Tips for Helping your Newborn Sleep through the Night

Having a new baby is wonderful but you are probably starting to question whether you will ever get a full night’s sleep again!

Lack of sleep can be debilitating for parents of newborn babies, especially in the first few weeks when your baby could be feeding every couple of hours around the clock. Although you may feel like it will never end, things will get easier and in the meantime there are a few things you can do to help your baby learn to sleep for longer, and eventually all the way through the night.

Accept that it may take some time

Newborn babies aren’t physically ready to sleep through the night as their tiny tummies get hungry very quickly. Even once they are older, your baby will sleep through the night when they are ready and not when the books tell you they should! Trying to force your baby to sleep through the night before they are ready will probably end up leading to more stress and frustration for everyone.

Many parents are surprised when their baby does sleep through for the first time. You may wake up one morning and realise that the house is quiet and rush into your baby’s room to check they are ok. Be warned that even if they do start to sleep through the night, it doesn’t mean they won’t ever wake up again. Many babies go through phases of sleeping through and night waking until they eventually settle into a pattern.

If your baby starts night waking again after they have slept through you might need to adjust their daytime napping schedule. It could be that they don’t need as many daytime naps or their naps should be shorter. It’s also a good idea to look at your baby’s feeding schedule. A hungry baby will wake more at night for feeding so giving more during the day, especially before bedtime can help prevent that happening.

Strategies that can help your baby sleep through

If your baby is still waking frequently and you are finding it difficult to cope with the sleep deprivation, there are a few things that can help, including:

  • Baby massage. Massage can be relaxing and soothing for babies and can be a great way to improve bonding. There are plenty of baby massage courses available online to show you the basics.
  • Music or sound effects. Being inside your belly, your baby would have been exposed to a lot of different noises including the sound of your heartbeat and your stomach. Playing soft background music can help create a more womb-like environment and help them soothe back to sleep if they wake in the night. In addition to music tapes you can get sound effects like raindrops and the ocean to mimic the sounds your baby would have heard in your belly.
  • Controlled crying. This is a technique for older babies that many parents find successful. Other parents find it distressing to let their baby cry for any length of time. Before you start a controlled crying regime, make sure you check with your GP or early childhood centre.

There are plenty of techniques that can help you get your baby to sleep gently.

Even though you may be exhausted and feel like the night waking will never end, eventually it will and you will get a good night’s sleep again!

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