Having a baby can be the most joyous occasion in your life, but what happens later? Sleepless nights? Quite normal, actually. You might have heard the advice – sleep before the baby sleeps! Well, doesn’t always work well that way, does it?
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Newborns sleep for around 16 hours in a day, but never in a stretch, as you surely might have noticed until now. Your newborn isn’t used to the concept of night and day yet. It becomes difficult to inculcate this habit soon enough, before it takes a toll on your health as well! Usually parents have to stay awake for far too many hours in the night and this affects their sleeping patterns as well. So here’s help!
Set a routine
The baby isn’t used to any routine and will sleep whenever he feels like it. Try picking out times in the day when YOU are most tired. Lie down with your baby at these times every day for about a week to get your baby used to a daytime nap routine. Babies who have consistent nap routines during the day are more likely to sleep longer stretches at night.
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Calming down the baby
Before putting your newborn to bed, try to get into the habit of giving him a warm bath so that it facilitates good sleep. This will help him sleep for longer hours at night and give you the chance to do so as well.
Encourage activity during the day
Talk to the baby, play with him and feed him well during the day; these will workup the child enough to sleep well at night. Once dusk sets in, make sure you discourage too much of activity so that he gets used to a calmer time during the night.
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Quietness in the bedroom
Make sure you keep the bedroom quiet and cosy during the night time. This will get the baby used to sleeping more during the night. Some babies startle and wake up easily with sudden noises. For these babies, oil the joints and springs of a squeaky crib, put out the dog before he barks and turn the ringer off on the phone.
If it still becomes difficult, especially as working parents, to make sure you get your quota of sleep during the early stages of parenting, make sure you -
Share parenting duties
If both you and your spouse are working, make sure parenting responsibilities are shared.
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All in all, make sure you train your newborn to discern night from day. As he grows up, he will automatically learn, and sleep hours will be lesser, but training your newborn early on will help you get in more hours of sleep as well!