Decoding Your Baby's Sleep
There is nothing more heartwarming than watching your baby sleep. The sheer sight of seeing them sleep innocently with no care in the world is something that every parent cherishes. That is precisely where the popular saying ‘sleep like a baby’ comes from. Parents dread nights where their little one suddenly acts up and refuses to sleep. Since infants can’t stick to a sleep routine, it’s essential for parents to help them by understanding the signs of sleepiness and providing them with a comfortable & safe environment to aid in a sound sleep. You might have the intuition that your baby is ready for sleep when you see them rubbing their eyes, yawning or looking away.
The old saying says, ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’. But what if the baby isn’t sleeping well enough? No wonder, the tiptoe movement begins as soon as the baby is put to rest. As parents, we get paranoid about the sleeping routine and patterns, and our attention is always towards the baby’s room! What if the baby gets up? Since parents make all efforts to take utmost care of their newborn’s sleep pattern, here are some tips which would help your baby sleep better:
Follow their feeding and sleep cycle: The baby eats immediately after waking up. Then the baby stays awake for a while, playing till exhaustion and then dozing off again. This cycle has several practical purposes. First, it encourages full feedings by allowing the baby to eat immediately after waking up.
Choosing the right playpen mattress: This is probably the most important factor in ensuring a sound sleep for the baby, given the fact that your baby will spend an ample amount of time on the mattress. Finding the perfect baby mattress online is quite a tedious task and a lot of factors need to be kept in mind. Check the size of the mattress and ensure that it rightly fits into the crib.
It should neither be oversized nor too small. Select a mattress that is firm as it makes it easier for the baby to turn on his/her sides. When parents make a list of all the things that they would need during the first year after the baby’s birth, a playpen is most likely to be included. Using a soft playpen baby mattress is a good idea as a second layer of padding provides more comfort and safety to the infants, thereby enabling them to sleep better and longer. If you search for a playpen baby mattress online, you would find that some are washable while others come with changeable covers. Choosing an organic cotton baby mattress online might be a better idea as it is safer for the newborn baby’s skin as compared to those made from synthetic materials.
Swaddle: It not only keeps the baby warm and comfortable but also prevents them from flogging their arms and legs, which can lead them to suddenly waking up. Since the baby's hands and legs are securely tucked in well in a swaddle, it makes sure they are not startled by their abrupt reflex movements, thereby facilitating an uninterrupted and sound sleep.
Don’t put on too many layers: Ever wondered that even after feeding your baby well, why don't they go to sleep? It could be because they might be wrapped in too many layers. It is important to understand that too much layering might make the baby uncomfortable, leading to them waking up due to excessive sweating in the middle of the night.
No TV in the room: How many times has your baby fallen asleep in your arms and you have been too lazy to put them back in their bed, all because you didn’t want to miss that favourite show? Keeping the baby in the same room where there are too many light sources is not something that will help them sleep throughout the night. Instead, the baby will wake up crying because of the disturbance, both in the form of sound as well as light.
Avoid feeding after dark or frequently: A newborn baby requires being fed after every two hours, but after the initial five or six months, it is better if you start setting a feeding routine for them. This way, you are training them for a night of undisturbed sleep. In a way, a child will begin to understand that this is the last meal of the day, post which he/she must sleep. If you choose to continue their feeding sessions at night, there are high chances that the baby might wake up every two hours hungry, which in turn will disturb their sleeping pattern.
Avoid too much sleep in the afternoon: Had the longest nap in the afternoon and now you just can't sleep? This routine applies to kids in the same way as it does to adults. While we aren’t against an afternoon siesta, it is important to make a timely schedule post which the baby should be woken up.
Devote some time and make a little effort to understand your baby's sleeping habits so that you can help them become a better sleeper. If you face any issues persistently, then it’s recommended to consult a paediatrician.
- Smarth Chugh