I’m so tired…
One of the most difficult things about having a newborn is the fact that you will be running on fumes for the first month or two (or three).
Babies basically do three things when they are first born: sleep, eat, and poop.
Your newborn baby is not going to have much of a personality and this can really be a trying time as his (or her) only instincts are going to be about survival. He is learning to adapt to a new and frightening world and you are going to have to learn to adapt with him.
This means that if your baby decides to wake up every hour or two to eat, that you will be at his mercy. This is why the running joke about parents with newborns lacking sleep, has a lot of merit to it.
You also worry a lot in the beginning, this passes fast, but it all adds up to your stress and exhaustion levels.
When should I start developing a sleeping routine for my baby?
As your baby approaches three or four months old, you will want to start getting him or her on a sleeping schedule. You don’t want to start too soon, your baby won’t be ready.
If your baby is past this age then it’s not too late, just follow the steps below.
How to develop a good baby sleeping routine?
Babies and toddler want to know exactly what is happening, and what is going to happen. You want to be very consistent, even on the days that you don’t have time or when you’re too tired for the whole routine. Like Nike’s slogan: Just Do It :).
Most parents already have their own person routine, most don’t even realise until they think about it. Write your routine down and make sure that both parents (and your babysitter if you have one) stick to it. Every, single, day.
My personal routine
With our sons, my husband and I put them on a set routine, which is extremely important if you want your baby to sleep until the morning. It doesn’t necessarily matter what your routine is, it just has to be a specific sequence of events that you do every night before you put your baby to bed.
With all my sons, we would always bathe them and then feed them around eight o’clock every night. We would then change their diaper and put them into their sleeper for the night. This kind of set routine helps your baby to understand the difference between night and day.
|20:00||Bathe for 10 minutes|
|20:10||Make sure your baby is dry and change his diaper|
|20.20||Put him to sleep in their sleeper|
How long will it take?
You may have to have your baby on a routine for a while before he/she adapts to it. It could take anywhere from several days to a few weeks or more. It varies per baby, some adapt quickly, and some take weeks for them to start distinguishing between night and day.
Keep in mind that a baby’s sleeping schedule is never going to be linear, and there will be times that they’re going to start waking up in the middle of the night again. This could be because they are practising a new milestone such as rolling over, or perhaps they are going through a growth spurt and are hungry.
It is important to note that these interruptions usually do not last more than a couple of weeks at most, and it is important that you stick with your routine even when these instances do occur. Eventually if you stick to your routine, your baby will get back onto their normal sleeping schedule again.