What do you truly crave for after pregnancy? SLEEP. Our little tornados are so excited to see this world that they even do not take a nap in between.
Good sleep is beneficial for both baby and mother’s health. It is said that the mums should sleep when baby sleeps. It is really as easy as it sounds? However, sleeping is directly related to brain development in babies.
The best way not to be too anxious and hungry for sleep is, to develop a sleeping plan for your baby. Make a routine. You can start it as early as two months. The big question remains, How?
Parenting is a tedious job. You can’t take a one day leave. Making a schedule for sleep is going to be too hard but the key lies in consistency. It’s a long term and cumbersome process but definitely achievable. Once you achieve it, you can celebrate motherhood with fewer emotional breakdowns.
The world itself is a God’s best and biggest plan. Everything revolves around successful planning, organising and executing strategies. If you want to succeed you have to have objectives and constantly achieve those goals. In order to achieve these goals you have to have a SMART plan in place too.
Well, this may seem like a little piece of lecture from a management class but that’s what are fast paced lives all about. A fail proof plan, and even if the plan fails, we need to learn from the experiences!!
All through my pregnancy I was given a list of to-do and not to-do things. There were things that I followed and then there were things I was too happy to omit. The thing that worked best through, all of the 36 working weeks of pregnancy was to get enough rest and sleep.
There will obviously be days and weeks when you cannot get more than two hours of continuous sleep. The baby that’s growing in your tummy will always be more active during the nights or the times when you are trying to relax. Use the quiet time to talk to your baby and understand your growing body.
Soon comes the time when the baby arrives and you discover a new meaning to life. Your joy knows no bounds. The hours of labour, the pain from the c-sec, it all is worthwhile the moment you see and hold your baby. Everything now revolves around the baby. Your health is still of prime importance because it correlates with baby’s health!!
Remember how sleep was of utmost importance when the baby was growing in you, sleep is of utmost importance now as well. Lots of sleep means lots of good health. There will however be a huge difference in your sleep pattern and baby’s sleep pattern. It is said newborns usually between 18-20 hours a day. The baby’s sleep will depend on a number of factors
- Babies need to be woken up every two hours to be fed. The constant peeing and pooping makes them hungry faster than the mommy.
- Colic in babies can make them really cranky and affect their sleep.
- Wet diapers mean an awake baby.
- The temperature of the room in which the baby is put to sleep affects the sleep pattern too.
- Babies cannot differentiate between day and night hence the lighting in the room matters too.
In your journey of mommyhood, you would come across various aspects that would impact the sleep of your baby. It is through a lot of trial, error and experiences, would you be able to set routine and rules for yourself and baby.
I have had to struggle with my child’s sleep for almost two and a half years. I do cherish the night time moments with him that belonged only to me, usually when daddy was out for work. It was through a lot of trials, reading parenting books, talking to family and friends, I realised the magic key was consistency!!
Here is how I developed a successful sleep plan for baby:
Consistency is the key
Whatever you choose to do with the baby in order to get him/her to sleep, make sure you are consistent.
Set a routine
As adults we can differentiate between night and day. We realise and understand day is for work, play etc. and night is for resting. Babies, with their forever growing senses do not understand this easily. Hence setting a routine is very necessary. The routine could be as simple as play, bath time, story-time (with dim lights) and bedtime. I used to include massage and story time together. It gave me an opportunity to make up stories and talk to my baby.
Ensure the baby is well fed
Well, this isn’t something you can control when the baby is on milk feeds. I was however suggested by the paediatrician to wake and feed the baby often during the day, say every 90 minutes or so, so that baby would sleep longer hours at night. Once the baby starts solids, try and give something that would keep baby’s tummy full for longer as the last meal of the day.
Burp Burp Burp!!
To avoid colic and acid reflux, ensure the baby is burped post every feed or meal. As new mum’s we sometimes want to gobble up our meals or eat something we were prohibited to eat in our pregnancy. Well, if you are nursing mum, you need to remember what goes in your tummy, goes in the babies’ tummy too!!
Time the meals
As adults we often don’t time our meals. With babies, we have to. They have a really tiny stomach and even tinier digestion system. So ensure you follow a time table when it comes to their meals. Also, when introducing a new food, try and keep it consistent for a few days so that the baby gets used to it. We definitely don’t want baby throwing up a meal he/she relished at meal time.
Co-sleeping or not.
I always co-slept with my little bundle of joy until he became a bundle full of energy! Co-sleeping gives the baby the warmth and comfort needed for a good night sleep. If you decide not to co-sleep, ensure the baby has a favourite toy, pacifier, comforter to fall asleep with. It’s a habit that will eventually break but helps in baby sleeping well.
Lights, Camera, Action
As long as the lights are on, my little tornado will be wide awake. Babies love to see new things. As they grow they try and absorb everything around them. Hence the lights need to get dimmer as they get closer to their sleep time. The temperature needs to be adjusted to their comfort level and once it’s all set, voila, they will be asleep in no time!!
I’m sure getting a baby to sleep and sleep for longer hours is huge task to achieve. Its like a warzone you have to enter every day. Believe me when I say, it’s a battle you can win. All you need is a good plan and be consistent in your plan.
Ahh!! Did I forget the lullaby’s, rocking and swaddling to sleep? Well these are the saviour tricks. Always, always work!!
Are you struggling to develop a schedule for your baby? Hope you find your ways here. Comment the struggles you have faced to put your baby to sleep. How did you manage to make a sleeping plan for your baby?
Don’t forget to share this because we don’t like a tired momma and crying kid.