New Baby, Sleepless Mommy : How to Make Babies Sleep More at Night

Babies are bundles of joy, they bring delight and thrill to every family. But it does not really matter if this is your first time or your third little one, because you will always find it really tough handling a newborn baby especially when it comes to adjusting to the rigors of staying practically the whole night to keep up with your newborn, who more often than not, prefer to sleep during daytime and sleeps less at night.

How long does newborn babies sleep?

Newborn babies sleep an average of 15 hours a day and as they grow older, the “awake time” gradually increases. The first 3 months of a baby’s life involves rapid growth and development that is why they need longer hours of sleeping time.

Newborn babies also have very small stomachs so they cannot store enough amount of milk satisfy them for longer hours. Feeding them frequently is necessary even when they are asleep. These newborn babies need to feed every 3 hours or even at a lesser interval. They have several waking times especially when they feel hungry and have the urge to feed. A newborn baby actually doesn’t know the difference between night and day so they can sleep longer either at night or during the day. The need to feed them every now and then becomes a hindrance for the parents in getting a good and restful night sleep.

How to guide a newborn to sleep more at night

A newborn baby sleeps more than 15 hours a day from birth up to the 3rd month of life. Newborn babies are said to be more inclined to sleeping in the day and they stay awake during the wee hours of the night, although a lot of them spend about 2/3 of their sleep time at night which is around 6 to 8 hours. The sleep during the nights involves waking up every 1 to 2 hours to feed which leaves the parents with exhausted due to sleepless nights.

Here are 3 easy and effective ways to help your newborn baby establish a good sleeping habit at night.
  1. Interact and play with your baby more during daytime – help your baby learn to differentiate day from night. As they grow a few days older, this technique is proven to become more effective. At day time, you don’t need to be very careful about the noise brought about by your daily house routine. If your newborn baby dozes off, then let him wake up on his own cue and never try to put him back to sleep by nursing or rocking him. Play and talk to him more to keep him awake as long as possible but at the same time, learn to understand your baby’s cue. If you see him rubbing his eyes, pulling his ears and when you notice him to be restless even after feeding time then it means he wants to sleep. Let him sleep on his own and don’t try to rock him or nurse him if you think he is still full. This way, you are also teaching your baby a very good and healthy sleeping habit at a very early age.
  2. Establish an effective daily sleeping routine – Ambiance is very important. The baby’s room should be kept calm and silent during sleeping time. The light should be soft and dim to help your baby settle down during the night. Singing a lullaby or talking softly to your baby will help him to ease down and finally help him sleep. A gentle massage is also quite effective. Rocking and nursing to put a baby to sleep is a widely practiced but experts strongly advice that this will not do well in training your baby to have a good sleep habit. It is believed that you should start young and as the baby grows older, this practice will become more difficult to get rid of.
  3. Help your newborn baby associate sleep time with night time – When you develop the practice of interacting with your baby at day more than at night, your baby will come to realize that day time is play time and that at night he should be sleeping. If he wakes up from sleep at night, avoid playing with him and by this way, he will come to realize that night time is sleeping time.

To all awesome mommies reading this post, do you have something to add to my list?

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