We never really believe how hard it is to go months without a good night’s sleep, even when friends have warned how hard having a newborn baby will be. We just assume our baby will sleep well and so will we. Then you find yourself holding your baby after he has fallen asleep and you don’t dare move, even when your arm has fallen asleep, for fear of waking up the baby. Many times you even fall asleep with him. |
While holding and cuddling your baby are important for his development, it’s just as important that he learn to sleep at night and the mom and dad get a good night’s sleep. Uninterrupted sleep is necessary for adult and babies alike. Without sleep your body is not able to rest, heal itself; your mind is able to process the day’s activities and restart for a new day. Sleep is imperative for new mothers. If you are not getting it at night, take a nap when baby does if at all possible. While not as beneficial, it will allow you some rest which will provide more energy during the remaining part of the day.
All babies are different, and all have different sleep patterns, and different sleep problems. It’s important to start as soon as possible teaching your baby to go to sleep alone and to self-soothe in order to help your baby sleep through the night. A great way to start this is with a bedtime routine – which means you do it every night, at approximately the same time each night, and in the same way each time.
A bedtime routine may include a bath, a little rocking, a bedtime lullaby, a special toy in bed, and a kiss from mom and dad. Whatever you choose to do as your child’s bedtime routine, the more consistent you are the better it will work. Soon you and baby will be getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep and your days together will be even more fun and special.
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