Is a baby sleep schedule the way to go or will I just wing it each day?
Baby Sleep Schedule
It's important that as parents, you make the decisions around your baby sleep schedule that feel right for you.
Expectations differ between families, cultures and countries and there is no rule other than you choose how you make the sleep decision that suits you.
I believe that little babies need to be with their mothers and whether you choose co-sleeping or a baby crib is very much your own choice.
However, I am asked often to help mothers with baby sleep schedules for infants that sleep in cots or cribs.
Baby Sleep Schedule -
Do you realize that babies need to be taught how to go to sleep?
Sleep begets sleep
The more baby sleeps the more baby will sleep!.
This very sound piece of advice was given to me not long after my firstborn arrived. A very wise woman explained to me that little babies very quickly suffer from fatigue induced anxiety caused by being overtired.
She suggested that I should think clearly about how over tiredness manifests for me. Easy! I was exhausted and this meant huge trouble relaxing enough to let go and fall asleep. Yes, she said to me - just like your tiny baby when she is kept awake for too long.
This was like a revelation to me and together we watched my little one to detect her sleeping patterns. It soon became clear that being awake for an hour and a half was about her limit. I would feed her, change her, and place her on a rug for bare bottom time, followed by some tummy time to strengthen her.
After some quiet loving play together, she would begin to show tired signs such as screwing her face up, making fists of her hands, little grizzling sounds, becoming more restless. Then I would swaddle her firmly and place her in her crib for her next sleep.
This became our baby sleep schedule with her awake periods becoming longer as she grew. The more she slept, the more she slept, which meant the more I could too!
Understanding that sleep begets sleep helped me to change my attitude toward baby sleep habits.
Baby Sleep Schedule -
Teaching your baby to sleep is also about maintaining a consistent routine or schedule.
Parents and babies move around today with much more ease because of movable baby car seats such as cocoons, and because of expectations among other parents. This makes it far more difficult to schedule regular sleeping times when your baby sleeps in the crib or cot.
Frequently, babies have their sleep times while driving in the car between activities. Babies become accustomed to being lulled to sleep through the car noise and movement, and learn to need that rather than learning to settle themselves in their beds. Sleeping in the car also encourages short, or spasmodic sleeping periods.
A baby sleep schedule which includes some solid at home time in your daily activities will encourage a more consistent routine of sleeping for your baby.
Baby Sleep Schedule -
Will my baby sleep all night and from when?
Will Baby Sleep All Night?
A baby sleep schedule is also tied into baby's feeding schedule.
Breastfed babies, who are fed very frequently, often only snack instead of having a full feed. The hind milk which is produced later in the breastfeed has more fat content. This means that the baby feels more full than when just feeding on the less fat fore milk.
Aim for longer, fuller feeds, rather than many short ones, as this encourages the baby to sleep longer. Formula fed babies will often take much more in their evening feeding as they gear up toward a longer sleeping time.
I have to confess that I loved feeding my little babies in the wee hours. The stillness of a sleeping house, and the valuable quiet time alone with each little one, was very precious. My expectation is that little babies need to be fed during the night and that as they grow, their sleeping times will grow with them.Baby Sleeping Habits Did you know that babies can be taught how to go to sleep?
Baby Sleep Sacks Read more here
Baby sleep problems can feel insurmountable at times. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and can create very real problems for some new parents.
I would encourage you to seek professional help if this is your experience.
for the under 3's.