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Routines for Helping Baby Sleep

Gönderen Stuff zaman: 02:16
Having babies sleep through the night is every mother’s dream, and there are many principles being taught in various parenting books and online articles about how to encourage babies’ sleeping through the night. No matter what the details, the common denominator is a routine. Some recommend a routine to set throughout the day, while others only focus on the things that a mom does to her baby towards night time to giver him the signal that it is night time and he is expected to sleep through the night.
However, is routine the only thing that helps baby sleep? After all, just because you let the baby know that it’s already bed time and he is expected to sleep for longer hours would not necessarily mean he is physically capable of doing so. Is there a specific way that a routine is done such that a baby is able to be trained to sleep through the night?
The following are components of a healthy routine that has been proven to help millions of babies sleep for a minimum of five hours through the night from as young as nine weeks of age, assuring mom of ample rest so she can have the energy to face each coming day with a smile on her face and a bounce to her step:
1. Stabilized hunger patterns by having full feedings – A routine is something that is done on a regular enough basis that there is structure. Structure cannot happen when a baby’s hunger patterns are erratic, and this erratic schedule comes about when baby does not know when or how much to feed. Of course, a strict time schedule for feeding does not necessarily translate into a routine, either, as it might not even effectively meet the actual needs of the baby. The important thing to consider in stabilizing a baby’s hunger patterns is to encourage him to have full feedings at every meal. By full feedings, it means that the baby does not fall asleep at the breast or with the bottle halfway finished in his mouth. How do you avoid this? The best way to do so is to make sure that the baby feeds right after he wakes up, so he would be wide awake. Alternatively, some experts recommend keeping the baby awake throughout the feeding by shifting him around from breast to breast every fifteen minutes or so.
2. A feed-wake-sleep pattern during the day – For some reason, experts have found that this repeated pattern of feeding time, wake time, and sleep time has helped millions of babies distinguish night and day more effectively than any other routine. The general premise that is not common among most parents is that the baby feeds as soon as he wakes up, then spends some time playing or in wake time, and then is put down for a nap. What happens is that the baby internalizes the sequence of feeding, wake time and sleep time, and extends it into a longer time for the night time sleep cycle.
3. The absence of sleep props – Sleep props are found to be one of the greatest hindrances to baby’s sleep patterns. Interestingly, the general population believes that they actually help babies sleep by inducing sleepiness at the cue of the sleep prop: for example, rocking the baby to sleep, sleeping with baby, or the use of the bottle or breast to lull him to sleep. The problem lies with nighttime awakenings: when baby awakens in the night, he is not able to fall asleep again with out the prop, causing for disturbance both to the baby’s sleep and to the mom. Helping a baby fall asleep on his own in his crib will aid him greatly in sleeping longer hours, resulting in a healthier and happier baby as well as mom.
As a parent, nothing beats being well-informed about the principles that work best for caring for baby, and the same holds true for choosing what feeding or sleeping philosophies to believe. The basic guideline would be, which ones work and actually operate along what is naturally given to us? If the routine is found to adhere to normal patterns of behaviour, such as a full feeding resulting in a more stabilized routine, with no use of any external add-ons to induce sleep, you will likely find it easier to follow and adapt, for the betterment of your baby’s health and your own.

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