Sleeping Aids and Tricks to Get Your New Baby to Sleep!
As intended parents, you have excitedly waited for the birth of your new baby via the surrogacy process. There are likely many worries that you are anticipating once the baby arrives. One of the biggest fears for many new parents is how to make sure that your new baby sleeps. We at Simple Surrogacy want to help you, not only through the surrogacy process, but also as new parents. For that reason, we, along with experienced parents, have compiled this list of sleeping aids and tricks designed to help you to get your new baby to sleep. Having one less thing to worry about should help you, the parents, to sleep better as well!
Learn Not to Awaken Baby at Night to Eat
The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that a healthy, properly growing baby should not need to be awakened at night to eat. As long as your child is gaining weight and growing at a steady rate, feeding well during the daytime, urinating well during the daytime (usually at least four times) and having at least three bowel movements per day, you should not need to awaken him to feed at night. Your baby will let you know if he gets hungry during the night! If this happens, of course, feed him. If your baby is not meeting the above milestones, talk to your pediatrician about the need for nighttime awakening to feed him.
Limit the Length of Your Baby’s Daytime Naps
Experienced parents can tell you that if your baby sleeps for too long during the daytime, he won’t sleep well at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that infants up to one year of age should be sleeping 12 to 16 hours total every 24 hours, including naps. They also note that naps should ideally be no longer than two hours. If your baby is sleeping past that length of time at nap time, it is recommended that you awaken the baby from his nap, feed him, and keep him awake for a while. It is fine to then lay him down for another nap, again keeping it to no longer than two hours. Timing your baby’s naps will help him to sleep for longer periods at night.
Swaddle Your Baby
Even as intended parents, you’re probably already receiving advice about how to properly care for your baby once he’s here. One of the most common suggestions that you might be hearing is that you should swaddle your baby when he sleeps. This is a great piece of advice that really does work. New babies have a natural startle reflex until they are about five months old. Keeping your baby in a tight swaddle when he sleeps has been shown to keep him from startling himself awake. This enables your baby to sleep better for longer periods of time. One of the most common and easiest swaddle methods is the HALO Sleep Sack, but you can learn to naturally swaddle your baby with a blanket as well.
Use White Noise
Many parents suggest using white noise to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep. No matter how quiet you try to keep your new baby’s home, there will inevitably be noises at precisely the wrong moments that wake your baby. A white noise machine, or even a simple fan, placed just inside the door of baby’s room can keep your baby asleep for longer periods of time. It’s great when you’re traveling with baby too. In an unfamiliar setting that might be harder for him to get to sleep, white noise will be a comforting reminder of home.
Make Sure Baby’s Tummy Is Full at Night
It makes sense that if your baby’s tummy is full when he goes to bed at night, he will sleep better and for longer periods of time. Many parents advocate feeding your baby right before his bedtime, to prevent him from waking up when you’re finally asleep. That last feeding of the night can make all the difference in the world in keeping your newborn asleep for longer stretches of time. This is usually recommended for newborns up to six months of age.
Keep Routines Before Naptime and Bedtime
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that parents keep the same consistent routines when getting baby to sleep at naptime and bedtime. This will help to signal to baby that it’s time to sleep. An example of a naptime routine might be to take your baby to his room, change his diaper, place him in his swaddle, close the curtains, turn on the white noise machine, rock him for a short period in the rocker, then lay him down in his crib on his back. At bedtime, you might first give baby a bath, put on a new diaper, place him in his swaddle, feed him, burp him, turn on the white noise machine, rock him and lay him on his back in his crib. Remember that it is best to lay your baby down while he is drowsy but still a bit awake. This way, he can learn to get himself asleep independently.
Realize What Being a Good Sleeper Means
In order for your baby to be “a good sleeper,” he does not need to sleep for ten hours straight each night without waking. Rather, a good sleeper is a baby who wakes up frequently but is able to get himself back to sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if a newborn sleeps undisturbed for a long period of time, this may be a sign that something is physically wrong. Likewise, if you hear your baby wake during the night, give him a chance to get himself back to sleep before you go into his room to check on him and/or get him up. With practice, you’ll be able to distinguish your baby’s cries and tell when he’s hungry, has a wet or dirty diaper, or just unsettled and can likely get himself back to sleep.