What To Do If Your Baby's Sleeping Habits Are Off Schedule
Parents often worry a lot about their children getting enough rest. While it’s normal for newborns to wake up often during the night at first, they should begin to adapt to more regular sleeping patterns over time.
During the first weeks of life, newborns spend only about 5 to 6 hours awake. It’s normal for them to wake up several times during the night, and not always fall right back to sleep.
As the days and weeks go by, the hours your baby spends awake will gradually increase.
By the time children reach their first year, they usually spend about 14 to 15 hours awake each day.
However, parents can lose a lot of sleep due to changes in their little one’s sleeping habits.
If this goes on for a prolonged period of time, or reoccurs later on in early childhood, then it’s important that parents face the problem head on.
Otherwise, it can affect the child’s well-being, and the well-being of the family overall.
The importance of rest for babies
The fact that getting enough rest is a key factor in a person’s health is no recent discovery. And it’s absolutely true when it comes to babies.
There are three fundamental reasons why rest is especially important during a child’s first years of life.
Lastly, as a baby sleeps, the body produces hormones that are responsible for his growth.
Of course, it’s immensely important that you provide the right conditions in order to help your baby get enough sleep.
This includes maternal affection, the creation of good habits, and other factors that we’ll explain below.
What can I do if my baby’s sleeping habits are off-schedule?
If your baby sleeps during the day and is awake during the night hours, then you’re definitely looking at a problem.
This can produce very negative consequences for your health, and it’s also not good for your child. First, because this rhythm provides no advantages for you and your baby.
And second, because daytime noises and lights can easily interfere with your baby’s rest. Therefore, the hours of sleep your baby gets during the day are less beneficial because of these interruptions.
Therefore, it’s best to get ahead of the problem and create healthy sleeping habits from an early age.
Here are some tips to help you accomplish your goal.
Keep the lights on during the day
Even while your child is napping, try to keep the room less dark than during the night.
That way, your baby’s body won’t confuse night and day, and will release less melatonin during the day. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles.
At the same time, try to reduce lighting at nighttime and maintain a quiet, serene environment. This will send a signal to your baby that it’s time to rest.
Feed your child in the evening
To prevent your child from waking up repeatedly during the night out of hunger, make sure your baby eats in the evening.
If your little one is sleeping, patiently and gently wake her up and keep her awake, stimulating her and playing with her.
Of course, you should never force your child to eat. But given that newborns usually eat every two or three hours, it’s likely your baby will eat when given the opportunity.
This will also cause your breasts to produce more milk, which in turn means your child will feed more calmly. This is beneficial because babies are more prone to colic and gas when they feed anxiously.
“There are three fundamental reasons why rest is especially important during a child’s first years of life. First, rest stimulates the appetite. Furthermore, the time a child spends sleeping allows the mind to secure the knowledge accumulated that day. Lastly, as a baby sleeps, the body produces hormones that are responsible for his growth.”
Don’t allow your child to sleep during the day
As your baby gets older, he’ll spend more and more hours awake during the day without it affecting his appetite. This is something you can use to your advantage.
It means that you get to establish the times your child is allowed to sleep and when he is not.
Therefore, make sure your little one sleeps as little as possible in the afternoon.
If your children still take naps, they shouldn’t last more than two or three hours, depending on the previous night’s rest.
If children sleep too much in the afternoon, this is a guarantee for a difficult night to follow.
The difference between night and day
Teaching your baby to differentiate between one time of day from another is an important way to regulate her sleeping habits.
To do so, you can get your child used to certain activities for certain times of day. For example, you can take your child out for a walk every afternoon to get some fresh air and sunlight.
At night, you should opt for more relaxing activities like baths, books and snuggles. If you’re patient and consistent, you’ll soon see how your child assimilates a bedtime routine.
If you maintain an appropriate rhythm in the life of your family, you’ll be able to adjust your baby’s sleeping habits.
Not only will your little one’s circadian clock adjust little by little, you as parents will also get more rest.
Your increased energy and improved mood will have a positive effect on every aspect of your baby’s life.
Now you know. With the help of positive habits, correct exposure to sunlight, and frequent feeding, you can help adjust your child’s sleeping schedule.
If you put our advice into practice, we’re sure you’ll be able to stop stressing about your baby’s sleeping habits.