Whether you’re a new parent or not, you’ve heard (or experienced) about sleep deprivation. During the baby’s first weeks of life, in particular, parents are constantly being awakened by their cries. You may have anticipated a few sleepless nights, but when it reaches a point that you’re unable to function the next day due to lack of sleep, something has to be done. There are a lot of reasons your baby could be having trouble sleeping through the night (or at least for a longer period of time), determining what the cause is put you one step closer to a solution.
Choose the Proper Bedding
Have you ever slept on a bed that was unpleasant? Perhaps the bed was old and you could feel the springs or it was too hard or soft to get comfortable. Babies go through these same things. If you’re having trouble getting your little one to sleep a while longer, you may need to purchase a better bed. You can read reviews on the best baby bassinets and cribs to determine which is best for your tiny one. Pay close attention to factors like the mattress as your baby requires a firm but comfortable mattress to support them at night.
Let Go of the Binky
If your baby sucks on a pacifier, this could be a reason they keep waking up. Every time the pacifier falls out of their mouth, they are startled and essentially awakened by this. You can simply stop using the pacifier and allow your baby to cry it out, or you can reduce the usage of it over time until they don’t require it for comfort anymore.
Brush Up on Your Swaddling Skills
Your baby is still very much attached to the idea of being in the womb. This closeness cannot be achieved again, but it can be emulated by swaddling them at night. Swaddling also helps the baby to avoid being scared awake by their uncontrollable startle reflexes. If you’re really not great with wrapping your baby up tight at night, they do have blankets designed to make it as simple as fold and fasten.
Cut Back on Daytime Naps
As relieved as you may be to get even a few moments to yourself when your baby takes a nap during the day, it could be the reason they get up so frequently at night. Try reducing the number of times you allow baby to take a nap during the day. Keeping them stimulated by talking to them, walking around, or playing with toys can help. Also, avoid naps at least three hours prior to their scheduled bedtime.
Create a Routine
Although it may seem that your newborn runs the show, your baby needs routine early on in their life. Start creating a bedtime routine that will signal to your little one that it’s time to relax and rest. Give them a gentle bath, their last bottle, read to them, and even rock them to sleep. Playing white noise can also be a soothing way to keep them calm for a smoother, longer rest.
When you hear your bundle of joy screaming at the top of your lungs, it is a natural reaction to want to jump to the rescue. If you want your little one to sleep longer you need to give it a few minutes before you go in to see what’s wrong. A baby monitor can help you to see that there’s nothing visibly wrong at the time. Sometimes, their cries are simply for attention and when they realize you don’t come on command, your baby may just fall back to sleep.
You realize that sleep deprivation comes with the territory of being parents of a newborn. However, if your baby is waking up so frequently that you’re incapable of getting an ounce of sleep or not functioning properly the next day, you have to make some changes. The above tips will make it easier for you to get your newborn to sleep soundly for at least a few hours longer.