The first few days/weeks are filled in a wonderful haze of happiness and sunshine where you can’t imagine how you existed before this amazing bundle of joy came into your life. Then suddenly without warning your little angel decides to stay awake all night and sleep for most of the day. Those waking hours at night are filled with screams like nothing you have ever heard before and at a pitch you could never imagine being omitted from a human let alone your angelic rosy-cheeked baby.
I must be doing something wrong; my baby was so good for the first few days. What is happening???
Of course, you are sleep deprived so you are nowhere near as rational and calm as normal and you are also worried about what could possibly be wrong with your beautiful baby!
I think the best thing that anyone said to me was that it is all perfectly normal to be exhausted and for your baby not to sleep...
Here are a few helpful tips that I accumulated from family and friends and also picked up along the way myself that helped with my bundles of joy....
Create a calm nighttime sleep environment
It may take a few weeks for your baby's brain to know the difference between night and day. Try to create a routine baby to help them start to recognise night time. At approximately the same time every night change your environment to signal it’s time to sleep. This way, your baby knows its bedtime.
Hints for creating the environment
- dim or turn off the lights
- Speak quietly and softly
- resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby
- bath time should be calm and relaxing
- have a bedtime story as part of your routine
- Make the bedroom a positive place to be
Dreamfeeding is the feed I gave my baby right before I went to bed between 10 and 12. It allowed my baby to be fuller for longer and so helped to keep my baby from waking up just after I finally drifted off to sleep. I found this feed helped my baby sleep for longer while I slept.
Adequate day time sleep:
I found that by allowing sleep during the day my baby was more relaxed and willing to sleep for longer at night. Don’t worry if your baby only sleeps for short periods on the go or in random places with lots of noise during the day hopefully this will help them sleep and settle better at night.
The Great Outdoors
I got out and about and tried to get plenty of fresh air and outside activity. Studies support that young infants who get outside specifically in the afternoon sleep better and longer than those who do not. There is a suggestion that babies are more active in the light but also the influence of light on the early development of the biological clock that regulates many body functions such as and secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin that plays a key role in well-balanced sleeping patterns
In Summary: This is what worked for me but every baby is unique and beautifully different and we are all very different with different parenting styles so it’s all about what works for you and your wonderful bundle of joy. Go with it and love every moment of this time with your baby.