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.
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.
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:
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!