Being parents is a hard enough job without having sleep deprivation. Most parents find that they have to survive on less sleep. The glorious day when the baby sleeps right through the night can never come too soon. Babies who nap through the day and then cry at night wreak havoc with parent’s sleeping patterns. There are strategies to try to cope with babies and sleeping habits.
If you are able to, it’s a good idea to sleep when the baby does. Unplug the phone, put a do not disturb sign on the door and snooze along with junior. At nighttime, a warm bath can help to make baby sleepy, so time bath time just before putting the baby down. Babies and sleeping routines are important, so bedtime needs to be about the same time every night, but don’t be a slave to it.
Sometimes, the baby wakes up crying and for no apparent reason. They are dry, just been fed and you can’t think what could be wrong. At other times, the reason may be that they are teething or have colic. If you have exhausted all possibilities, they may be satisfied with a hug. Unfortunately, babies and sleeping don’t always go together.
Babies need a quiet environment and not be cold or too warm. There are things that may calm them if they are anxious, such as a lullaby or a mobile above the cot. Some parents have found that placing baby next to a tumble drier soothes them into sleep! As a last resort in solving the babies and sleeping problem, some parents take the baby out for a car ride. Baby falls asleep and then is carried gingerly to bed. Some babies will not fall asleep in their cot at any time and parents have to wait for them to nod off wherever they happen to be and then carry them to bed.
Teething and illnesses make the problem worse. Make sure that you have something from the doctor to rub on to sore gums when those teeth start to push through. Colic often interrupts babies and sleeping through. There are medicines to give for this too. If you are despairing parents with a wakeful child, just remember that it won’t always be like this. The first six months will fly by, albeit in a sleepless haze. Soon, they’ll be teenagers and you’ll be losing sleep because they haven’t come home yet!