If you thought you’d lost sleep over various aches and pains when you were pregnant, getting sufficient shuteye as a new mum is w..a..y tougher. Now that your little one is here, establishing a bedtime routine, waking for night feeds and resolving naptime struggles are some of the things you will need to grapple with. Here’s how:
0 to 6 months
* Typically, newborns sleep about 16 hours in a day, waking every two to four hours for milk feeds during the day and night.
* Besides yawning, signs like having difficulty focusing, fluttering her eyelids and jerky arm and leg movements will show that baby’s ready to nod off.
* Being consistent in keeping to a bedtime routine calms your kewpie and lets her know what to expect. Try this: Start with a warm bath, then feed and burp her before laying her down to sleep for the night.
* While bubba will likely feel more secure sleeping on her tummy, it can increase her risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which happens most commonly in children between 2 and 4 months old. So, make sure you put your sweetie to sleep on her backs.
6 to 12 months
* By 6 months, most babies would have been weaned off night feeds and should sleep through the night.
* However, they might experience sleep regression — waking up for brief periods at a time at night — due to separation anxiety. They will also recognise that even though you might be out of sight, you are never far from them.
* Video monitors can help you keep an eye on him if he does wake up at night. If you have to visit his room, keep it short. To soothe his crying, don’t pick him up or feed him, try giving him a back rub instead.
* Teething pain could be keeping him up at night, applying teething gels can soothe his irritated gums. Put a small amount on some clean gauze before rubbing it on baby’s gums.
Click to learn about your kiddo’s sleep patterns after he turns 1…
12 to 18 months
* Avoid rocking, feeding or singing your toddler to sleep. It’s time to train him to self-soothe, so that he can snooze on his own every night.
* Although he will still need at least one or two naps in the day, your 1-year-old’s sleeping patterns should be more regular by now. By 18 months, he should only require one nap in the day.
* Not switching on the room light and keeping your voice low as you speak should make it easier to lull your mini-me into a peaceful slumber. If he still refuses to go to sleep on his own at night, it is all right for you to comfort him but don’t stay to play.
* Never give in to your peewee’s protests. Remember that sticking to a sleep routine not only lets him know that you mean business, it’ll help you get some sleep.
* The bedtime power struggles will start when your little one begins to push the boundaries of her newfound independence. Give her the chance to exercise her independence by letting her decide between simple alternatives you give her, such as choosing her bedtime story or which pyjamas to wear.
* Avoid asking open-ended questions like “Do you want to sleep now?” or “Do you like to wear these pyjamas?” as it’ll give her the option to disagree.
* Whenever she climbs out of her bed at night to look for you, ensure that you always bring her back. Allowing her to hop into your bed whenever she comes to you shows her that you approve of her errant behaviour.
* Occasionally, your tot may start to have nightmares or imagine that there are monsters hiding beneath her bed. Soothe her back to sleep when this happens. If her nightmares keep recurring, it’s time to seek medical help.
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