Helpful advice on settling your newborn baby down to sleep.
On average, babies sleep for 18 hours a day when they first arrive. This may seem like a lot, but they grow out of it, and a routine can be established from around six weeks. Your baby might, however, not be good at settling down straight away, and you may be kept awake throughout the night while they try to create a sleeping pattern for themselves.
But don’t worry, the sleepless nights will eventually stop as it is a phase that doesn’t last long. Babies usually nap all through the day and still sleep for long periods at night, although they do still wake up for their feed. There may be some nights when you’re not disturbed, but there may be somewhere you get no sleep, and this is due to your baby’s early brain development.
Know when to put them down to sleep
When you notice your baby getting tired, don’t ignore it. If you leave it too long, they may become overtired, making it harder for you to get them to sleep. Also try to get your baby used to their own bed, the more times you let them fall asleep in your arms or your bed, the more they become accustomed to it, making it difficult to put them in their own bed.
Let them know the difference between night and day
When getting them up for the day, make sure there is a lot of natural daylight, change them and give them a bath or get them dressed. This allows them to get into a routine and know it is time to be awake.
When getting them to sleep, try singing to them gently or putting a programme on that is calming. Also, close the curtains and create a night time atmosphere with a lamp on, this will let them know it is time to sleep.
Lay your baby down awake
Getting your baby to sleep by rocking them or singing will get them used to this, and when you don’t do it, they will feel unsettled. The best way is to put them down awake, so they learn to fall asleep on their own. You could also use a baby mobile that sings as you can play that every night.
At first, this is all trial and error; however, babies will gradually fall into a routine, and the rule is to be consistent.
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