How to Give Your Baby a Restful Night

Many parents are exuberant about the birth of their baby, but may become frustrated as they adjust to late night feedings sleepless nights. It is good to note that the medical definition for ‘sleeping through the night’ is having five hours of sleep between 12am and 6am so don’t be too worried, if your child wake up every 3 to 4 hours.

There are many resources available to help, including books like The No-Cry Sleep Solution; The No-Cry Nap Solution; The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Sleep Longer, for both newborns and babies over four months which give various techniques, from which you can see which will work best for your family. There are also a few things you can do to help your baby sleep longer at night.

  • Allow your baby to sleep a maximum of four hours between feedings during the daytime. Wake him/her up after this time. Always remember to pace yourself and don’t be too adamant about this at first, especially in the first few days after labour.
  • Keep voices low and minimize noise during the night, and use less eye contact when feeding the baby as this stimulates him/ her into wakefulness. Play and sing with your baby during waking hours so your baby is tired when put to bed at night.
  • White light triggers the brain to think it is morning, so use a red night light, as this will also help your newborn’s circadian rhythms.

Many newborns sleep longer in the daytime, than in the night and this is normal, so you need to slowly adjust to your baby’ sleep patterns and not tear your hair out wondering how to help your baby sleep through the night. It may be tiresome, but many babies do not fall asleep quickly after waking during the night as feeding may take between five and fifteen minutes, and it may take up to an hour before the baby becomes tired again. Even babies who begin to sleep through the night at six weeks may begin waking more regularly in a few months when teething, if sick or when having a growth spurt.

Use this simple help aids, follow the advice given in the books recommended above, and try to rest while your baby is resting and simply relax and enjoy parenthood.