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Post Childbirth: Baby’s Sleep

Baby sleeping

Most of the time it will feel like you’ve just gotten your little one off to sleep before he’s crying again. Newborns can sleep for around 16 or 17 hours a day but, unfortunately for you, this is broken at regular intervals and they typically wake up around every 2 to 4 hours. This period of their development doesn’t last long but it can feel like an age when you’re so exhausted!

Try to sleep when he’s sleeping. Wear comfortable clothes throughout the day so that you can more easily drop off when you need.

You’ll be pleased to hear that somewhere around 6 to 8 weeks most little ones begin to sleep for shorter amounts during the day and longer stretches at night. They also begin to sleep more deeply.

Then at some point between 4 and 6 months, most babies are able to sleep for around 8 to 12 hours at night. Yey!

Helping To Establish Good Sleeping Habits
Some little ones have trouble getting off or they wake during the night into toddlerhood. That’s why it’s very important to do all you can to encourage good sleep habits from the outset. For example:Mother and baby 3

  • Learn to read his tiredness signs – if you put him down before he’s tired, he may be restless and slow to sleep. Is he tugging at his ear, rubbing his eyes or being fussy? If you spot these or any other sleepy signals, try putting him down. Before long you’ll pick up your baby’s sleepy signs and be able to respond to them.
  • Begin to teach him the distinction between night and day – when he’s awake during the day keep the house and his nursery light and bright and interact with him as much as possible. Avoid minimising everyday noises like music, the phone or the hoover. If he has a tendency to sleep through feeding, try waking him up. In the evening, don’t play with him when he wakes up and keep noise levels and the lighting low. Don’t talk to him too much. All this encourages him to realise that night-time is sleep-time.
  • Think about a bedtime routine – such as singing a lullaby, getting him changed or kissing him goodnight.
  • Consider giving him a chance to fall asleep on his own – this is a controversial issue and you really have to make up your own mind in the end. Some authors and mothers believe that encouraging a baby to ‘cry it out’ or soothe themselves to sleep helps to encourage calmness and good habits in the long run, while others believe soothing their baby to sleep is natural and effective. Ultimately you need to think it through, talk about it with your partner and decide what you think is best.