A Guide to Sleeping for Mother and Baby

When it comes to caring for a newborn baby it can often be a difficult task finding time to relax and get much needed sleep. Sleepless nights will become a common theme once your baby is born, but there are ways to make up for lost sleep. This guide will help you to achieve enough rest and sleep to get by in order to care for you and your family. It also gives information regarding your baby’s sleeping patterns and how breastfeeding mothers can obtain their much needed sleep.

Tips on getting more sleep

If you are breastfeeding, you may be woken up during the night by your hungry baby and sometimes the sucking motion can prevent you from getting any rest. There are however a few things you can do to achieve the sleep you need to keep going, as discussed below:

  • If you are breastfeeding your baby in the night you could purchase a bed side cot which can then be placed by the side of your bed. This will allow you to lie down and feed your baby with the reassurance that your baby is safe in the cot.
  • Try to get some sleep when your baby sleeps during the day. By combining sleeping patterns you can the sleep you need.
  • Take regular naps during the day or ask a partner or friend to take over for a bit to give you time to rest.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable with pillows and other cushions to ensure your body is rested to ensure a good sleep.
  • If you use a lamp at night turn it off or keep it at a dim setting for a better night’s sleep.
  • Try to do gentle exercises to help you get to sleep easier at night.
  • Refrain from drinking coffee or other drinks with caffeine content that may keep you awake at night.

How can breastfeeding mums get more sleep?

Breastfed babies normally take longer to put to sleep than formula fed babies. This is because breast milk is easier to digest than formula milk. You can try the following tips if you are breastfeeding but finding that you are not getting enough sleep:

  • Try to obtain milk using a breast pump in order to allow someone else to feed the baby in the night.
  • Arrange a bedside cot to enable you to feed your baby easily without having to get in and out of the bed several times during the night.
  • Ensure a good feed for your baby before they go to sleep to help settle them down quicker.
  • Try to keep a dim light on rather than a bright light. This will help both you and the baby to drift off more easily.

It is important to remember that breastfeeding holds many benefits for both you and your baby.

Your Baby’s Sleep

It can often be difficult to get your baby to sleep, but establishing good sleeping habits from an early age can ensure that your baby will go on to get many more good night sleeps.

Newborn Babies Sleeping Patterns

Newborn babies sleep a lot during the first few weeks and on average you can expect them to sleep for around 18 hours a day. By the time your baby reaches three months old you can expect them to sleep around 15 hours a day. It is important to remember that this is temporary. As your baby gets older you will recapture many of those sleepless nights.

You can help identify your baby’s sleeping patterns by doing the following:

  • Look for signs that your baby is sleepy, such as gently touching their ears or rubbing their eyes. If you think your baby might be sleepy try to put them down in the cot and see if they do go to sleep of their own accord.
  • Try to teach your baby the difference between day and night by dimming any lights at night.
  • Give your baby a chance to fall asleep naturally.

Preparing your baby’s sleeping environment

It is always best to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby before it arrives. You can buy a cot and necessary bedding from many mother and baby retail outlets. Many outlets can advise you on the type of bedding suitable for newborn babies to ensure your child is not overheated when sleeping or other relative tips.

Always put your baby to sleep on their back with your baby’s feet at the foot of the crib or cot. This is important to reduce risk of cot deaths.

Create a bedtime routine for your baby

Try following the same routine everyday for your baby in order to get in the process of having a regular routine. This will not be possible all that much in the early stages though. You could try giving your baby a bath and then singing them a lullaby. If you repeatedly do the same routine your baby will be able to familiarise it with night and day and went sleep accordingly. They will also realise that at night time you wind them down rather than playing with them, another association for when it is time for bedtime.

What to do if your baby wakes up during the night

All babies, especially if they are newborn, will wake up during the night at some point. This could be for a number of reasons and it is important to check the following to ensure they can get back to sleep:

  • Your baby may need a nappy change
  • Your baby may be hungry for milk
  • Your baby may be too hot or cold
  • Your baby might have wind and need to be burped

It is important to check these four elements, though if your baby simply wants to be awake and is happy and well you could let them fall asleep naturally in the cot.


Guide to Sleeping for Mother and Baby:

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