Are you and your baby getting enough sleep?

Shalini knew she was in trouble by the second night after her son was born. He screamed throughout the night! She had had a 4 day labor and C-section and it was just all messy and hazy. The screaming wouldn’t stop and she dint know what to do.

A month later, things weren’t so good either. Just when her son seemed to settle down into a sleeping pattern he would suddenly switch things up. Suddenly he would get up 6 time a night or miraculously sleep for 7 hours non- stop.

About the only thing parents can predict about their newborn’s sleeping pattern is that there is no pattern. When babies are first born they are usually all over the place. Hunger or lack of it determines when a newborn sleeps or wakes up. By around 3 months, babies start making the melatonin which puts their sleep cycle into a more regular rhythm.

Help Your Baby Sleep Independently

Every baby's sleep needs are different. Newborns can sleep 10 to 18 hours a day. From 4 months to about 1 year of age, they'll sleep 9 to 12 hours at night, with a couple added naps during the day. But remember, most babies will sleep only about 5 to 6 hours at a time to start. Still, even a 5-hour interval will give you some rest.

After your baby is about 4 months old, running into the nursery at every whimper can set a pattern that's hard to break. You really have to start having your child sleep independently so that they are not dependent on the nursing, rocking or going in a stroller. This will help when they wake up in the middle of the night, they can fall asleep on their own.

Baby Sleep Secrets

Wrapping your baby in a blanket can help him feel secure enough to drift off to sleep. When you swaddle, make sure your baby's legs can bend at the hips, to avoid hip problems later. Also, make sure you only swaddle when you're awake and watching him. If your baby is alone in the crib, no blankets should be on or around him (you want to lower the risk of SIDS).

An Expert Advice

"Unless you plan on having a family bed indefinitely, don't co-sleep with your baby, thinking you'll transition them to their own crib at some point in the future.


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