New parents often find that sleep deprivation
goes hand in hand with new parenthood, and all too often, parents need
to find different methods to get baby to sleep soundly through
the night. While newborns typically sleep 16 or more hours daily, this
time is often broken up into two hour intervals. This means a disruption
in sleep for parents. There are quite a few methods to try that may
solve the problem of continual wake times throughout each night.
Establish a Schedule
Even if your baby is on an on-demand breast feeding schedule, it is possible to get a routine in place that will help to make a more cogent sleeping schedule for both you and your baby. Make a bed time that is reasonable for you and the baby. Have a soothing ritual in place. For example, after bath time, start winding down. Keep televisions, radios and other things that create noise down low. As soon as your pediatrician condones it, give your baby a small teaspoon of cereal with the last feeding. This can help to keep hunger pangs from waking the baby up at night.
Have a Separate Bed
Do not share your bed at night with the baby, no matter how young he is. This will make it much harder not only to get the baby to sleep throughout the night, but it will also be difficult to wean him from this habit.
The initial sleep schedule pattern may begin as erratic, however, in time, a much more consistent schedule will occur as your baby relaxes into a routine and his system begins to mature. During this time, the baby will also go longer in between feedings which will extend night sleep time. Keep to the schedule as much as possible. The less disruptive your child's life is, the more easily he will adapt to a schedule which will make things easier for you as a parent.
While regular naps are very important, ensure that they are not too lengthy. Letting a child of any age sleep too much during the day is a recipe for extended wakefulness at night, which will make it nearly impossible to establish a bed time. It is also disruptive to growth rhythms which can be unhealthy for the baby. Make a consistent nap time and wake the baby after an hour or two. Adjust the time if needed later. Usually, the older the baby is, the less time he needs for a nap.
Make Bed Time Fun
Cuddle with your baby in a rocking chair. Make bed time interesting by reading, singing or choosing soothing music to play. The baby may soon learn to associate this routine with sleep and as he gets older, may look forward to it. Choose the same bedtime music each night and consider letting it play softly for an extended time.
It takes time for your new baby to adapt to the world. An all night sleeping schedule is a part of that process.