Baby sleep problems are usually focused on getting the baby to sleep in the early days of new parenting. Most mums, especially new ones, are always eager to enjoy the first few weeks at home with their newborn baby. Doctors usually advise mothers to ensure that they feed babies on demand for proper nutrition of the baby.
Sometimes babies get so upset due to these problems that they end up crying every one to two hours throughout the day or night. This greatly gets mums exhausted, feeling ill due to the lack of sleep themselves. These kinds of baby sleep problems are mostly common in newborns as a result of bad sleep routines.
Eliminating Baby Sleep Problems
The most important needs of babies apart from love are sleep and food. Newborns need 16 to 20 hours of sleep on an average. An undeniable fact also is that babies need to feed every few hours, which ends up disrupting the sleep cycles. However, it is entirely possible to have healthy babies without sleep problems once they are about 6 to 7 weeks old. There are some general top tips that help in eliminating and preventing baby sleep problems, and therefore, giving parents the much needed rest and peace of mind. These tips include:
- Always put babies in their own cots to sleep, ensuring that the room in which they sleep is dark. Babies tend to get used to there cots, which makes it a problem for them to be able to fall asleep in other locations.
- Babies should be gently woken up from their sleep if they have been sleeping too much during the day. For example, by loosening the swaddle and softly talking to them, or opening the curtains. When babies sleep too much during the day they definitely have baby sleep problems during the nighttime.
- Parents sometimes reduce the baby’s intake of milk too quickly. This causes babies to feel hungry on more regular basis, and therefore waking them up more at night.
- Parents should make sure that their babies are fed very well within right timings during the day; otherwise they will end up waking up more often at night out of hunger.
- “Startle reflex” is another cause of baby sleep problems in newborns. New babies fall asleep easily by firm swaddling; otherwise they wake up themselves by getting startled just like that without cause or by even the slightest sounds.
- A baby needs to learn how to settle back into a sleep after half-awakenings during sleep cycles at night. If the baby wakes up when he’s not needing to feed, parents should try to settle them by petting and talking to them gently, rather than picking them up and cuddling them to sleep . This gradually makes babies learn that they can get back to sleep again without needing the parents help.
Solving Baby Sleep Problems by Helping 6 month Olds to Settle
- Wrapping the baby firmly but not tightly, covering their hands to make sure they don’t catch themselves in the face while sleeping.
- Placing babies on their side in the cots so that they are looking away from their parents in order to avoid eye contact.
- Gently patting babies on their back or bottom to help them, drift into a sleep when they are uneasy.If babies suddenly wake up from a sleep and do not show any signs of settling down even after 15 minutes, picking them and giving them a cuddle would be a good idea to calm them down and make them fall asleep. However, it should be made sure that they are not rocked, because this is what needs to be avoided.
- Once the baby is soundly asleep, he can be rolled onto his back gently and the wrap can be loosened.
Solving Baby Sleep Problems by Teaching 6 to 12 month Olds to Settle
- The baby should be laid on his back in the cot, and the room should be left for 2 minutes. When babies realize that they are alone they tend to fall asleep. If they don’t settle down even after 2 minutes then parents can go back in.
- The baby should be rolled on to his side to face away from the parents. The bottom or upper thigh should be gently patted to give the baby a soothing effect to make him relax and feel sleepy.
- Sometimes even after 10 minutes the drill of trying to make babies fall asleep fails and they instead get irritable and start crying. In such cases parents need to pick the babies up and cuddle them to clam them down (making sure they are not rocking the baby to sleep). Once they have calmed down, the process can be repeated of getting the baby to relax and feel sleepy again.
It maybe noticed that the child’s crying peaks at a point and then tails off, until eventually babies get settled themselves and fall asleep successfully. Following these routines and tips helps eliminate baby sleep problems within just three to ten days, enabling babies to put themselves back to sleep if their sleep is interrupted.