Establishing a Sleeping Routine With Your Baby

lizzie79 By lizzie79, 11th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3kazchzb/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>New Mums

One of the biggest difficulties new parents face is getting enough sleep. Here is some information about establishing a sleep routine with your baby.

Overview

Having a baby can be tiring for new parents. In the initial stages of parenthood it is expected that you will have sleepless nights ahead of you. However, your baby will eventually get into a sleeping routine. Every baby is different and this happens at different stages with different babies and some babies naturally need more sleep than others. Also, some babies will naturally fall into a regular sleep pattern while others need some encouragement from their parents to do so. Often, new parents find getting their child into a sleeping pattern difficult to achieve. Here is a brief guide on the reasons why you should attempt to get your child into a sleeping routine and ways that you can achieve this.

Why Establish a Sleep Routine?

Well, one reason is your own sanity. Sleep deprivation over a long period of time will eventually affect your ability to cope and to complete simple daily tasks. If your child is not asleep, then neither are you. Your health will be affected if you are only getting a few hours of sleep at a time. It will also help you to plan your daily routines better. If there are set times when you know that it is likely that your baby will be asleep, then you can plan ahead to get some other jobs done or to catch up on some much needed sleep yourself. It will also benefit your baby if they are getting sleep in a regular pattern. Often babies can become cranky if they are overtired and if they have a routine, they learn what to expect from their day at different stages. The sooner the pattern is established, the quicker they will learn what to expect from their day.

Differentiating Between Day and Night

Babies can soon learn that different things happen at night and day if you make an obvious difference between the two for them. During the day your baby should be downstairs, or in the main living area if you live in a bungalow or flat, and have lots of interaction with their parents. During the night, they should be in their bedroom in a darker, quieter environment and should have little interaction with their parents. Although it can be difficult, try not to return the baby to their daytime environment once they have been put down for the night.

Establish a Routine

This may vary from one family to another and may depend on other factors such as work schedules and other children. However, once you have established your routine you should stick to it. Once your child recognizes the regular signs of what usually happens before they go to bed then they will begin to recognize the signs that it is their time for sleep. For example, give your baby a bath, change their clothes and then put them down for the night. Feeding before bed is important so that the child will not wake up hungry during the night.

Put Baby to Bed Awake

It is important that your baby gets used to going to bed awake or they will begin to expect you to nurse them to sleep every night before they go to bed and will also expect you to nurse them to sleep if they awake during the night. If your child learns to go to bed awake then they will get used to settling themselves. If they awake during the night and are not wet or hungry, then they can also settle themselves back to sleep again. This can be helped by making sure that they are not overly excited when they go to bed. If they are tired when you put them down then they should soon settle themselves.

Parents Know Best

As a parent you will come across a lot of conflicting advice and well meaning friends and family members will often try to tell you what to do with your baby. Have confidence in yourself and your role as a parent. You are the person who has spent the most amount of time with your child and you know them the best. You will know all their little habits and what they like and don't like. If you are happy with the way things are and feel that your routine is suiting you and your baby, then don’t feel that you have to do things the way that other people are telling you to do them.

Persevere

Establishing a sleeping routine with your baby will not happen overnight. Don’t expect to follow all the advice and for your baby to immediately establish a sleeping routine. It can take a while for this to happen. Don’t give up straight away just because the baby hasn’t immediately developed a sleeping pattern. Perseverance is key. Giving up and trying different things too quickly will confuse your baby and possibly delay them in developing a sleeping routine.

Be Realistic

Remember that you and your baby are individuals. What has worked for another parent may not necessarily work for you. Also, remember that some events in your baby’s life may disrupt their pattern and that they cannot be expected to maintain their sleeping pattern at certain times. Examples of these occasions include illness, teething and the evenings following vaccinations. Being prepared for your baby not sleeping on such occasions and being realistic about what to expect will help you to cope with looking after your child.

Tags

Babies, Babies And Sleep, Baby, Parenting, Sleep, Sleep Routine

Meet the author

author avatar lizzie79
I am a mum of four who has worked as a professional freelance writer for the past five years and formerly worked in education. I love to write about education, parenting, fashion, health, and travel.

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