One of the biggest challenges of parenthood is managing sleep for your newborn. If the baby is having trouble sleeping through the night leaves mom and dad sleep-deprived too.
Sleeping almost 20 hours a day in a womb does not mean that the baby will continue to sleep that long after birth as well.
Normally, newborns do not have a sleep schedule for the first several months after birth, but you can surely keep them on a bedtime routine with proper strategy and patience.
As a parent, you must try to follow a schedule with your newborn right from the beginning. This certainly does not mean you sleep train a newborn with the cry-it-out or leave-the-room methods. It is too early for that. Newborns need to sleep, eat, and poop, and everything happens at very short intervals for the first several weeks.
There are several reasons your baby is having sleep problems or having trouble sleeping through the night.
Well, first things first, for new parents, you have to know that sleep deprivation is a real deal with newborns. The biggest favor you can do yourself during that time is DO NOT STRESS OVER BEING SLEEP DEPRIVED.
Just be mentally ready about that phase of parenthood. Nature’s way is preparing moms for sleep deprivation starts during pregnancy when moms won’t sleep due to frequent bathroom trips or a huge belly.
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Baby sleep problems
Now let’s get to know how you can help your baby sleep through the night by identifying what could be her sleep problem.
Despite all that feedings during the night, your baby might not be sleeping through the night and wakes up more frequently, especially when your baby is breastfeeding. Once you wean her off from breastfeeding, baby sleep habits will improve drastically.
According to my experience, several sleep mistakes you may want to rule out for your baby sleep issues.
1. Tummy is Not full
This is a prevalent reason for your baby to wake up due to an empty stomach. Breastmilk digests within 60 to 90 minutes, whereas formula-fed babies sleep a little longer.
Some moms choose to formula feed at night so they could have another hour of sleep for their sanity, and babies could sleep better too. Using a formula at night could also solve sleep problems for good eaters and get hungry every hour.
Babies sleep while eating and then wake up after half an hour. this happens when your baby does not really eat well and falls asleep because she may be too tired or too hungry. Doctor suggest to undress your baby (just leaving the diaper on) and then feed 15 to 20 minutes each side (if breastfeeding) and then add 2 oz to 4 oz more for top feed.
Just be sure that your baby ate well before sleeping and burped before you lay her down.
2. The temperature might be too high or low
If you have a nursery set up for your newborns or toddlers, the temperature should be moderately cool so that they could sleep well through the night.
If your baby is wearing fleece onesie and your room is not too cold then it might get too warm for the baby at night or vice versa.
You have to make sure they are not too warm or not too cold during the night.
You have to keep the temperature and the baby’s clothes fabric in mind.
The ideal temperature for babies is 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Crib or bassinet are placed close to a vent
My son never liked his bassinet and crib, and one of the main reasons for having sleep problems. His crib was placed close to the vent, and it just did not work. However, I made sure that her crib should not be close to the vent for my daughter, and she did relatively much better sleeping in her crib.
With that said, if your baby is waking up feeling cold at night make sure to change crib placement.
4. Swaddling or no swaddling
Swaddling is a great thing to do with babies. It is a very common practice by moms.
As a new mom and a learner, I did not follow swaddling very religiously.
Do not take my advice on this – but I have used blankets for both of my kids. My son co-slept, and I always had a blanket.
Ensure that you swaddle your baby every night for the first several weeks to establish a good sleeping habit.
For newborn babies, check out these Swaddlers. However, you can use sleep sacks for a few months old babies.
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT USE ANY BLANKETS OR PILLOWS IN BABIES CRIBS. It has a
Read more about Mommy’s mistakes with newborns.
You might want to read about healthy things you want to know about newborns if you are expecting one.
5. Too few layers or too many layers
Too many layers for your baby at night is not a good idea if you have a central air-conditioner and heating system, depending on the climate of where you live – keep the baby’s clothing layers suitable.
If you live in a warmer region with less access to electricity or air conditioners, you need to keep your baby in a very light, thin layer of clothing.
Keep babies’ feet covered during winters. However, in colder climates, you may have to use a hat. Hats may slip away at night, resulting in interrupted sleep for the baby. For that reason, you must use a no-slip hat.
Although the hat is essential for a newborn, try to avoid it at night only if you have a temperature of more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Night-time clothes
Using buttoned onesies for bedtime make babies feel cold at night. Ideally, you should use zip onesies.
Zip sleep and play onesie is a great clothing item to buy for babies because it will keep your baby packed, and they feel more comfortable while asleep
7. Your baby might be too sensitive to noise
When babies are tired, they want to sleep wherever they can sleep anywhere, even with loud music. It’s just that THEY NEED TO SNOOZE.
You might have wondered just like I did. Why is my baby waking up just after a good 20 minutes sleep to a floor cracking sound?
Just like my kids, there must be some other babies who are super responsive to any sounds, even while they are asleep. They could not sleep better and keep waking up what moms got to do when they have to get chores done and wait for kids to fall asleep.
The moment you step on the floor, your floor cracking sound is so lethal that it could wake your baby up or get uncomfortable at night or during a daytime nap.
You have to wake up, hold your baby, nurse again, and then wait for getting her to be in a deep sleep. Either way, you are worse off. You cannot do anything when you need to do some laundry or get your dishes done.
Using Sound Machine
I would highly recommend you to get a noise machine.
A lot of moms swear by using the sound machine for their babies to sleep during the day or night, that could solve the baby’s sleep problems significantly. It could minimize loud noises of household chores and your baby could sleep longer and better.
This one is perfect for traveling, compact, portable and, pretty much works on the outlets almost everywhere.
8. Your baby might be Overtired
If your baby is too tired, she going to take time going to sleep. And if she does sleep, she is more vulnerable to wake up in a few minutes after sleeping and keep waking up.
Gently massaging an overtired baby could help sleep her better. Use coconut or olive oil to massage baby at night for a more comfortable sleep.
9. Need to burp
Most likely your baby would wake up due to gas issues. For the first several weeks, the baby needs to burp after each feed.
The best way is to have baby burp before putting him to sleep. Otherwise, the baby keeps waking up for a need to burp. Sometimes the baby has burped already; she is still going to wake up due to more gas issues – meaning needs to burp more.
Is your baby having frequent gas issues, learn how to relieve gas issues for babies.
I highly discourage cry-it-out for at least six months. Babies communicate by crying, and that’s the only language they know at this point. Sometimes a baby is crying due to acid reflux, and it could get fatal if not attended properly.
Read more about reasons your baby might be crying.
10. Diaper leak
Diaper leak is the most common reason for wake-ups. Few diaper brands cause leakage and have babies wet, due to wet clothes babies tend to feel cold that’s why they wake up
I was using a different diaper brand for my son other than pampers and every night he woke up to a leak.
Boys tend to leak more often thus, adjusting their penis downwards while changing diapers could minimize the leaks to a considerable extent.
Put on a dry diaper every night before putting your baby to sleep. If your baby diaper over-soak and tend to leak more frequently at night, you got to go a
11. Dirty diaper
Your baby keeps waking up if you missed changing a dirty diaper when you just changed a while ago.
There are chances, your few months old baby is trying to sleep on her own and she keeps waking up. Despite a full tummy, her diaper needs to be changed. Dirty diaper could be one of the reasons she is not going in a deep sleep.
Read more about how to minimize baby’s diaper blowouts.
Last but not least, sickness could be one of the main sleep problems your baby might have. She could not breathe better due to the congested nasal passage, or she might be running a fever. You need to monitor that too.
Read more about how to deal with baby’s sickness and discomforts.
13. Your baby might be sleeping during the daytime instead of night
This is a very common problem when babies sleep during the day and stay awake at night.
You have to make a clear distinction between the day and night once you are home with the baby after hospital discharge.
Keep day time noisy and nights calm.
Days brighter with more natural light coming through the windows and night dark, calm. Eventually, once your baby gets this day and night difference, it will be much easier.
No matter how tempting it may sound, do not respond if your baby is in the mood to talk at night. Even for nighttime feedings, keep a night light and do not brighten up the room. The nighttime feel has to be consistently practiced.
14. Baby wants to sleep on your chest
Some babies want to sleep on the chest or they would Co-sleep. The moment you put them down in the crib or bassinet, they would wake up.
My son was like that when he was in his infancy stage. Although I co-slept for 2.5 years and then transitioned on his toddler bed still I it wasn’t tough as I anticipated. The transition went much smoother.
If your baby does not want to sleep in her crib or she just wants to be snuggled, do not stress and go with the flow. Eventually, your baby is going to sleep on her own, however, it may take more time for you.
Let me know in the
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