Sleep challenges are nor always easy to solve and sometimes need out of the box solutions. In this article I share some challenges and solutions I have encountered as a Certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant. I hope you learn a few things.
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You are a new parent and are having trouble with sleep. Your not alone, sleepless nights in the first few months are normal but there are a few ways you can help create a better routine for your baby. I don’t generally start working with families until their little one is at least 4 months (adjusted). This is when babies will start to string sleep cycles together as weight gain has been established and risk of SIDS has started to reduce.
Here are some Tips:
- Work on Healthy Sleep Habits
- Keep wake times short those under 4 months …. (45 minutes to 1.15 hours)
- Put baby to sleep awake but drowsy
- Try to limit the feeding to sleep. Move the last feeding before bedtime to earlier in the bedtime routine.
- Create short routines throughout the day. Wake, eat, play. This creates a pattern that you will find easy to reproduce over and over again.
- Around 2 months start to create “day and night distinction".
- Day (7 am - 7 pm) happy cheerful voice, lots of light, change to daytime outfit (this can just be clean Pj’s)
- Night (7 pm - 7 am) calm, dark, quiet.
- Start a short soothing bedtime/nap time routine. This is more for the parents at this stage but helps create the relaxed environment conducive to sleep.
- Asking for help at night is okay. Split the night and take shifts. You wake to feed and your partner deals with the other waking but do what works for your family.
- New borns will typically sleep 16 - 17 hours in a 24 hour period.
It’s really hard with young babies not to compare your child's sleep with others the same age, live your reality and don't feel unnecessary pressure to get your baby to sleep through the night. Once your baby reaches 4 - 6 months they should be able to get 8-12 hours stretches. Sleep is a really big deal for most new parents. Take the time and ask for help when you feel ready.
I'm always happy to help
Tips to help parents get a little much needed rest.