Babies can give you a tough time with their sleep patterns. New born babies get up every few hours for a feed and sleep. Some are up for long hours at night whereas some sleep easily. As parents we are so much engrossed in their feeding and sleeping that we often overlook the simple mistakes that we keep making along the way. Keep in mind, the baby’s uninterrupted sleep is more important for a healthy growth of the body. Here are few mistakes that new mothers tend to make and ways how you can mend them.
Baby Sleep Mistake 1
Keeping your child awake for long
Mistake- With near and dear ones pouring in to pay a visit to you post-delivery, your baby’s sleep is disturbed. Also, with all the folding and touching while the baby is sleeping with intent to play with the baby and at times not, your baby can stay awake for more than necessary.
Mending- Even if your baby is happy playing with people around, you must not let the baby stay awake during the day for a prolonged period of time. Let the baby sleep in a separate room, away from the noise created outside. Newborns need to sleep for long hours for a healthy development of mind and body and proper growth.
Baby Sleep Mistake 2
Trying varied sleep strategies.
Mistake- Trying out different sleep plans for your baby will leave your baby irritated due to incomplete and interrupted sleep. Your sleep plan for the baby should coincide with the baby’s biological clock and should not come in way of her normal sleep hours.
Mending- Create a sleep pattern for your baby strategically distributing the sleep timing during the day and at night, fitting the baby’s feeding schedule and run the schedule with caretakers to make them familiar with the pattern. The plan created should be something the baby is comfortable with.
Baby Sleep Mistake 3
Mistake- If you are breast feeding your baby every time, including nights, chances are high that the baby will not sleep well and neither will you.
Mending- You may let your baby alternate between feeding from the bottle during the night and breastfeeding during the day. In the process, you will get some sleep during the night and your partner can also help the baby bottle feed the baby during the night. And the plus side of it is you baby get accustomed to bottle feeding before she starts weaning.
Baby Sleep Mistake 4
Feeding to put to Sleep
Mistake- If you have trained your baby in a way that sleep is followed by only food or milk, then she will not be able to sleep without being fed which might fall out of schedule. Also if the baby is put to sleep while breastfeeding or bottle feeding, weaning the baby will be a task.
Mending- Strike a balance between putting your baby to sleep after feeding and sleeping on her own without your intervention. If you have a schedule of putting your baby to sleep post feeding during the night, you may still continue doing so while you can let the baby sleep once during the day without feeding.
Baby Sleep Mistake 5
Mistake- Babies need a comfortable, familiar and warm environment to sleep. A noisy room or too bright room may get in the way of the baby’s sleep. Also some babies like mine, like to sleep in the room they sleep in everyday and thus, trying to put them to sleep in a new environment can be tough.
Mending- Create an environment that is comfortable for the baby to sleep well. An appropriate amount of brightness in the room would aid the secretion of sleep inducing hormone- melatonin while a very bright light may hamper the baby’s sleep. It is advisable to let the baby sleep in a room which appropriately exists in a place away from the commotion that occurs every day in the house while doing the chores.
Baby Sleep Mistake 6
Comparing a child’s sleep pattern with another
Mistake- Comparing your child’s sleep timing with another creates unnecessary anxiety. While you may hear a fellow mother stating her baby sleeps throughout the night while you are having a tough time at night. In reality, it might be a situation where the baby constantly needs pacifying during the night and is a light sleeper.
Mending- Each baby is different and so are their needs. And therefore, your baby’s sleep schedule should align with the natural pattern of sleep not in comparison with another.
Baby Sleep Mistake 7
Baby Crib can be Useful
Mistake- Forcing a crib on the baby during the first couple of months hoping for an uninterrupted sleep.
Mending- A crib should be introduced only after three months when the baby starts to stretch its hands and feet and has overcome being curled with against the mother during the first couple do months. Letting the baby sleep at an early stage in the crib can be frightening for the baby due to the ‘openness’.
Baby Sleep Mistake 8
Too high Expectations
Mistake- Parents often expect the baby’s sleep pattern to change overnight, resulting in misfit sleep schedules making the baby confused all along the way and hampering its sleep.
Mending- Be consistent and patient in your approach. If your baby has spent a lot of time following one particular schedule, an equal amount of time will be required for the baby to fit into another schedule. Thus, do not give up on one schedule and change in multiple times without giving some time for observation.
Baby Sleep Mistake 9
Mistake- Using sleeping aids for baby post six months.
Mending- Sleep props like pacifiers and swings are extremely helpful when the baby is less than six months old. Post six months, you do not need to aid the baby’s sleep with props. Once they start crawling, the props will no longer be needed to sleep.
As I always say, there are no rules for parenting but there are something which if avoided can help the mummy and the baby. However, each child is different and you might need to do something of the above to put them to sleep. Do not stress if this is the situation; you will be able to handle them in due course of time. After all, you are the super mummy!!!