Contented Sleep For Your New Baby
Contented Sleep For Your New Baby
Andrea Grace, child sleep specialist demonstrates to VideoJug users how to solve those baby sleeping problems with these baby sleeping tips to stop your baby from crying and create contented sleep for your new baby.
Step 1: Establish feeding
In the early weeks, sleep is very closely associated and dependent on feeding. When she's really tiny, your new baby will tend to live life in a milky, dozy state. It is quite usual and absolutely fine to feed her every 2-3 hours. Little babies like to take their time over their feeds – it is not at all unusual for a baby to spend an hour or more over one breast feed….and if you are bottle feeding; do not necessarily expect a new born baby to glug down a bottle of milk like a baby lamb. If your baby wants to take her time; let her go at her own pace.
There is a trend these days to put even very tiny babies onto a strict feeding schedule. This kind of advice, whilst well meant often puts lots of pressure on a new parent, and can make new babies fretful and unsettled. The fact is that if you are breast feeding, you have to feed on demand for the first 6 to 8 weeks in order to establish your supply of milk. Equally, many bottle fed babies, when they are tiny, will need to feed little and often. My advice is to go with the flow and for the first couple of months, respond lovingly to your new baby's own internal feeding timetable.
After the age of 8 weeks, when your baby is stronger; feeding has become nicely established and provided she is gaining weight; you can begin to lengthen the period between feeds. At this stage you can consider aiming for a 3 to 4 hourly feeding schedule. But remember, this is not the law of the land. If you feel that your baby is hungry, then feed her. Don't worry – you're not spoiling her!
Step 2: Build a trusting relationship
Bonding is a word that seems to have gone out of fashion these days. New mothers are put under so much pressure to have the perfect routine and the perfectly behaved baby, that time for holding, comforting and cuddling a small baby can seem at times like an over indulgence.
In the first few weeks, your baby needs cuddles. Don't forget that until very recently that she was held firmly in the warmth and comfort of the inside of your body! The last thing she needs is to be left on her own and left to cry in an effort to sleep train her.
In these early weeks, comforting your baby when she is crying, by rocking her in your arms will not lead her into bad habits. Holding your baby close to you for long periods is a lovely thing to do, and it will lay the foundations for a trusting, loving relationship.
Some babies need to be rocked to sleep. If your baby is one of them you should only allow this in the early weeks.
The time for teaching a baby how to settle to sleep by herself is from around 8 weeks old.
Step 3: Create the perfect sleeping environment
Even when a baby is very small, she will recognise different levels of light and noise which eventually set her internal body clock. You can help this process along by deliberately emphasising the difference between night and day.
• Keep her cot in your room.
• Keep her warm and cosy but avoid over heating her. Room temperature should be around 18 degrees Celsius
• Don't over fill the cot with toys. Just one or two safe familiar objects are all that is needed.
Step 4: Start a bedtime routine
The single most effective and important thing that you can do to help your baby sleep well is to establish a great bedtime routine. The best routine provides a familiar series of steps leading up to bedtime and sleep. Each of these steps will in time become a mini sleep trigger for your baby.
• Begin your routine shortly before you know your baby is ready for sleep.
• Take everything that you need for the night with you, to avoid having to come back into the living area.
• Follow a familiar bed time “script” by using similar phrases and actions at key points during the routine.
• Bath every night unless there are genuine reasons why you can't. Sing the same “action” song in the bath each night.
• Go directly to your