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The connection between fussy, poorly sleeping babies and post natal depression is a strong one. Researchers at a colic clinic in Rhode Island reported that 45 percent of moms with very irritable young babies had moderate to severe depression. That’s a ten times higher incidence of serious post natal depression than is typical. If you haven't had a good night's sleep since your baby was born, you're not alone. Sleepless nights are a rite of passage for most new parents — but don't despair. You can help your baby sleep all night. Honestly! Ensure your baby is comfortable. Check that the room is at a comfortable temperature for sleeping and make sure your baby isn’t overdressed or underdressed. The simple act of giving your baby a massage can add to the bonding you have with your baby which helps reassure your little one you are always close - and can ease the stress of separation anxiety which can be another contributing factor to baby sleep problems. Sleep teaching and sleep training mean the same thing: teaching your child the skills needed to put themselves to sleep without your help. This means they can go to sleep without being rocked, bounced or walked, without you re-inserting the pacifier all night and without having to feed in order to fall asleep. Put your baby to bed when they're drowsy, but haven't fallen asleep quite yet. When your baby wakes up in the night, wait a few moments to see if they'll settle and fall back asleep on their own. If they stay awake, keep things calm and quiet while you feed them or change their diaper.
Our homes are busy at night, filled with bright light, noise, and lots of activity. All this can overexcite nosy little infants. No wonder they put up a fuss when they’re suddenly put in a dark, quiet, still room all alone. Some babies need more help than others to fall asleep. But most babies will develop a regular sleep pattern over time, although these will continue to change as they grow. Most depressed moms report that their babies don’t sleep well. Interestingly, these moms may not actually sleep fewer hours, but they definitely feel more exhausted. They need an extra hour or two of sleep each day just to stay in balance. You need to help your baby understand this. You do this by socialising as little as you can at night. Save stimulating social interaction for daylight and evening hours. Attend to your baby and feed in low light overnight. Also avoid rushing to the cot at the first sign of stirring. Your baby may well resettle if left for a moment or two. There are multiple approaches to sleep regression and a sleep expert will help you choose one that is right for you and your family.
Sleep Training Methods
Sometimes it’s essential to wake your baby up! For example, if she poops in her sleep, you need to wake her to change her diaper in order to protect her skin. And waking her up for an 11 P.M. dream feed (an extra couple of ounces) may be to the key step in improving her sleep. Respect your baby's preferences. If your baby is a night owl or an early bird, you might want to adjust routines and schedules based on these natural patterns. If your child does not need a nighttime feeding, offering them one will make it extremely difficult for them to understand why some wakings are responded to with a feeding and others are not, leading to a bad cycle of crying and more wakings. Your baby will learn good sleep habits if you take a consistent approach. You may find it quite tough at first, but there will be long term rewards for you and your baby. Just as with adults, babies' and children's sleep patterns vary. From birth, some babies need more or less sleep than others. The list below shows the average amount of sleep babies and children need during a 24-hour period, including daytime naps. Sleep consultants support hundreds of families every year, assisting with things such as 4 month sleep regression using gentle, tailored methods.
While figuring out how to quiet those dreaded nighttime wails may seem impossible in the moment, the key to ending them is to get to the bottom of why they’re happening in the first place. Over the years of putting our own children to sleep, keeping them asleep, and counseling thousands of other moms and dads on various styles of nighttime parenting, here are some time-tested, proven attitudes and techniques for getting baby to sleep. If you decide to do the longer-and-longer sleep training, don’t be shocked if on the first night, your little lovebug screams louder and harder than he’s ever screamed before. In fact, this escalation is totally normal for one to two nights. Always place a newborn down to sleep on their back. This keeps their airway clear (newborns don’t possess the ability to move themselves away from dangers) and helps to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Softer lighting help trigger your baby's body to produce melatonin, but it will also act as a visual cue, so your baby knows that it's time to wind down. A sleep expert will be with you every step of the way, guiding you on how best to find a solution to your sleep concerns, whether its gentle sleep training or one of an untold number of other things.
Spring Into Action At The First Sign Of Sleepiness
Babies thrive on routines, so create a simple, calming, bedtime routine that will serve as a cue to sleep. Growth spurts can increase the need for night-time feeds, while the excitement of a newly learned skill may make your little one reluctant to settle at night. On the flip-side, as your baby gets older, they’ll gradually reduce their need for day-time naps, moving towards a sleeping routine that more closely resembles your own. Encouraging a calm time leading up to bedtime. A quiet, gentle bath and a story even at this young age in dim lighting can help your little one settle down from the day and be ready for a good night’s sleep. Particularly if your little one is suffering with a cold or stuffed nose, they are likely to wake more often than they would usually as they can’t settle into a good sleep with a blocked nose. A calming bedtime ritual that follows a predictable pattern every night gives your baby a heads-up that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep, which in turn helps him to nod off. A sleep consultant will take a holistic approach to create a sleeping system that you can manage and one which takes into account sleep training as well as the needs of the baby and considerations of each family member.
All babies – including those with reflux – should sleep on their back as it’s the safest position. The only exception is if a medical professional has given you different advice. Do speak to your GP or midwife if you’re worried about reflux too. You can start getting your baby used to going to sleep without you comforting them by putting them down before they fall asleep or when they've just finished a feed. It may be easier to do this once your baby starts to stay alert more frequently or for longer. Balancing how to respond to night wakings and the need for night feedings is something to discuss with your baby’s health care provider when you are working on sleep training. When you’ve ruled out any obvious causes, like teething or a chilly bedroom, the best thing you can do is keep things normal and consistent, keeping things normal and using the same method for getting them off to sleep is the best way to go. You may never find out what disrupted their sleep, but these tips will help get things back to normal: Wake times matter much less after the age of about 4 to 5 months, but they mean everything to a newborn. Keep those newborns awake for about 50 to 60 minutes (including feeding and changing time if they’re awake during the feeding), and then start to get them ready for a nap. A great routine: swaddle baby, take them to their room with darkness and white noise, and actively try to get them down for a nap. If you're looking for a compassionate, effective and evidence-based approach to sleep or just advice on one thing like ferber method then a baby sleep specialist will be able to help you.
The Early Days
If you’ve tried all these tricks and your drooly little friend is still waking at 3 A.M., consider the possibility that you have a bedtime scheduling problem. Three types of timing issues can lead to night waking: Having a very irregular schedule; Going to bed too early; and Going to bed too late. Babies take time to learn this as they go, so do return to them, pick them up, cuddle them and put them quietly back to sleep when they cry. Your baby will learn the ability to self-soothe but will need opportunity to learn this overtime so don’t let you or them get stressed trying to push things too fast and too soon. Missing sleep can soon turn you into a drooling, dribbling mess, so try and share the burden with your partner. When your baby is old enough to sleep right through without a feed, your partner can really make up for lost time. Check out supplementary intel about Baby Sleep Consultants on this Wikipedia page.
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