You start to see her yawn, and then slowly but surely her eyelids begin to droop and flutter. Soon, you can hear her breathing sounds. It’s such a wonderful feeling to watch baby sleep. How you wish you could just sleep like her.
You should let baby sleep because she is entitled to her rest. Furthermore, sleeping contributes greatly to her growth and development. Her brain grows the most while she’s asleep. So, you should know what to do when baby gets sleepy!
How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need?
As baby grows, her sleep patterns will change. As a newborn, baby will need about 15 to 18 hours of sleep a day. This is why she nods off to sleep easily, especially after you have breastfed her.
Watch out, however, because she will be awake in 3-4 hours’ time for her next feed. She stomach capacity is small and she gets hungry frequently. So, if she needs to wake up (and wake you up) for a feed, she will!
After baby’s first three months, you will notice that she is sleeping less. However, do not fret as baby has grown up a little and she is starting to be more alert. So, if she tends to be more wakeful at this stage, let her be. Baby might be fascinated by her surroundings and her curiosity will help turn her into the smart child you’ve always wanted.
By the time baby is 8 months old, she will start waking up less during the night. She no longer needs to be fed as often in the night. However, she is still a baby and, at times, will wake up and cry at night.You should see what she wants or needs, and try to lull her back to sleep.
How To Give Baby Better Sleep
Yes, you know very well that your baby needs to sleep. But do you really know how to help your baby get a good sleep? Try out these tips:
- Ready to sleep
Get to know the times when baby tends to get sleepy. Before those times, dress her in fresh clothes and diapers. Feed baby 30-60 minutes before you expect her to doze off. Make sure that she is not feeling too hot or too cold.
- Sleeping place
Of course, nothing could be more wonderful than sleeping in your arms. You can lull her to sleep by rocking, cuddling and singing to her. When she starts to enter slumberland, continue to hold her for 10 minutes before gently putting her in her cot. Make sure that the mattress is a fitted one. Do not line the sides of the cot with pillows as her breathing could be obstructed should one press against her face. Use cot bumpers, instead, with ties no more than 6 inches long.
- Sleeping positions
It is recommended for normal healthy babies to sleep on their backs (supine position) than on their tummies.
You and baby should develop a sense of closeness. Nothing beats the feeling of having you sleep by her side. Feeling the warmth of your body can help her have a more pleasant sleep. If baby sleeps in a cot, keep it in your bedroom during her first year at least.
Common Sleep Problems
“My baby just can’t sleep. What should I do?”
For some reason, baby just can’t fall asleep. If this happens, check whether she might be in pain, uncomfortable or simply not well. If things worsen, something could be wrong. Seek help.
“How do I make my baby stay asleep?”
You see baby nodding off to sleep and you think, “Finally…!” But just as you start creeping away, she awakes. There’s really little you can do except try and lull her back to slumberland. Leave only when you’re sure she’s fast asleep.
“Sigh… my baby sleeps during the day and stays awake all night!”
If baby is not sleeping at the right time, do not blame her. It’s not her fault that she might still be too young to tell between day and night. However, you can try and cut down on the frequency and duration of her daytime naps. After feeding, provide some gentle stimulation or play to keep her from dozing off. When naps are in order, let her sleep in active surroundings and wake her up gently after 3 hours. These measures should help her fall asleep more easily at night. It also helps to maintain a quieter environment with soft lighting.
“I think my baby is sleeping too much!”
If you think that your baby is sleeping more than usual, you should consult a doctor.