Some of the most important changes in your life will take place while you’re pregnant, and one of them is setting up the newborn sleep schedule. When your little one arrives, there are some key things to remember in order to make sure that she sleeps long enough for her brain to develop. One of the most important things for your newborn’s first few months is establishing a good sleeping pattern. Here are 5 tips for getting your baby to sleep that work wonderfully for all babies:
- Keep it dark and quiet!
This is especially important right after birth, when you’re helping your baby to adjust to life outside the uterus, but it’s a good idea to make sure that while she’s still very small, she gets plenty of rest in a light and noise free environment.
- Watch her cues!
Newborns are amazingly good at communicating their needs. If they want to eat, they will let you know. If they want a diaper change, they’ll let you know. Even if your baby is too small to cry, you can feel her communicate her needs through her facial expressions and body language.
- Keep it regular!
The way that your baby processes time is still developing in the first few months, as is his ability to anticipate events based on time cues alone (a skill which takes about a year for him to master). This means that he’s going to have a much more difficult time understanding concepts like “soon” or “wait just one more minute”. So try to provide consistent sleep cues and events.
- Let her cry it out!
There are plenty of babies who can sleep through the night on their own, but this doesn’t mean that they are going to be able to do so right away. Some babies start sleeping better right after birth, but even if it takes a few nights for your baby to get used to sleeping alone, you should let him cry it out once you’ve established that he’s sleeping well in his crib or bassinet and doesn’t need his mother there all the time.
- Enjoy the quiet!
Even if your baby isn’t sleeping as much as you’d like, there will come a day when he sleeps for 12 hours straight. Take this time to enjoy and relax!
Setting up the baby’s sleep schedule will make her feel more comfortable and secure, both in your arms and in her crib. An early bedtime, when you tuck your baby into bed between 8 and 10 PM, is helpful to parents with a new baby. The evening routine should be light and calm; no rough-housing or running around. After the last feeding before bedtime, with breastmilk or organic formula hold your baby until she is drowsy but not asleep. This can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour depending on your little one’s temperament.
Parents who are breastfeeding use a variety of techniques for putting their baby down for sleep. They may simply leave the room, put the baby down in a crib or bassinet, or rock until she falls asleep.