Why is it that babies often have their night and days mixed up? Sleep is never overrated when it comes to much needed postpartum sleep but it’s difficult to feel like you get enough when your baby isn’t on the same sleep schuss you. Lack of sleep causes excess stress and that’s the last thing you need as a new mom.I’ve often wondered where the phrase “sleep like a baby” came from. Did you know it’s actually very common for babies not to settle down for the night until 1 am? I’m sure you did because that’s probably your baby’s pattern. In fact, you’ve probably noticed that she has slept perfectly during the day. Awakening to eat every 2-3 hours during the day and now just as you’re about to sit down for dinner your baby thinks she needs to eat and then be burped and then experience a tummy upset and just want to be held and the circle continues for several hours. By midnight your both exhausted and FINALLY, she settles down for one-two hours of sleep and then awake again for two hours. Yes? This is a good indication that the baby had its nights and days mixed up. Usually, by sixish weeks babies finally figure it out but I’d like to offer support and help that process to happen a little quicker.
Here are a few things you can do to help get your baby get on a good sleep cycle sooner than later.
Babies need schedules, so find a good time to start your day and be consistent. For example; if you start your morning at 8:00 am that’s a good time to wake your little one and start her day too. Make sure your baby’s nap isn’t longer than 2 hours. Babies need to eat every 2-3 hours anyway, so after 2 hours have pasted, wake her, change a diaper, feed her, and engage with her for a bit of time 45-60 minutes. The put her back to bed. When you disrupt sleep during the day it will create longer sleep periods at night. A warm bath can be just as relaxing to your baby as it is for you, make this part of your nighttime routine. This is a good time to put your sleepy time oil blend on the baby’s feet.
Remember light and dark matter. Keep it light during the day and dark at night. You may want to get blackout curtains for night. Darkness helps create the sleep hormone melatonin in the body that promotes a restful night’s sleep.
Your baby will give you clues when he’s ready for sleep.
Just like you’re trying to teach your baby when to sleep he can give you clues when he’s tired. If you can catch his cues and respond quickly, it’s like a match made in heaven! You can avoid an overtired baby who now won’t sleep for anything, who has trouble with self-soothing to sleep, and who wakes up often in the night. When you are able to recognize and follow his cues for sleep you will be much more successful than following the time by on the clock.
Sleep Cues Include:
- Decreased activity
- Slow movement
- Red eyes
- Rubbing ears and eyes
- Quiet and calmer
- Droopy eyelids
Saddling is a great way to calm and soothe your baby. Think about it…your baby was basically “swaddled” in your womb for nine months. This is familiar and comforting. Many babies like to be swaddled for three to four months after birth.
Rocking or a gentle bounce can also be comforting. If you used a birth ball or yoga ball in labor now’s the time to pull that out again because babies love it! White noise is also soothing for babies. This is a similar noise to what they heard in utero. I recommend a cradle or a bassinet instead of a flatbed crib for naps. I also recommend co-sleeping but that’s definitely a personal preference.
Sucking is often a successful soothing mechanism. In fact, many babies are born knowing how to suck their fingers or thumb. Last but not least…if you are a nursing mama you can always soothe your baby to sleep by nursing but keep in mind your baby is smart and may not want to stop suckling, remember suckling is soothing so be mindful of this so you don’t get sore nipples.
Here are a few of my favorite sleep blends for babies.
Baby’s Sleepy Time Blend:
This blend is made in a 10mL roller bottle using 30 drops then fill to top with fractionated coconut oil. This is approximately a 10% dilution ration. It can be easily cut in half if you feel it is too strong. Where 5 drops are recommended to use 3. Apply on the feet nightly, you can also apply down the spine for the really rough nights. Diffuse any of the blends below for an extra boost.
Sleep Diffuser Blends:
Here are some of my favorite sleep diffuser combos:
For the anxious sleeper:
- For the restless sleeper:
For the one who wakes up a lot:
For the light sleeper:
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