Adjusting Schedules: What Is The Best Way To Set A Sleeping Schedule For A Newborn?

1st March , 2021

Newborns sleep a total of eight to nine hours during the day and about eight hours at night. However, this sleep is highly interrupted as they wake up every few hours to feed. Babies typically develop regular sleeping patterns and slumber continuously by three to six months. Their sleep schedule applies to naps during the day and bedtime. Since a newborn has spent the last nine months in the cozy confines of a womb, expecting strict adherence to a sleep schedule is impractical. 

It is essential to acknowledge that every baby is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to enforce proper sleeping patterns. You have to analyze their personalities and dozing patterns to devise a suitable feeding and sleep timetable. Instead of introducing changes abruptly, a gradual approach that considers your baby’s normal patterns is advised. Let us examine a few measures you can take to nurture a healthy sleep pattern in your newborn. 

  • Understand the signs that indicate sleep readiness

Sleep comes easy when the body is tired. Therefore, keep an eye out for signs that show your baby is drowsy and tired. Eye-rubbing, yawning, fussing, and distractedness are a few common indications of tiredness in babies. However, waiting till your baby is overtired can be counterproductive as crankiness takes over and your baby has trouble falling and staying asleep. The perfect time to put your baby to bed is when the signs start to show. 

  • Set a day-night sleep cycle

Starting early, you can try to teach your newborn about the differences between daytime and nighttime. Being an active parent and playing with them throughout the day is a step to take. Cutting down on stimulations in the night and keeping everything low and dim gradually teaches your baby that nights are for sleep. 

  • Make sure that eating and sleeping remain separate 

It is vital to separate eating from sleeping. Some parents tend to feed their babies while simultaneously rocking them to sleep, a habit that curbs a newborn’s ability to fall asleep on its own accord. 

  • Introduce a pre-sleep routine 

Following a schedule before sleep helps improve the normal circadian patterns as babies are encouraged by routines. Reading a book aloud, massaging, singing a lullaby, bathing, and so on are a few habits you can incorporate into your baby’s lives to enhance sleep patterns. In the case of daytime naps, the routine can be shortened.  

  • Keep a sleep journal 

Since babies aren’t predictable, and patterns evolve with time, recording nap durations and bedtime can prove beneficial in responding accordingly with a schedule. Sudden changes in your baby’s sleep pattern may be indicative of infections and require medical help.

  • Encourage self-soothing

By three months of age, babies develop the ability to soothe themselves to sleep. Therefore, you should refrain from jumping at the first noise during the night and wait a few minutes to see whether your baby falls back asleep on its own. 

A healthy sleep pattern starts with a proper sleep schedule. Past the newborn phase, most experts recommend allowing babies to fall asleep in their parents’ arms and then placing them on the bed while still awake. Procuring a suitable mattress is important once your baby enters this stage. Having a suitable foam mattress, for instance, enhances sleep and ensures your baby naps in comfort. 

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