almost a rite of passage for new parents, and one that quite possibly has brought you here.
In theory, babies are supposed to sleep quite a bit, with newborns needing up to 17 hours of sleep daily for the first 3 months of their lives. With this being what research states, it can be hard to fathom how your sweet little cherub can be awake so often. We know that you are exhausted, so how are they not also longing for some serious shut-eye?
The truth is, there are many commonplace reasons that your baby isn’t sleeping as well as he or she should. Today, we are here to help new parents and seasoned veterans understand some of the factors influencing poor sleep for their baby.
1. A WHOLE NEW WORLD
The Problem: When your baby is born, it is a huge adjustment for not just you, but for them. They go from a cozy cocoon to the bustling and bright world outside of the womb. All of a sudden they are spending their days in a babygrow or other babywear that can often be uncomfortable. There is lots of stimulation from people, places, and things.
Additionally, being placed in a crib or bassinet on their backs in just a babysuit, is a marked difference in the pre-birth atmosphere. It can be quite overwhelming to your newborn and cause them sleeping challenges.
The Solution: We suggest establishing good sleep habits from the start. Help your little one to get their days and nights straight by giving them plenty of light during the day and placing them in a darker sleeping atmosphere at night. Help them settle in with a white noise machine and consider adding a swaddle over their babysuit to help them feel more secure.
Another key is to minimize nighttime distractions during feeding and diaper changes. Using a Pocketbum babygrow makes changing quick and easy to do without needing to turn on disturbing lights.
2. LATE NIGHT MUNCHIES
The Problem: Tiny humans have tiny bellies. Therefore, until they reach about 3-4 months of age, they will need to top off their tummies every few hours around the clock. We know that means no rest for weary caregivers.
The Solution: As your baby gets older, they will be able to eat more and should be able to go longer stretches without eating. However, many a babe begins to enjoy this late-night tradition and wants to keep it up long after it is necessary. You can help your tiny angel to give up these feedings by consulting with your paediatrician on how much food they need and ensuring that they are getting this amount during the day before the overnight.
3. TORTUROUS TEETHING
The Problem: Getting those baby teeth through the gums is a months-long process that can be agonizing for your baby. In addition to pain, they may experience excess saliva causing continual drool as well as congestion. All of this makes it very difficult to get good sleep.
The Solution: There are several ways that new parents can relieve the ills of teething and restore comfort to help everyone sleep soundly. Using a cold teether can help to relieve some of the pain and swelling. Your baby’s doctor may also recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever for excessively bad days.
If your sweet babe is congested, running a humidifier can help, and keeping them in dry babywear is a must if they are drooling through more than one babygrow in a day.
4. INEVITABLE ILLNESS
The Problem: As much as we would love to keep our babies in a bubble, they will eventually get their first illness. Whether a cold or belly bug, a sick baby most likely means disrupted sleep for the entire flat.
The Solution: Giving your baby some extra snuggles and love is always helpful when they don’t feel well. If they have an upset tummy, gripe water or gas drops can help, along with keeping up with nappy and babygrow changes if they are soiled. Ensure that they are staying hydrated too.
Use a humidifier to ease congestion and aid sleep with better breathing. Finally, if your tiny one seems lethargic or is running a high fever reach out to your medical professional for guidance. Pretty soon, everyone should be back to full health and good sleep.
5. LONELY, OH SO LONELY
The Problem: Everyone loves a good baby snuggle, and this frequently means that once we change our baby into their nighttime babysuit, they get rocked to sleep. This routine can become a habit that is hard to break after a few months, leaving little ones to cry for hours if they are trying to fall asleep on their own.
The Solution: To help establish better sleep, set up a soothing and consistent bedtime routine that includes things like a bath with lavender and low lighting. Then, snuggle your sweet babe until they are settled but not asleep. Place them in their sleeping spot while they are awake but calm. Soon, they should realize they can indeed self-soothe and sleep well.
We hope this guide has helped you to gain a deeper understanding of common infant sleep troubles and given you some workable solutions to help your whole family get a better night’s sleep.
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