If you are planning to have a baby there are many things that you will need to be prepared for and one of those is finding out why your baby won’t sleep. There are all the accessories that you will need to buy (cribs, bottles, etc.), there is the time requirements that you will need to plan for and there is the inevitable toll it will take on your sleeping schedule.
The general consensus is that the infant will on average have trouble sleeping through the night for the first six weeks of his or her life. In some cases, this period can even extend to up to six weeks.
This erratic sleeping pattern that newborns can really impact the sleeping habits of the parents. However, there is solace to be taken in knowing that this doesn’t generally last beyond the previously mentioned six week period.
In some instances, parents get worried because their baby won’t sleep and they can’t find a pattern to their sleeping habits. This is generally the parents’ fault, however, because the habits of the infant need to be molded by the parents and as parents, you need to find out why your baby won’t sleep.
The trick is to really place the baby in an environment where predictable conditions are present. This means that it is necessary to teach the baby when and how to fall asleep. The key here, of course, is consistency, and the same pattern needs to be upheld for multiple weeks before it affects the infant’s behaviour.
From a parent’s perspective, this means that sticking to the same regimen for putting the baby to sleep each and every time he or she wakes up.
The same pattern needs to be repeated every time the baby won’t sleep. So, if for example the baby is fed to sleep, it must be fed to sleep each time. If the infant is rocked to sleep, it will expect to be rocked and won’t fall asleep otherwise.
It is important to adopt a pattern that best suits the parents. The reason is that they really need to find the way that also lets them get as much rest as possible, all the while putting the baby to sleep as quickly as can be.
The importance of following through on the pattern is crucial because it will determine whether or not the baby falls asleep quickly or not. Of course, the chosen pattern will not work perfectly at first. In fact, the first week or so of a adopting a new sleep pattern the baby will no doubt put up resistance. The key is to really not give up and keep with it until the baby has learned that this is how to fall asleep.
It is also very important to not interrupt the regimen as this can completely destroy all the work that has been done before. A single holiday or night out resulting in sleep patterns being disrupted can make the baby revert to his initial sleeping habits. It can take quite a while to establish new habits but old ones can easily come back if proper attention to detail isn’t exercised.
Two more reasons why your baby won’t sleep is if it is sick or is teething. These two situations are quite stressful to the infant and it can be quite a bit more difficult to put him or her to sleep.
However, even if the baby isn’t feeling all that well, it is very important to maintain the exact same sleeping routine throughout the ordeal. This will help greatly to ingrain the routine and will make sure that the entire process doesn’t need to be restarted when the illness ends.
Another trick to make sure that the baby sleeps at night is to limit the nap time during the day. If the infant sleeps for too long during the afternoon nap, he or she won’t be all that tired when night time comes around and it will be inevitably more difficult to put the baby to sleep.
All in all it is all about establishing and adopting a routine that suits both the parents as well as the baby. That way, the infant can get as much uninterrupted sleep as it needs while the parents can get at least a few hours of sleep in a row.