One of the great questions for pregnant women and new mothers is about their baby’s sleep. Should I or should I not wake him up during the night to breastfeed? When does baby start sleeping whole nights? What should I do to get a better night’s sleep? For a good night’s sleep, it’s best to establish a routine for your baby’s sleep. These little rituals make the little one start to relax and result in quieter nights for Mum.
The baby’s sleep routine consists of carrying out the same activities every day at the same times as before bedtime. Experts are unanimous in the opinion that babies feel safer when they know what will happen. But remember: no baby is like another! Another important factor is the age of the babies: there are appropriate rituals for each phase. Let’s talk a little about the sleep routine in each period.
Baby’s sleep routine: the first 30 days
At birth, the newborn baby can sleep from 18 to 20 hours a day, spending only four hours awake in activities such as bathing and feeding. As he still can’t see straight and is beginning to adapt to the world outside of his mother’s tummy, he doesn’t interact much.
During this period, the environment should be at least as bright or noisy during dawn feeds so that the baby does not wake up. For safety reasons and so that the baby sleeps more peacefully for his parents and for the little one, he should sleep in the cot, never in bed with his father and mother. From the first month onwards, the baby should ideally sleep in the cot in his own room. To reduce the anxiety and insecurity of the parents, the baby-sitter can help.
If your child wakes up at intervals of less than two hours, it is important to be alert if he or she is suckling sufficient amounts for satisfaction. However, it is not necessary to wake your baby during the night to suckle. Be sure everything is in order and take the opportunity to rest too.
And from 3 months?
As we said initially, babies feel safer with routine. For a more peaceful sleep, more spaced out feeds throughout the night and a better rest, some rituals can signal to the little one that the day is ending and that soon it will be time for the night nap. A tip is a late afternoon bath, which helps to relax and already indicates that the night will start.
The afternoon naps are also super important and should not be neglected! Ideally, the baby should sleep for 40 to 50 minutes and not exceed two hours so that this afternoon nap does not disturb the night sleep.
Some attitudes should also be avoided so that sleep is not impaired. At night, prefer to play more quietly so as not to shake the baby. Certain foods should also be left aside near bedtime, such as chocolates, soft drinks and frying, which disturb the rest.
The rituals help to prolong the hours of sleep because the baby knows he will sleep and ends up relaxing. The whole nights, however, only happen when the little one is with the proper development, solid nourishment consolidated and released by the paediatrician from the night feeds, which usually happens around 6 months, which can vary from child to child.
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