A good night’s sleep truly is the holy grail for new parents –both for you and for baby. But how do you establish a routine in the early weeks and months that will ensure your baby is happy and well rested and that you remain sane?
Whilst newborn babies spend up to 75% of their time sleeping in the first few weeks, they won’t sleep for more than 1-3 hours at a time, day or night, as they need frequent feeds. This, of course, means many a sleepless night in the early weeks. However it’s a phase that doesn’t last too long. It’s the next phase that will be important in terms of establishing a routine and good sleeping habits as you will have more control and your baby who will be able to last for longer stretches without feeding.
A baby can develop regular sleep habits from as early as six weeks. This is because he/she is starting to develop natural circadian rhythms; the process that helps to regulate the sleep / wake cycle.
Here are some tips that can help baby to settle into a routine2. Recognise when your baby is tired:
In the first few months, it’s important to learn the signs that your baby is tired. Some key cues for needing a nap include:
2. Differentiate between night and day
At around 2 weeks old, you can start to differentiate night and day time for your baby.
During the Day:
3. Try and get your baby to fall asleep on his/her own:
When they get to 3 months old, babies have longer sleep cycles and should be able to fall asleep on their own…however, this doesn’t mean that they will! To encourage this, put your baby down to sleep when he/she is weary, but still awake. Many people will stay with baby as he/she drifts off to sleep, however if you do this, you’ll need to be prepared to do so each time.
The method used to settle your baby is important and consistency is key and it’s worth adopting the same strategy each night. For example, if you rock your baby to sleep every night for the first couple of months, he/she may expect the same every night.
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules that will guarantee the perfect routine and a baby that sleeps regularly and throughout the night. And, once you get a successful routine, you do need to be prepared for the disruptions to your routine, which might include teething, sickness and separation anxiety as they get older.
It goes without saying that your baby’s comfort is paramount to a good nap! Wearing Merino wool has been proven to improve sleep in babies, thanks to its natural attributes of breathability and temperature control, amongst others. Our 100% merino wool knitwear is the perfect everyday choice that is safe and comfortable for napping when at home or out and about. Our Zip-Up Merino Daysuit and Lightweight Merino Baby Blanket are perfect for night and day and a great travel set if you are off abroad this Christmas.
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