Getting baby to sleep regularly and hopefully soon, through the entire night, can be a rather difficult process for some newborns. It can become quite common to make mistakes during this time when everyone is so tired, frustrated and still getting to know the new person that is their baby. However, you now have the internet on your side so let’s get to work deciphering the mistakes you could be making that are keeping your baby and you from getting a much needed, full nights rest.
Top Sleep Mistakes Parents Make
There’s a few very common mistakes you could be making that likely have easy remedies. Let’s take a look.
Ignoring Baby’s Sleep Cues – This is one of the most common and that alone might make the use of ‘ignoring’ a bit harsh. Maybe it’s closer to just not knowing this little person very well since, well, they did JUST get here! Regardless, you’ll just need to spend a few days being hyper aware of your newborn, and keeping a hawk eye out for those sleep cues.
- Eye rubbing
- Loss of interest in play or people
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Watery eyes
Newborns have what’s best described as a bit of a sleep window. If you miss that window, your baby is likely to be wider awake then before and also a lot crankier. Don’t let the baby get that second cranky wind. Learn to recognize those signs and you’ll soon begin to pick up on your baby’s sleep pattern. Once you’ve recognized the pattern, you can even begin being proactive in baby’s nap times and bedtimes.
Creating Sleep Crutches – Everyone has done it and it’s more than understandable that when baby is up crying at 3am, you will do anything to get them back to sleep. Walking the floors, swinging or vibrating chairs, singing, rocking, back rubbing. Yes anything, you name it, you’ll try it. It’s not even that these are negative or bad behaviors. They are not. They just become a problem when they are so closely linked with baby’s sleep that they can’t sleep without them. The key to thwarting the behaviors from becoming expected is learning to put baby down before he or she falls asleep. Put baby down when she or he is obviously drowsy. This make spark some fussing or crying, but try to see it through by leaving baby to fuss for a few minutes to see if they are fussing themselves TO sleep instead of fussing themselves out of it.
Baby Sleeps Anywhere – Yes. A tired baby will sleep just about anywhere. And that can be a good thing in the fact that if you have an overly fussy, fighting sleep baby, you probably can lull them to sleep with a car ride or a stroller through the park. The problem with that kind of sleep is that it does not provide your baby with the sleep he or she really needs. Motion sleep keeps the brain in a lighter sleeping pattern, so your child isn’t going to get that peaceful and restful nap they need. Try to limit your baby’s sleep zones to just one or two within your home. The crib and the pack and play are great options. Run errands between naps and if you’re planning a night out, try to get a neighbor or grandma to come to your house so baby can sleep in familiar territory.