Updated: Mar 22
Creating a sleep routine will help everyone
Sleeping is crucial for both your baby and you. A good sleep routine will set your baby up for a lifetime of healthy sleep habits. This can be difficult, especially if you are a new parent and you’re not sure what to expect from your little one. The article offers information on how to get your baby to sleep, even when they don’t want to. It also provides tips for soothing their fussing or crying.
Why sleep is important?
Is this really a question? Sleep is important for both your baby AND you.
Studies show that "on average, each new parent loses a staggering 109 minutes of sleep every night for the first year after having a baby. So, if you have two parents in the household, that’s 218 minutes a night!" That's like watching "Titanic" every night, in the middle of the night! I's sure Leo and Kate are appealing, but no one is THAT appealing!
Starting your new bundle of joy (and insomniac apparently) on a good sleep routine will set your baby up for great sleep habits. And, setting the little one up for some healthy sleeping will definitely get your head back on your pillow and into DreamLand.
Getting your baby to sleep
A good sleep routine is crucial for both your baby and you. It’s important to establish healthy habits early on, which can be more difficult when you are new parents and don’t know what to expect from your unpredictable little one. It’s not always easy getting a baby to sleep. It takes a ton of patience and learning and understanding their needs.
Here are some tips on how to get your baby to sleep:
- Establish a bedtime routine with whispers, cuddles, and plenty of light kisses
- Use white noise or classical or light jazz music
- Hold them upright when they need help falling asleep
- Swaddle them tightly but comfortably
- Try using pacifiers and/or a favorite sleep doll
- Soothing their fussing or crying
- Try holding your baby close to you.
- Give them your breast milk, if you are breastfeeding.
- Sing a lullaby or make shushing noises to soothe them.
- Give them a warm bath
- Try rocking your baby in a rocking chair.
- Honestly, acknowledge their feelings by saying something like “It sounds like you’re feeling upset right now." They might not understand what you are saying, but the empathy in your voice can be calming.
Sometimes, children just need help getting calm enough to fall asleep. A gentle patting motion will can stop some moderate fussing. Try shushing ocean sounds in their ear until they settle down. Other ways to soothe them include swaddling with a blanket around them, rocking gently in a chair, singing lullabies in their ear, or rubbing the soles of their feet with baby lotion (preferably with lavender scent) before putting them into bed.
Soothing fussy or crying babies
One of the biggest complaints people hear from new parents is that their baby does not just "sleeps badly" or doesn't sleep at all. They are either up all night or they are sleeping for too long at a time. This can leave new parents exhausted, grumpy, and loopy. At a minimum, it can lead to some really interesting oopsies, like leaving home in your pajama bottoms (Trust me, it happened to me.) Or it can lead to problems serious issues like falling asleep while driving. It can also cause issues in your relationships. Ultimately cranky sleepy baby can lead to cranky sleepy parents.
One of the more frustrating things with sleep cycles is how sometimes babies will fuss or cry when they DON'T get enough sleep. It could be a result of teething, being in pain, or simply needing some reassurance. This can be taxing and upsetting. Something is going on with your baby and they can't tell you what it is. However, just knowing that these things are happening can help with your personal mentality. Of course, if you sense something serious is wrong, make sure to contact your doctor immediately. Sometimes a sleepless baby is trying to communicate something may be wrong.
Take some time for you, you sleep deprived adult you!
The bottom line of it all is that sleep is very important for everyone in the home of a newborn. Everyone is trying to learn how to live (and sleep) in this "new normal." Remember, during this feeling out period, it is definitely important for new parents to take time for themselves and it is why we created CheersToYouBaby! and the "First Sleep Through The Night" milestone page. It is something you will want to celebrate! CHEERS!