|After you have a baby, sleep suddenly becomes one of the most important things in your life. Both new parents and experienced parents can be frustrated by sleep issues in their children. Adequate sleep is not only vital to your child’s healthy growth and development, it’s vital to your physical health and mental well being. Teaching them to settle for the night and resettle when they wake during the night will benefit them – and you!
Divide day and night clearly
During the daytime hours, talk, sing and engage with your infant. Stimulate senses with visuals, sound and touch, helping your daughter understand that daytime is the time for play. During nighttime feedings, keep lights as dim as possible. Use a very soft and quiet tone of voice, move slowly and keep activity to a minimum.
Set a bedtime routine early and stick to it.
Give your son a comfortable bath and read a short book, even if he’s just days old. Play the same quiet lullaby each night as you leave the room while your baby is drowsing. Your son will soon associate these activities with sleep and retain that association for years to come.
As your child grows out of nighttime feedings, she may still wake during the night. Give her the opportunity to wiggle, move and coo a bit without your intervention so she’ll learn how to resettle and fall back to sleep. If she begins to cry and it escalates, speak gently to soothe her, pat her back and leave when the crying subsides.
Sleep patterns are unique
Some babies sleep through the night much earlier than others, and some have trouble for much longer than typical. Always remember that this is not a reflection of your parenting, it’s not a contest and some babies (and adults) are just night owls.
If you are frustrated with your child’s sleep patterns, no matter what his or her age, make an appointment with Alzein Pediatrics at 708-424-7600. We can determine if there are any physical problems keeping your baby from better sleep and help you with sleep training.