Tag: infant sleeping

Newborn Feeding Tips for Sleeping Longer at Night

Establish Daytime Patterns

Newborn Feeding Tips for Sleeping Longer at NightDuring the day, you want your baby to eat and eat and eat so that at night time, she will sleep and sleep and sleep. This means frequent feeding times, ranging from every 2 – 3 hours.

If breastfeeding: feed every two hours during the day.

If formula feeding: feed every 3 hours during the day.

If your baby isn’t acting hungry after the allotted time, still offer the breast or bottle. They may take just a bit, bit it will help them learn the pattern of eating more during the day and less at night.

Fill That Belly

I do this at 9:30pm – but it’s whenever you want your 4-5 hour block to start.
Filling the belly at 11pm means your baby could sleep until 3 or 4am.

SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 12-WEEK OLD FEEDING TIMES

7:00 am

9:00 am

11:30 am

1:30 pm

3:30 pm

5:30 pm

7:30 pm

9:30 pm – FILL THAT BELLY

2:30 am

5:00 am

7:00 am

I have found these two key feeding tips – in conjunction with 5 Tips to Get Your Newborn to Sleep Longer at Night – have created a pattern which allows both my daughter and me to get the best possible sleep at night with a newborn!

Roxann Blue
©2014 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Roxann is a new mom, graphic designer, and contributing author for Head & Heart Parents. In her spare time she likes to sleep. You can learn more about her at www.roxannblue.com

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5 Tips to Help Your Newborn Sleep Longer

5 Tips to Help Your Newborn Sleep Longer
Being a brand new parent of a brand new baby who had trouble sleeping longer than an hour at a time I utilized every resource I could find to help me. I met with professional sleep consultants, read popular books about parenting newborns, called the fussy baby network, and of course – scoured online forums for anyone suffering from the same lack of sleep with a trick or idea I hadn’t tried yet.

Here’s what I was dealing with:

  • Baby would only fall asleep in my arms
  • Baby would wake up when I tried to put her down
  • Baby would only stay asleep for an hour at a time
  • When she would wake in the night, she would want to stay awake instead of going back to sleep

I discovered that a tip from here and an idea from there brought impressive results.

1. Fill That Belly

Think of the time when you are most interested in having a good long sleep. Most likely that time involves having a nice, satisfying meal right beforehand. To create a state of contentment, and to keep it that way for a few hours, make sure your little one has a nice full belly before trying to send them off to dreamland.

2. Pre-Flight Sleep Checklist

To sleep for a longer stretch of time ensure all of the following are taken care of after a nice, full feed:

  • Burped to prevent mid-sleep gas pains
  • Gas drops if needed
  • A fresh diaper
  • Adequately dressed – being too hot or too cold can cause wake-ups

3. Set the Sleep Cues Part I:
Emulate the Comfort of the Womb

Setting up specific bedtime or naptime cues lets your baby know: “Oh, it’s time for me to have a nice, big sleep.”

The simple comfort cues that worked the best for me are:

  • A tight swaddle
  • Rocking motion
  • Pacifier

A lot of newborns feel most contented in a cozy setting that resembles the womb. A tight swaddle and heavy bouncing may seem uncomfortable to adults, but babies are used to being compressed into a little ball and jiggled constantly. Perhaps you remember your baby being the most bouncy when you were trying to sleep at night? Stillness makes babies unsettled!

4. Set the Sleep Cues Part II:
Emulate the Sounds of the Womb

Along with a snug squeeze, the womb was loud – as loud as a vacuum cleaner – with the sounds of mom’s heartbeat, lungs, and belly growls. After your baby is gently jiggling in a snug swaddle give her some familiar, pacifying background noise.

The sounds that worked for me are:

  • Fan or white noise machine
  • A special sleep-time song

After putting the noise machine on the loudest setting, I wrapped everything up with a special song just for sleep time. It was usually something I just made up on the fly with a soothing rhythm. Give it a try – it may only take a few times for your baby to recognize their special sleep song with heavy eyes when you start singing.

5. And Then You Wake Your Baby Up…

Yes, I know this sounds crazy. When I heard this I thought to myself, “I am trying to get this child to SLEEP! How is waking her a good idea??” However, when you think about it, this is the perfect time to get your baby to learn how to fall asleep on their own– baby is full of milk, swaddled, comforted, and heavy with sleep. The best method (tried and true by me, I swear!) is to gently wake up your baby before putting them down in their sleep area.

The Reasoning: It’s easy for your baby to fall asleep in your arms – being gently rocked against a warm body – the soothing sound of a heartbeat – what’s not to love? It’s tempting to just let the little nugget remain peacefully asleep on your chest. Just keep in mind if this is the only way you let your baby fall asleep, this could cause a dependency on mom or dad to get them back asleep during wake-ups caused by noises or mild hunger.

Yes, at first this could take a few tries. I remember having to pick my baby up and soothe her back to a calm state at least five times before she fell asleep on her own. But she learned – and now I can lay her down in her bassinet after two rounds of the special sleep song when her eyes are heavy and starting to close and she falls asleep. On her own. Just like magic.

6. Bonus Tip: Rock n’ Play Your Way to Victory

Putting a baby down on a still surface can wake them right up. I struggled with this for weeks – I tried everything and nothing seemed to work. Every sleeping setup I tried was so different from rocking in the warmth of moms arms.

That is until I was told about the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play by my lactation consultant.

At first I was skeptical. Another baby contraption I had no interest in buying let alone cluttering up my already small city apartment. It sat in the box for a few days and then after I put it together I was reluctant to try it. But let me tell you – IT CHANGED MY LIFE.

After my baby was fed, burped, changed, and rocked to sleep in my arms, the easiest transition was laying her down in the Rock n’ Play and gently rocking her back to sleep. So easy, so light – it works like magic.

Learn How Using the Rock n’ Play Can Help Parents Get More Sleep, Too!

Roxann Blue
©2014 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Roxann is a new mom, graphic designer, and contributing author for Head & Heart Parents. In her spare time she likes to sleep. You can learn more about her at www.roxannblue.com

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The Amazing Rock ‘n Play*

Get Better Sleep with a New Infant
Find the Rock n’ Play on Amazon.com

 

Acid Reflux Reducer

Dealing with a baby that suffers from serious acid reflux, I found I couldn’t just lay her on her back or I would be faced with a giant projectile spit-up. Yet the bed with a pillow, or Boppy-propping alternatives, all had their own downfalls as well.

I found when I propped up my baby girl on a pillow on the bed she would sometimes “roll down” the pillow – leaving her face down or in an awkward position – thus risking her safety or waking her up. No good either way. The Boppy worked great – for short periods – and is not actually recommended for sleeping at all.

Per the Fisher Price website, the Rock ‘n Play is great for babies to snooze in. Mesh sides and a belt keep the baby from falling out. Finally, it has the gentle incline from toe to head, resulting in significantly less spit-up.

A Great Alternative to Co-Sleeping

Let me preface by saying I really loved the idea of having my little nugget cozied up next to me in bed – content to sleep with mom. However, I found co-sleeping to be a bit of a nightmare. Yes, for naps and short periods, I still love it. But for those long stretches at night where I am hoping for 4-5 hours of solid, heavy sleep? Not so great. The reason being, I was always so worried about smothering my baby, or her rolling onto her face and smothering herself, that I found I didn’t sleep well at all. I woke up every 20 minutes to check her breathing situation. It wasn’t until I found her swaddled, face down in a pillow that I sadly decided co-sleeping with my newborn wasn’t going to work for me.

The Rock ‘n Play offers a close-to-the-bed, rock-able, lightweight alternative to co-sleeping. Baby is right there, can see your face AND can be gently swayed to sleep. Perfect!

Helps Parents Get More Sleep Too

After nighttime feeding and diaper change, parents are already half awake. Add in having to rock or soothe a baby back to sleep and you could be wide-eyed for the next 30 minutes. The Rock ‘n Play is great in that regard. After feeding, diapering re-swaddling, simply lay the baby back in the Rock ‘n Play right next to your bed. Then lie down next to him, with your head on the bed right in line with his. Use your arm to gently rock the baby to sleep. You’ll find it’s so soothing that you’re falling asleep, right in your bed, along with him. Funny sidenote: I’ve fallen asleep BEFORE my baby doing this. Then I wake up to find her staring at me with wide eyes as if to say “Where did you go? I’m still awake here….”

Buy the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play on Amazon

I will tell you that my baby did not love her Rock ‘n Play at first. It took a few times to get her settled and into a rhythm with it. If you’re willing to try something new, give it a few nights for your baby to get used to it.

Good Luck!

Roxann Blue
©2014 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Roxann is a new mom, graphic designer, and contributing author for Head & Heart Parents. In her spare time she likes to sleep. You can learn more about her at www.roxannblue.com

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*DISCLAIMER* This is not an Advertisement, but an enthusiastic mom whose life got so much better when she started using the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play.