Your Baby's First 6 Months: How to Sleep Well as a Family
It's common for families to have a hard time sleeping after welcoming a newborn. So, don't miss out on these tips for a good night's sleep as a family during your baby's first 6 months.
A baby’s first 6 months of life can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when it comes to sleep. Some babies have reflux or colic, which causes them (and their families) to have sleeping difficulties.
At the same time, other parents have incredible little sleepers. However, they don’t realize it because another mother told them her baby slept through the night at 2 months. In reality, that’s very rare. In general, it’s very difficult for families to sleep well at this stage.
If you have a baby under 6 months old, then don’t miss out on these tips. You’ll find them helpful for you and your whole family. Some nights may be harder than others, but enjoy every day and every night by your little one’s side. It’s a wonderful time that goes by too quickly.
How to get a good night’s sleep as a family during your baby’s first 6 months
You know your baby best when it comes to sleep
It may be tempting to listen to what others say about how to put the baby to sleep or how long he or she should sleep. However, you must try to trust your own instincts.
The more you worry about “not doing the right thing,” the more you’re taking away from the time you have with your baby. So, don’t place too much importance on what you’re reading in articles about baby’s sleep or listening to other moms post in a Facebook group.
Do what works for your family and trust yourself to know your baby better than any outside authority. You’re spending most of your time with your little one and everyone is different. When it comes to sleeping arrangements, many families develop and exhibit very fluid notions of where their baby “should” sleep.
Parents with less rigid ideas about how and where their little ones should sleep are usually much happier. They’re also much less likely to be disappointed when their children can’t “perform” the way they’re supposed to. In other words, when they’re unable to sleep through the night.
Don’t worry about the do’s and don’t’s of getting a good night’s sleep as a family
It’s really important not to get caught up in too many thoughts about what you should or shouldn’t do during your baby’s first 6 months. Especially during the first three months, you just need to feed them, change them, and put them back to sleep.
There are no bad ways to sleep
There are no negative ways for your baby to fall asleep: Breastfeeding, using the pacifier, sleeping all in the same bed… Everything is valid if the family sleeps well and gets some real rest. Let your baby fall asleep as he or she wants to, either by rocking or singing.
The term “negative sleep association” is frustrating because even adults have sleep associations. For example, using white noise, reading a book, or having a specific set of favorite sheets. There’s nothing negative about needing something to help you relax to get a good night’s sleep as a family.
Does your child love sleeping with you during the day and it’s no longer working because you have things you’d like to do? Why not try letting your little one sleep with you and work on the transition. Wait until they’re in a deep sleep and try laying them down gradually, beginning with their feet. This will eliminate the falling sensation that can sometimes wake them up.
Waking up and not wanting to sleep at night is normal during your baby’s first 6 months
Newborns have two states of sleep: Active sleep (which is similar to adult REM sleep) and quiet sleep (similar to non-REM sleep).
In this sense, active sleep plays a necessary role in the prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Fortunately, babies spend more time in active sleep from 2 to 6 in the morning. So, during this time, they’re much more likely to wake up if they’re hungry, cold, damp, or startled by not breathing.
Their sleep cycles are actually shorter than adults’ (lasting only 50-60 minutes). Therefore, they may experience partial arousal every hour or so. There’s a biological reason for wakefulness: Survival. In order for children to grow, they need to eat, and therefore they need to wake up to eat.
If a child is too cold or too hot, they wake up to warn the mother. Anything that forces the child to sleep too deeply too soon is dangerous.
Active sleep also has other benefits. Experts believe it to be a smart sleep because the brain isn’t resting. It increases blood flow to the brain and is believed to be responsible for faster brain growth.