While you likely knew long before the baby arrived that the weeks immediately following her birth would be a bit light on sleep, it is still often hard to adjust to this exhausting sleep pattern. It is understandable that as you move through the exhausting nights of continually interrupted sleep that you will become eager for your little angel to rest her head for more than three hours at a time. Try to avoid getting stressed over this temporary stage. As your kiddo continues to grow and develop, she, like all babies, will likely sleep longer, allowing you more restful nights.
Keep It Real
While returning home from the hospital with a tiny tot that is not only adorable and cuddly but also sleeps soundly though the night would be ideal, it is hardly a likely occurrence. AskDrSears.com warns new parents to keep their expectations realistic, as a failure to do so will likely result in disappointment. When you first considered the prospect of a family, you likely knew that a few sleepless nights were part of the deal. Keep this in mind as you suffer through your share of late-night feedings.
Rock It Out With a Routine
As any parent knows, you can’t force an infant to do anything. You can, however, adopt behavior patterns that encourage the child to do what you want. The best thing to do when trying to encourage your cutie to sleep tight through the night is adopt a routine. If you allow your schedule to become a hectic hodgepodge of feedings, diaper changes and laundry completion, your child will struggle to become acclimated to a schedule. Instead, adopt a schedule as early as possible and do not deviate from it. Try to commit to putting your baby down at a set time each evening. When you do put him to sleep, make a ritual out of it by perhaps singing him a lullaby or rubbing his back for a while to help sooth him into slumber. As you stick to your set schedule, your child will likely begin to follow it as well.
Impact of Age
There is no magical age at which children sleep through the night, but parents eager for an answer can consider common patterns. While your newborn will likely sleep 16 hours a day, these hours will be spread out into two- to three-hour chunks. By 3 months of age, your baby may sleep for five hours at night time, reports MayoClinic.com. But hold out until 6 months, and you will likely find that your growing child can sleep anywhere form nine to 12 hours at night, making your evening hours more relaxing and likely reducing the size of those bags that you have so faithfully carried under your eyes.
Nibble Away at Napping
If you allow your angel to sleep away the day, you can’t expect her to sleep through the night. After several months, if your baby has not made progress toward sleeping for extended periods of time at night, start to cut down on her during-the-day napping. This may mean that you have to deal with a grumpy baby for a couple of days, but gradually she will acclimate to sleeping less during the day and more at night.
If you want to promote nights of restful slumber, consider some relaxing, sleep-encouraging routines. Start by setting a standard bedtime practice, such as settling down and reading a book or giving your kiddo his favorite stuffed animal as a nighttime companion. Try putting your baby to sleep with a pacifier. Not only are pacifiers helpful in self-soothing, they have also been tied to a reduction in the likelihood of SIDS, reports MayoClinic.com. If you really want your tike to stay in bed, allow him to stir during the night. Don’t run into the room when you so much as hear him roll over. Doing so will show him that you are at his beck and call.