3 Steps To Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night
Can your baby actually sleep through the night by 12 weeks? The answer is YES! There are moments during the “newborn phase” where you may ask yourself repeatedly…“will I ever get a full night’s sleep?” You are not alone and almost everyone feels the heavy weight of newborn exhaustion to some degree. The good news is, there are ways to decrease the night wakings and increase the nighttime sleep blocks, but how? The trick is to start early and avoid the typical mistakes parents make when considering sleep training.
Make Daytime Changes To Help Nighttime Sleep
In order to decrease night wakings and create longer stints of sleep, you must put in some time during the day. Daytime sleep and feeding habits, will directly affect what happens during the night. By creating more structure around feeds and sleep during the day, you will develop an around the clock routine where your baby will sleep more soundly, more predictable feeds, and less night wakings. Before you know it the sun will wake you up and not a crying baby in the middle of the night! You will no longer be sleep deprived!
Follow these 3 important steps and start sleeping through the night
Feed Your Baby Every 2-3 Hours During The Day
STEP #1 Every baby needs to eat X-Amount of calories in a 24 hour period. They can either get their calories in during the day or the night. To ensure they get the majority of their calories and nutrition in during the day, it’s important to wake them every 2-3 hours. A wake to feed every 2-3 hour schedule ensures they eat enough during the day to decrease night feedings/hunger. If you let your baby sleep too long during the day, they not only can become day/night confused, but they also won’t have the opportunity to eat enough. This is where you end up with a baby waking throughout the night due to hunger. Proactively get ahead of this and follow STEP #1.
Be Sure Your Baby Goes Back To Sleep After 1-2 Hours Of Wakefulness
STEP #2 is a very important part to this equation of getting your baby to sleep through the night. Sleep begets sleep and when your baby becomes overtired, they have a hard time settling, become extra fussy, can’t fall asleep easily and wake more often. To eliminate these issues, put your baby back to sleep after every 1-2 hours of being awake. This would look something like: baby wakes at 2:00pm. You would change diaper, feed, play/stimulate with books, songs, talking, and then begin to soothe back to sleep once tired signs appear (zoning, fussing, irritable). You may find you need to soothe back to sleep at 3:00pm. That’s okay! The more you stick to this rule the more of a predictable schedule you will begin to naturally develop.
Create A Solid Bedtime Routine
STEP #3 involves creating a solid bedtime routines as early as two weeks. This will begin the teaching and training of a solid night’s sleep. A concrete sleep routine will help teach your baby proper sleep cues. This routine will remind him/her that the longer nighttime sleep is approaching. The more sleep cues you can offer your baby, the better. Be sure the routine is the same each night. An example of a bedtime routine looks something like: feed, bath, massage, jammies, book, song and lay your baby down to sleep drowsy, but awake. The same order and same routine is key! Routine, routine, routine!
To summarize, it’s important to work during the day with your child to help create a good night’s sleep. The more rested your baby is during the day, the better he/she will sleep at night. The more consistent a routine the more quickly they learn what is expected of them. Work during the day with your baby to keep them from becoming over-tired, wake to feed every 2-3 hours and create solid nap and bedtime routines. Doing this from around 2 weeks onward will help ensure your baby creates good sleep habits. By doing this you will help avoid creating bad habits and the dreaded sleep training that parents so greatly fear.
To learn more about how to guide your baby into good habits- Purchase my ebook to walk you step by step on how to get your newborn to sleep more. For $29.99 you can instantly download your copy of “Get Your Newborn To Sleep Day and Night WITHOUT Sleep Training”