Newborn babies generally sleep a lot, but that doesn't mean you can have a good night's sleep yourself because whether you like it or not, babies also get up a lot at night. There are many different reasons why infants wake up in the middle of the night to disturb you, but you can rest assured that all these are crucial for their survival. For instance, if your baby sleeps through the night without waking up to feed even though he's hungry, then it will definitely put his health in jeopardy. Most babies learn to sleep through the night, however, especially at around their sixteenth week. Read along to discover the secrets of how to improve your baby's sleep pattern.
Give Him a Full Feeding
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One of the main reasons why babies wake up in the middle of the night is that they are hungry. Newborn infants need to feed every 2.5 to 3 hours, so you can expect yours to wake up at night to feed. When your baby reaches his 4th month, however, you can begin to drop his middle of the night feeding. One way to do this is to reduce the time between your baby's feedings. For instance, if you feed him every 3 hours, try feeding him every 2.5 hours starting in the afternoon. This will give your baby a fuller stomach and he will less likely to wake up in the middle of the night to feed.
Don't Hesitate to Rock Him to Sleep
Many so-called parenting experts do not advise parents to rock their baby to sleep saying it can lead to a bad habit. This is a myth, though, and it's actually a good thing to help your baby enter dreamland by rocking him to sleep. The reason is that unlike adults, babies don't enter the deep state of sleep directly, and may need parental assistance to help them get there.
Regulate the Light and Temperature
Light is an excellent way to regulate your baby's internal clock. During the day, make sure the nursery is well lit even if your baby is taking a nap. Use dimmers to lower the light as soon as the sun goes down. This will help him differentiate day from night. Keeping the room warm during the day and cool during the night is also a good way to improve your baby's sleep.
Make Use of Some White Noise
You may think that keeping the nursery very quiet will help improve your baby's sleep, but it's actually the opposite. Babies love to hear some rhythmic noise when they sleep so make sure you make use of some white noise like the sound coming from the radio or the television. Some babies even prefer to sleep hearing the sound of the dishwasher!
Assist Your Baby Back to Sleep
Some babies have the ability to go back to sleep on their own once they get awaken in the middle of the night. Most babies, however, need assistance from their parents to help them get back to sleep. This is where the importance of observing your baby's sleep pattern comes in. Study your baby's sleep temperament and determine whether he goes back to sleep on his own or needs to hear your voice or for you to pat him on the back in order to do so.