Tiny babies' sleeping patterns greatly differ from the sleeping patterns of adults, or even older kids. Everybody knows that newborns sleep a lot. But that does not necessarily mean they'll sleep when you want them to especially at night. Newborns have trouble telling day and night apart, especially in the early weeks. So what do you do when your newborn just won't sleep?
Admittedly, I never had this problem with my first child. She slept soundly, and nightly wakings were not a problem. I breastfed her back to sleep when she woke up, and she'd doze off in no time at all. It hardly had any impact on the overall length and quality of my own sleep, which was a blessing. My second child was totally different. He had a habit of crying for an hour each night, mostly starting at exactly 8pm!
Here are some tips you can try when your newborn just won't sleep tips that worked for me, and many other women.
- Breastfeeding was our sleep-aid of choice. Almost every time one of my babies was truly tired, nursing them would help them doze off.
- Co-sleeping is still a controversial subject. In my experience, it's safe if you follow the "rules" (no smoking, a healthy body weight, no drinking). Sleeping next to your baby will mean he knows he is safe, and you will be able to nurse without really even noticing. A nursing glider may be great for you if you don't feel comfortable with co-sleeping. At least you'll be comfortable while rocking your baby! Read what do you need for your baby's nursery for more nursery tips.
- Taking your baby for a drive works for many parents. The movements of the car encourage sleep. Strollers (see stroller shopping tips) also work for many babies, as does carrying them in baby carriers on your body, something that had the added advantage of also being able to breastfeed them if you do that.
- Rocking is a well-known trick like driving and riding in a stroller, this mimics the movements of the mother's body while the baby was still in the uterus. At night, this might be your only option when others don't work.
- Stroking your baby's head, where their fontanel is located, seems to relax babies and may help some get to sleep.