Your baby may only be a few days old but you already know exactly what the term 'sleepless night' means. But there are ways to ease those tears fast
Your newborn is pretty amazing.
But there’s no denying she’s still got a lot to learn – including the difference between day and night. Ok, it’s understandable after spending so long in a snuggly dark womb.
The other factor is that between birth and four months, a baby’s sleep cycle is very short – sleeping for only 60 minutes at a time during the night.
That’s why it’s common (and totally normal) if your little one is waking up every hour.
Identify the reason why your baby is crying
With such a tiny tummy the chances are your baby is crying because she’s hungry. This is one of the most common reasons for tears and can normally be sorted with a feed.
‘Don’t worry if your baby is crying a lot during the night,’ says sleep expert Mandy Gurney. ‘The first few weeks are about getting to know your baby.’
Soothing your baby back to sleep
When your baby wakes up crying in the night try patting or stroking to soothe her back to sleep. Swaying and rocking can sometimes wake her up more.
Making shushing noises is a soothing technique for settling your crying baby
‘Gentle movements send calming messages to your baby but full blown rocking and picking him up can sometimes unsettle him even more,’ says Mandy.
Making shushing noises is a soothing technique for settling your crying baby. The sounds are calming and combined with gentle stroking should have her drifting back to sleep in no time.
Swaddling is a good way of making your baby feel secure and comfortable as it reminds him of the safety of your womb. Often swaddled babies sleep longer during the night, and as long as you wrap him so his hips still have room to move it should be comfortable and safe until she’s about five months old, or once she is able to turn over in her cot.
Get into a routine
Babies start to produce the sleep hormone melatonin at about three months old and, in theory, this should mark the start of them developing their own sleeping routine.
Even if that means you know you’ll always be woken up at 4am that’s something right? Better news is that starting a gentle bedtime routine can lead to melatonin kicking in sooner.
This means putting your baby down for naps and to sleep at as similar time as possible each day. Also, putting them into their cot while they’re still awake will ensure they become more familiar with their surroundings quicker, so won’t be as distressed when they wake up.