Sunday, June 22, 2014

How to Adjust Your Baby's Natural Sleeping Rhythm



Day sleeping is similar to eating, every child is different. Develop a schedule based on what you see in your baby, and once that schedule naturally forms, try to stay to it. You have to bend your schedule around your child's if you want consistency. In other words, if your baby usually goes to sleep at 7:30 P.M., don't take her to a class that starts at 7:00 P.M. or leave for the mall after 6:00 P.M. Plan your day around baby's sleep schedule, and both of you will be much happier because you'll soon fall into a predictable rhythm. 

A lot of mothers get upset that their babies can be so fussy at certain times of the day. I say, "Get used to it and deal with it!" Most of this frustration stems from the fact that Mom has not taken the time to get to know her baby's natural rhythm, and she has tried to make her baby work around her own schedule. Just because you can wake up at 6:00 A.M. to get ready and go to work doesn't mean your baby can adapt to your schedule. It might not be convenient for you to put baby to bed at 7:00 P.M. and wake up with her at 4:00 A.M., but you're only asking for trouble if you plan a big gathering that doesn't get started until after 7:00 P.M., and then get frustrated that your baby is so fussy. Of course she's fussy& she's tired, and it's past her bedtime! 

The good news is that sleep schedules change quickly. The first ten days will be a lot different than the first ten months, and the routines won't really stop changing until your child is done with her nap times. By two months, your child will be physically capable of sleeping through the night without being fed. By three or four months, most babies (but by no means all) should sleep either through one nighttime feeding or through the entire night. At that point, you can be a little bolder about letting him cry. It's your job to help distinguish between nap time and bedtime so that junior can begin to get a feel for what's going on. To do this, create a new ritual for bedtime & give baby a bath, sing a special song, darken the room, give baby a special toy or blanket. Do something that signifies this is different from a typical nap &  and stick with it, but remember to keep it manageable, time wise. 

Just remember: You're the mother. You are in charge. If baby starts to sleep more during the day than the night, it's your job to get him turned around. Get him up from his afternoon nap, play with him a little more vigorously before you put him down so he's extra tired and ready for nighttime, and feed him a little extra. You may have to help your child find an acceptable sleep rhythm.



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