Understanding your babies sleep pattern is one complex issue. A major question that most parents ask is about how to get the baby to sleep well particularly during the night. Most parents suffer sleepless nights but there is a definitely a way out of this nightmare.
Develop a rhythm
Your little one sleeps for over 16 hours each day. The sleeping slot each day is divided into stretches and short naps. During the early months, the sleep schedule is extremely erratic but as the baby grows, this schedule will turn more consistent. When the baby is 3 months old, it will sleep for 5 hours at a stretch but by the age of 6 months, he or she can also sleep as long as 9-12 hours.
Encourage healthy sleeping habits
During early months your little one will definitely get up in the middle of the night to feed but with passage of time you can consider implementing these tips for a better sleep habit:
• Day time activities- Engage your baby in activities like talking, singing, playing etc. Day time stimulation will result in better night sleep.
• Consistent bedtime activities- Try bathing, cuddling, singing or playing with baby before setting him or her to sleep. This will help the baby associate these bedtime activities with falling off to sleep.
• Settling time- babies cry and fuss a little before they finally fall off to sleep. Stroking and comforting the baby will help.
• Pacifier- Pacifier can help the baby sleep better. So add one to the sleep routine. In fact studies suggest that using a pacifier while the baby sleeps can reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome.
• Stirring at night- Babies continue to move even when they are asleep. Most often they wriggle, twitch, squirm and make noises while sleeping. Just check if your babies hungry or uncomfortable but before that wait for a few minutes to see if he or she again goes back to sleep.
• Low-key nighttime care- Whenever your baby gets up in the night for feeding or a change, use soft sounds and dim lights to reflect on the fact that its night and the time to sleep. Any vigorous activity will put your little one up and ready to play.
• Sharing the same bed is a no-no- Don’t share your baby’s bed as this will make it difficult for him or her to fall asleep all by self. Bed sharing also heightens the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. If you want your baby close to you then it’s best to place the baby bed in your bedroom.
• Baby’s preference- Some babies are early birds while many night owls. If you’re 3 month old likes getting up early then settle your schedule as per his or her waking hours. Adjust routines based on the baby’s natural pattern.
Helping your baby sleep well is good for you and also for your baby, but it’s not a forced measure. A baby’s mind is tuned to its requirements and understanding what your baby wants will definitely lead to sound sleeping patterns.