Most babies need to be trained to sleep properly and the best way to do this is to establish a good sleep routine as soon as you can.
Watch for Tired Signs
Wide eyes? Jerky hand movements? The desire to suck? These are tired signs. Some more tired signs to watch for include rubbing of the eyes, turning the head to one side and the inability to focus for a long time.
As soon as you see a tired sign, it’s time to send bub back to bed.
Teach Baby How to Self-Settle
Self-settling is a term that new parents will be very familiar with. Teaching baby to self-settle can take days, weeks, months, even years. While some babies will catch on right away, others will not.
There are several techniques to self-settle you can try including the No-Cry-Sleep Solution, the Ferber Method and the Gentle Sleep Approach.
Learn the Sleep Cycle
Everyone will go through light and heavy sleep cycles. For newborns, one sleep cycle is 40 minutes long. What this means is that bub may only sleep one cycle, then wake up and be unable to go back to sleep without assistance, even though baby is still tired.
Around the 30 minute marker, watch baby for stirring and movement. Gently shush or pat your little one to ease baby into the next sleep cycle.
Consider Fall Back Methods
Sometimes babies just won’t sleep. And resorting to putting bub in the car, to taking baby on a bumpy ride in the pram or to circling around the kitchen table 235 times lightly bouncing your little one in your arms, happens.
So don’t beat yourself up if your self-settling attempts are not going quite as planned. You’ll get there…eventually. And once you do, I can guarantee that you will miss those late-night car rides, those two-hour shushing sessions and those midnight rocking chair marathons.