Step by Step Guide to Establishing Good Sleeping Habits for infants

 

establishing good sleeping habits

A new born baby sleeps a lot; in fact expect your little bundle of joy to sleep for about 18 hours daily during the first few weeks after birth. What most parents don’t anticipate is that although babies sleep a lot, they don’t sleep for more than 3 hours consistently whether it is during the day or night. Expect sleepless nights especially during the first few weeks because a baby will need frequent feedings and some may even suffer colic.

If you start early there is a big chance that your baby can develop stable sleeping pattern by the time they are just 6 weeks

Although it may seem like an eternity when you are sleep deprived, you don’t need to worry because it is just a phase that your baby will overgrow. What you can do is establish good sleeping habits so that your little one can begin sleeping through the night when they are as young as 8 weeks old. Although every baby is different, encouraging great sleeping habits from the start will come in handy in ensuring that your baby learns to sleep through the night as soon as possible.

How can I encourage good sleeping habits between birth and 3 months?

newborn baby sleeping

If you start early there is a big chance that your baby can develop stable sleeping pattern by the time they are just 6 weeks. Here are some tips that to help your little one develop a good sleep schedule:

Observe your baby closely to recognize any signs that they are exhausted

Between 6 to 8 weeks your little bundle of joy will not be able to stay awake for three hours. You will realize that if they stay up for more than three hours, they will be too exhausted and it will be difficult to nod off. This is why it is extremely important to recognize when they are tired.

In the first 3 months, here are indications that your baby is sleepy or tired:

Consistently rubbing their eyes

Constantly flicking the ears using their hands

Dark and faint circles under the eye

Irritability which presents as crying and whining

Stretching and yawning more than usual

Losing interest in their toys and in people around them

Becoming still and extremely quiet

Immediately you spot these signs, lay your baby down.

Try to show your baby the difference between day and night

When your baby turns 2 weeks, it is time to show them the difference between day and night. During the day when your baby is alert:

During the day

Change their clothes as soon as they wake up to help them realise that it the beginning of a new day’

During the day, interact, play and talk to them

make the day time feeds lively by singing and chatting as you give them food or breastfeed

During the day ensure the house is well lit and bright

During the day, let your baby hear everyday noises such as the washing machine, tv and radio

At night

Change your little one into pyjamas daily at around the same time to signify the end of day

Night-time feedings should be quiet so try not to talk as much just gently wake them up if they fall asleep

Keep the noises in the house as low as possible

Reduce lighting in the house

This will be enough for your baby to start recognizing that there is a difference between day and night

Give your bundle of joy an opportunity to fall asleep on their own

By the time your baby hits 3 months they should be able to fall asleep without any help. However this will not happen automatically, you have to encourage it by laying the down when they are sleepy but still awake. If you keep holding them until they drift off to sleep, be prepared to dpo this every single time!

Keep in mind that how you settle your little one to sleep in the first few weeks will determine their sleep habits later on. For instance, if start out by rocking or feeding them until they drift away, they will expect this later on.

How can I encourage good sleeping habits between 3 to 6 months?

Infant-Sleeping

By the times your bundle of joy is around 3 months, they will sleep for about fourteen to sixteen hours daily. At this time you can expect one or two feeds during the night. If you had started establishing god sleeping habits early there is no doubt that they can now put themselves to sleep without any help.Here are helpful suggestions to help establish good sleeping habits at this stage:

Set specific nap-times and bedtimes

It is time to put your baby on a schedule. In the beginning when your baby was still very young all you had to do was watch out for signs of exhaustion and sleepiness. Now that they are much older, it is a great idea to establish a specific time when they can nap during the day and also a consistent bedtime. An ideal bedtime is between 7:30 pm and 8:30pm. Later than this, your little one will be too exhausted and will also have a hard time falling asleep.

Keep in mind that how you settle your little one to sleep in the first few weeks will determine their sleep habits later on

Start creating a consistent bedtime routine and stick to it

A consistent bedtime routine will help prepare your baby emotionally for sleep. Ideally, it should include:

Playing a quiet game together

A warm bath

Changing her to warm and comfortable pyjamas

Read a soothing bedtime story

Sing a calming lullaby

A calming massage will be very helpful

Kiss your baby goodnight

Right before the bedtime routine, encourage a quiet time by switching of the TV and any other noises in the house. This will create a calming and relaxing environment that encourages the baby to go to sleep. You can choose whatever routine that works for you, your baby and the rest of your family. The key to making it work is consistency. Even in unique situations such as when the baby is ill, it is better to maintain the routine.

Wake up your little one in the morning if the sleep past 10 hours

Baby_clock-sleeping

It is okay to wake up your child if they sleep past ten hours. Set a time for them to wake up and strictly adhere to it. You will notice that after some time they will automatically wake up around the waking time you set. A predictable bedtime and waking up routine is the best way to ensure a healthy and happy baby.

How can I encourage good sleeping habits between 6 and 9 months?

 

At six months you should expect your baby to sleep for a maximum of fourteen hours daily. In fact during the night expect them to sleep for 7 to 8 hours without any interruptions. If you have been establishing good sleeping habits from the start, he probably puts himself to sleep ad has no trouble waking up around the time you set for them.

Continue with a consistent bedtime routine:

Playing a quiet game together

A warm bath

Changing her to warm and comfortable pyjamas

Read a soothing bedtime story

Sing a calming lullaby

A calming massage will be very helpful

Kiss your baby goodnight

The key to success at this age is consistency and predictability because it will make your little one feel safe and secure. Set a consistent daytime nap time and strictly adhere to it.

How can I encourage good sleeping habits between 9 and 12 month

 

By now your child is comfortably sleeping for 11 to 12 hours every night. They are also probably napping at least twice a day without any help from you. Keep in mind that at this age the baby is active and developing quickly so sleep and adequate rest is crucial.

baby sleeping holding clock

At this juncture, sticking to a nap routine is extremely important because inconsistency will make it harder for them to sleep peacefully through the night.

How to encourage great sleeping habits at this age:

It is advisable to continue with the same sleeping habits you have been implementing since the baby was about six months. Continue with the same bedtime routine because now it not just a way to put your baby to sleep, but is also a great way to bond with your baby. The key to getting it right is consistency and making it fun so that your child can enjoy it.

If you want peaceful nights and adequate rest for you and your baby, you will not go wrong with these strategies.

 

 

 

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