Having a hard time getting your preemie baby to sleep through the night once they have graduated from the NICU? The following guest post applies to all new babies home from the hospital, whether they are were premature or full-term…
10 Smart Parenting Techniques that Will Get Your Newborn to Sleep Longer
If you have been working on getting your newborn baby to sleep longer, it may help if you feed your baby before getting him to sleep, give your baby a warm bath, follow a consistent routine, put a sound machine near your newborn, always be on the lookout for a sleepy baby, create a conducive environment for sleeping, make sure your baby’s diaper is dry, swaddle your baby, keep the temperature right, and be flexible and try different techniques.
As a parent, it is very challenging to get your newborn baby to sleep longer. Though they sleep for as much as 15-19 hours in a day, they do not do this in one period of time and their sleep habits usually make you getting really sleepy and tired as well. To help you get your newborn baby to sleep longer, consider the following advice:
Feed you baby before getting him to sleep
The foremost reason why your newborn does not sleep longer is that his stomachs is still small and he needs to be fed every few hours, usually every two. To help your baby sleep longer, especially at night, feed the baby before putting him to bed. But, be sure not to overfeed him, as this will cause discomfort to your baby and make him sleep less than you expect.
Give your baby a warm bath
A warm bath can help your baby sleep longer through the night as it will help soothe your baby. You can make this a part of your bedtime routine to give him a cue that it is about time for bed.
Follow a consistent routine
Bedtime routines can help put your babies in a good sleeping condition. Although it takes weeks or months to get your newborn baby to get used to a routine, it helps a lot to start introducing it to him early. A warm bath, a good book, and a lullaby can help your newborn baby start thinking that it is about time to sleep. Set your own routine that you think will work for your baby.
Put a sound machine near your newborn
Many white noise machines are designed to help your baby get to sleep easier and stay asleep longer. A sound machine will help cover the noise around the house that might disturb your baby’s sleep, like when you are doing some chores or when a dog is barking. Make sure you choose a sound that is comforting for the baby and not something that may scare him. Alternately, you can keep some classical or other soft music playing all throughout his sleep to soothe him.
Always be on the lookout for a sleepy baby
As a parent, you may often get the wrong notion that tiring your baby can make him sleep easier and much longer. The thing is, when babies are overstimulated, it makes them harder for them to go to sleep. If you see signs that your baby is sleepy, such as when they start to yawn, rub their eyes, and cry, get your baby ready for bed before he starts getting more irritable.
Create a conducive environment for sleeping
Whatever the time of the day is, make your baby’s bedroom a soothing place for him to rest so he will be able to sleep longer. It would be great if your newborn gets to sleep longer during the night so you can get the rest that you need. To help achieve this, differentiate your baby’s afternoon nap and his night time sleep so that he will be able to adjust his sleeping hours. For example, you can lie down with your baby in bed to help her get a nap, and you can do your bedtime routine at night to help her sleep easier and much longer. Keep the room dimly lit at night to help your baby differentiate night and day.
Make sure your baby’s diaper is dry
Wet diapers and clothes can disturb your baby’s sleep. Make it a point to change your baby’s diaper before takging him to bed to give him a comfortable sleep that can last for longer hours.
Swaddle your baby
Newborn babies need security. When your baby does not feel safe, the tendency is that he will not be able to get a good sleep. Swaddle him and make him feel safe and secure, just like those days when he was still in your womb, and give him a better, more secure, and longer sleep.
Keep the temperature right
A bedroom that is too cold or quite hot can leave the baby uncomfortable, waking him up earlier than expected. Keep the temperature right for the weather to help your newborn baby sleep longer during her naps and especially at night.
Be flexible and try different techniques
All babies are different when it comes to sleeping, even twins. Stay flexible, and try different techniques to help your baby get to sleep longer. For some, nursing the newborn will work great as part of the bedtime routine after a warm bath and a good book. Others carry or rock their newborns to sleep. Make sure that you put the baby down when he is already in deep sleep. When you find your newborn already sleeping, keep rocking or let him stay in your arms until about thirty minutes before putting him down to bed to make sure he is really asleep.
Getting newborns to sleep longer is a very challenging task. They get hungry easily, they get scared easily, and they need to adjust a lot to their new environment. Try different things out, see what works best for your newborn, and be consistent when you have found the right technique. Once you do this, you will not only help your newborn sleep longer, but you are instilling in him a healthy sleep habit that will help him as he grows. You, too, can get the rest you truly deserve after all your love and care.