Is your newborn hosting a party at his crib every night around 3am? And you’re the sleepless, cranky guest of honor? You might be wondering why your baby likes to party all night and sleep all day. First, let me tell you that it completely normal for a newborns’ sleeping pattern to be off from yours.
If you can think back to just a few weeks ago when that little miracle was still inside you, you will remember that he did the same thing then. All day while you were working or at school, he was pretty calm because all of your moving around kept him rocked to sleep. He was cozy in his “waterbed” swaying back and forth as you walking around doing your normal activity. And then as soon as you stopped to rest and kick your feet up, your little one decided to start kicking and having a good time in there usually keeping you from being able to sleep. Well, he is doing the same thing now, on the same rhythm as when you were pregnant. But don’t worry, it doesn’t last forever and there are some tips, tricks and safety notes that can help you turn your nocturnal infant into a happy night time sleeper.
Tip #1: Start a bedtime routine early, as soon as he is born preferably. Typically bed time routines are bottle, bath, story, cuddle, and crib. Be consistent with your routine, doing everything at approximately the same time each night, same order, and same way.
Tip #2: Swaddle your baby to keep him asleep. Swaddling is a trick that goes back to Biblical times. It is when you wrap your baby in a receiving blanket, tucking his legs and arms in the blanket snuggly. This position reminds your baby of when he was in your womb and is comforting for him.
Tip #3. Start showing your baby the difference between night and day. Day time means open blinds and curtains, light and sunshine, noise and activities. Night time should be calm, quite, dimmer, and less active.
Tip #4: Start learning your baby’s sleep cues. Remember most babies under 2 months old cannot stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time. Don’t try to keep him up longer thinking he will sleep longer at night. You will make him over tired and it could be harder to get him to sleep. When he is showing signs of being sleepy let him sleep.
Safety NOTE#1: Always put your baby to sleep on his back. This is proven to be the safest way for baby to sleep.
Hopefully, these tips help. Keep in mind there is light at the end of this exhausting sleepless tunnel. Most babies begin to sleep in stretches of 8 to 12 hours at night somewhere between 5 to 6 months old. Sweet dreams are on their way, Mom.
(Information adapted from http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-basics-birth-to-3-months_7654.bc)