Setting a Routine and Reclaiming your Sleep

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One of the most difficult things that new parents struggle through is the lack of sleep from many night time interruptions of caring for a waking new born baby. Whether this is your first child or your third, you never quite remember the level of fatigue that comes along with those cute little babies. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help your baby sleep for longer periods ensuring you also get the rest that you need. 

Double Bracket: Until you have a dry diaper in the morning, do not expect a dry bed.  Your child must be ready.

Although it does not really feel like it, typically a baby will (or at least should) get a total of 14 hours of sleep. This number can be a bit deceptive as this includes their naps and actual bedtime. Thankfully, babies at this age are very capable of sleeping for long stretches. They will typically have about 3 naps. One of these naps will take place in the morning, another in the afternoon, and a final one in early evening. This is the average, but your child may be an exception. Maybe they have one long nap around midday, or only have 2 longer naps with one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. 


A baby may start to sleep through the night, about 8 straight hours. This is good news because this means that your baby has learned how to comfort themselves back to sleep. However, it is normal if your baby still wakes up for nighttime feedings. The baby is generally ready for night weaning at this point, as most babies generally do not wake up because they are hungry.


At this point, if your child is not yet sleeping through the night you can begin sleep training. Sleep training can help your child sleep get to bed easier and for sleep for a longer time at night. This can be difficult at this age, as separation anxiety is an important milestone that occurs around this time. They will wake up and notice that their loved ones are not around. Generally seeing you will help comfort them back to sleep. A child may also have difficulties sleeping because they have so many new skills and they really just want to use them all. Sleeping just gets in the way of that. A final reason for sleeping issues is the dreaded teething time. Understandably, your child is in a lot of pain at this time. There may be other reasons for your baby having trouble sleeping, but these are the most common issues.


To get your child to sleep better, sleep training is important. To sleep train your child, you will first need to set up a good bedtime routine. This routine can be something simple. One example of a good routine is to give your child a bath, reading to them, and then putting them to bed. This should be done on a consistent schedule. This does not have to be the same exact time, but as long as you are in the same time area. Another tip is to make sure that you encourage your baby to fall asleep on their own. By following these simple tips, you may be on the way to more sleep.


However hard it is when you baby wakes in the night keep cuddling and fussing to a minimum.  Ensure that basic needs are met such as a clean dry diaper and a feed if still necessary but then straight back to bed.  If your baby continues to cry it is important to go to them so they see you and are reassured you are there, but once they realize that you are not going to give fun and attention at that time of the night they will understand that crying is not worthwhile and learn to soothe themselves back to sleep.  

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