Getting Real With Shadra Bruce
The second you started telling people you were pregnant you probably heard something like, “Say goodbye to sleep!” Or “You better get your sleep in now!” It’s true that babies are notorious for waking up frequently throughout the night, and there is some truth to what these experienced parents are telling you.
The first few weeks after a baby arrives are going to be rough; just accept that fact now. Newborn babies need to eat every few hours to thrive and there is nothing you can do about it but ride out the long nights and enjoy the fleeting moments. As your infant starts sleeping more than two hours, you can create an environment that encourages longer stretches of night-night time with these ideas:
Make it Dark
If you want your baby to sleep through the night, he needs to understand when night is. Just like you, his circadian rhythm will begin to associate light with day and dark with night. That being said, most babies need the room to be completely black to really sleep. If he can see even a little bit of light creeping in the room, then there is too much to distract him and keep him awake. Blackout drapes and shades are a must in a baby’s room. They block out any streetlights and will keep your baby sleeping past the crack of dawn.
Keep it Warm
Sometimes babies just wake up frequently because they are too cold. To help prevent this, make sure your baby is bundled up nice and cozy for bedtime. Since you can’t exactly put a loose blanket in your baby’s crib due to suffocation risks, you will want to get a wearable blanket. Sleep sacks, sleepers, and long-sleeved onesies are a must.
Appease the Senses
Some parents use aromatherapy – scents like lavender can promote relaxation. A warm bath before bed with lavender-scented baby wash and baby oil can help. Playing soft music can also help soothe baby.
No matter how often you get up at night with your kids, or how much sleep you’re losing now, enjoy every moment, because before you know it, you’ll be losing sleep wondering what they’re doing out with their friends.