Infants need to sleep a lot, but do you know exactly how many hours of sleep they need? According to WebMD, infants may need between 14 and 16 hours of sleep each day. However, this 14 – 16 hours of sleep doesn’t have to be at a stretch. These babies can sleep in periods of 4-5 hours.
Newborn babies need proper sleep and it’s something that their parents must strictly maintain. Unless this is made possible, these newborns might not grow up as healthy as you’d want them to be.
Having established that, let’s look at five things you can do as a parent to help your newborn get better sleep.
#1 Establish a Bedtime Routine
Establishing a bedtime routine is one of the most important things you can do to help your newborn baby get better sleep. A bedtime routine can help signal to your baby that it is time for sleep and create a sense of security and comfort.
The routine should be consistent and include activities such as a warm bath, a lullaby, a feeding, and a cuddle. Doing the same things in the same order every night can help your baby relax and fall asleep more easily.
If necessary, talk to a certified baby sleep consultant. Sleep consultants can suggest such healthy sleep habits that can help newborns fall asleep quickly. They can also suggest how long your child’s naps should be so that they don’t mess with their regular sleep routine.
#2 Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment
Creating a sleep-conducive environment is essential for helping your newborn baby get better sleep. A sleep-conducive environment should be quiet, dark, and cool, with a comfortable sleeping surface. The temperature of the room should be between 68°F and 72°F, as overheating can be dangerous for newborns. Consider using a white noise machine or a fan to help muffle outside noise and create a consistent, soothing sound for your baby.
Additionally, it’s important to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby. Avoid using fluffy blankets or pillows in the crib, as these can increase the risk of suffocation. A firm, flat sleeping surface is the safest option for newborns.
Consider using a swaddle blanket to keep your baby warm and secure, but be sure to stop swaddling when your baby shows signs of rolling over or breaking free from the swaddle. By creating a sleep-conducive environment, you can help ensure that your baby has a safe and restful sleep.
#3 Watch Your Baby’s Sleep Patterns
Observing your baby’s sleep patterns can give you a good idea of when they are most likely to be tired and when they are awake. This information can help you create a schedule that ensures your baby gets the sleep they need.
Over time, you should also learn your baby’s sleep patterns. Doing so will allow you to make changes to their sleep routine if necessary. It’ll also allow you to fall into a routine that will help you get enough sleep as well.
#4 Use Swaddling
Swaddling can help soothe fussy babies and make them feel secure. This can make it easier for your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods. Try using a thin, breathable blanket. You must remember to stop swaddling when your baby shows signs of rolling over or breaking free from the swaddle.
#5 Avoid Overstimulating Your Baby
Avoiding overstimulation is crucial for helping your newborn baby get better sleep. Over-stimulation can make it difficult for your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep, which can lead to exhaustion and disrupted sleep patterns. To avoid over-stimulating your baby, it’s important to create a calming and peaceful environment before bedtime. This can include dimming the lights, avoiding loud noises, and limiting activity.
It’s also important to be mindful of your baby’s playtime and activity levels leading up to bedtime. Avoid playing with your baby using toys or games that are too stimulating, as this can make it harder for them to relax and fall asleep. Instead, opt for calming activities such as reading a story or singing a lullaby. By avoiding overstimulation, you can help your baby feel calm and relaxed, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods.
Unless your baby gets enough sleep, you won’t get much of it either. According to a CNN report, this can lead to more parental stress than you can handle. Moreover, this is not the only issue you’ll face if your child is not sleeping on time.
Findings presented at The International Congress on Obesity in Australia suggest that lack of quality sleep can lead children to consume more unhealthy foods. This in turn can lead to obesity. Thus, you must ensure the practice of maintaining a sleep routine for your kids from an early age.
Start by following the suggestions we’ve discussed above. Rest assured that as long as you do all this, your newborns will be getting the best quality sleep.