How to Manage Your Sleep Around a Newborn Baby February 5, 2019February 14, 2019 Whisper Admin We all know that new born babies have a different sleeping pattern and it only changes as they grow. You need to adjust to your baby’s sleep patterns but you also need to have the right amount of rest. To deal with having a newborn baby in the house, you’ll need more information about your little one. What are the sleeping patterns of a newborn baby? The body clock of most newborns is confusing during the first few days and nights. Most wake up during the night and sleep during the day. There are no set sleeping hours for a newborn, but generally they sleep about eight to nine hours during the day, and eight hours during the night. Your baby has a small stomach, and would get hungry every few hours. Expect that your baby would not sleep eight hours straight, but would need feeding every few hours. How can you balance your sleep hours and caring for a newborn baby? Swaddle From birth to about age four to five months, babies innately possess a startle reflex, in which they feel as if they are falling. The sensation of falling causes jerking movements, and the baby will incidentally wake up. Keeping a tight swaddle prevents babies from startling themselves awake, helping the newborn baby sleep both better and longer. Limit the length of naps during the day I know it’s hard to wake a sleeping baby, but sleeping too long of a stretch during the day can rob nighttime sleep. If the baby sleeps past the 2 – 2.5 hour mark, you should go ahead and wake the baby up, feed them, keep them a wake for a bit, and then lay them down for another nap. If you feel the baby truly needs longer naps, feel free to increase the nap limit to 2.5 hours. Breaking up sleep during the day will help your newborn baby sleep better at night, and this way you can rest easily. Use white noise No one wants to miss a party, so if your baby is listening to all the fun going on in the house it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Place a fan on medium in the baby’s room rather than directly next to the baby, so it does not blow directly on him or sit too close to his sensitive ears. Using white noise also helps immensely when you are traveling! Follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle The baby wakes from sleep and immediately eats. Then the baby is awake for a while to play. Then the baby goes back to sleep. This cycle has several purposes. First, it encourages full feedings by allowing the baby to eat immediately after waking. The baby will have the most energy immediately after waking, making him more inclined to take a full feeding and go longer between feedings. Also, by feeding the baby after sleep rather than before sleep, the cycle prevents the baby from associating food with sleep or using food as a sleep prop. When using this cycle, a feeding before bedtime is typically the only feeding before sleep. Use pre-nap and bedtime routines It is well known that babies thrive on routine, structure, and predictability. Creating consistent routines for your baby will help bring order to a very chaotic world. Choose a pre-nap routine that works for you. A pre-nap routine may include taking the baby to their room, closing the blinds or curtains, placing the baby in their sleep sack or wearable blanket, turning on the white noise, singing a quick song, giving a few cuddles, and saying your sleepy words. Change your baby’s diaper strategically Changing the diaper before the middle of the night feeding prevents the baby from waking up too much after a feeding is finished. When the baby wakes up, change the diaper and re-swaddle to prepare them for sleep immediately following a night feeding. If you change the diaper after the night feeding, the baby may become too awake, making it more challenging for them to fall asleep. Understand how a baby sleeps The more your baby sleeps, the more they will sleep. Keeping a baby awake in hopes of tiring them out will actually result in over-stimulation, and they will experience both difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. It is very likely an over-tired baby will sleep shorter, not longer. Don’t rush in… We may inadvertently encourage the start of a bad sleep habit by rushing in when a baby cries or rustles during the night. Often times, babies wake up, babble, and go back to sleep. The baby may even cry briefly or babble and still be asleep. Give the baby some time and see if they will resettle by themselves. Avoid rushing in and disturbing this process in order to help your newborn baby sleep better. Lay the baby down awake, but drowsy The most important way to encourage your baby to sleep well in the long run is to teach them to fall asleep independently, which is essentially the beginnings of teaching independent sleep. Babies, like adults, will naturally wake up during the night. Without knowing how to get back to sleep, a baby will cry out after waking regardless of actual need, resulting in night waking droning on for much longer than is actually necessary. Once a baby gets older, falling asleep independently enables a baby to drift back to sleep after waking in the night, ultimately helping your baby sleep better in the long run. Catch a nap New moms shouldn’t try to be more productive during a baby’s nap time. A 20 to 30 minute nap will refresh you without causing sleep inertia, that groggy, out-of-it feeling when you wake up. Most people, not just new moms, could benefit from a short afternoon nap. But don’t sleep any later than 2 or 3 PM that may interfere with your bedtime. If your baby isn’t on a regular nap schedule, take advantage of offers of help from friends and relatives. Let your mother hold and entertain the baby while you crash for a while. Make the most of the sleep that you do get Once you finally do manage to squeeze in a few minutes of sleep, do yourself a favor and ensure it is quality sleep. Feel free to take a risk-free trial of the WHISPER mattress which is guaranteed to lull you into a deeply relaxing sleep faster than any other mattress. You should go for the best in these exhausting times. Other Sleep Problems Perhaps most frustrating of all is that sometimes we just can’t nod off, despite the fact that we’re desperate for sleep. Here are some strategies for dozing off. Practice good timing To help prevent insomnia, avoid eating heavy meals right before bed, don’t do stressful tasks at night, don’t exercise in the two or three hours before sleep (although early in the day is beneficial), and avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime. A glass of warm milk may help — warming the milk releases the tryptophan, which helps some people sleep. Set the mood Your bedroom should be a quiet, dark, temperate haven to induce sleep. Use light-blocking window shades, turn a bright alarm clock away from you, and invest in a new mattress. A memory foam mattress is a fairly low-maintenance commitment in terms of upkeep. These types of mattresses can benefit from rotating a few times per year and from occasional vacuuming, saving you time for the newborn. Establish a sleep ritual Doing the same thing each night before bed, such as reading a book or taking a bath, signals to your body it’s time for sleep. Try to make bedtime and wake time the same each day. Seek professional help Tell your doctor about any sleep difficulties you’re having. Some problems, such as insomnia, may be a symptom of a physical or emotional illness. Conclusion The baby becomes the top priority of any parent. It is human instinct to take care of your baby but you have to understand that you need to be strong and healthy for you to be able to care for your baby. You will not be able to give your baby the best care if you are always tired and lacking sleep. Make sure to try and manage getting enough rest within the day. Ask your doctor and talk to fellow moms about your baby’s needs and sleep patterns to better understand and care for your little one. Make the most out of periodic naps by ensuring they are of the highest quality. Check out our WHISPER mattress with a 100-night risk-free trial.