When getting baby ready for sleep, remember newborns know nothing of this world and they do NOT understand time or the passing of time. When they wake they expect to find the exact same conditions as when they fell asleep. This means if you were in the room when they fell asleep, they would expect to see you there when they wake. If the conditions are not the same it could make them feel scared and you could have a crying baby on your hands. This is simply because they do not understand that time has passed since they closed their eyes.
Also with the same theory in mind try not to move your baby while they sleep, they will feel disorientated when they wake. They will expect to see the same room as when they went to sleep. Create a routine of placing baby to sleep in their own beds and not in the lounge and then returning them to their bed later.
All babies (and adults) sleep in cycles and they will often wake briefly between cycles, your baby is able to resettle themselves back to sleep if you allow them. You can guide them to settle themselves and teach them that feeling tired is ok and sleep is a natural progression of the day. This could help create good sleep habits for life.
Wrapping your baby snugly can also help put a fussy baby to sleep by helping them feel secure. Baby's innate reflexes can make them feel a sensation of falling. Swaddling (the art of wrapping) provides your baby with a feeling of full-body support that was created by the fluid in the womb.
INSTRUCTIONS ON SWADDLING
1. Align baby’s shoulders with the top of the open wrap. Place baby’s legs into the pouch.
2. Take left wing over baby’s torso and tuck around the baby’s opposite side. Open fabric patch on the underside of the left wing and secure Velcro to top of leg pouch.
3. Place right wing over left and secure with Velcro tabs to fabric patch on left wing. The wings should be snug, not tight over baby’s chest.
Check the temperature in baby’s room, an ideal room temperature for a baby to sleep is said to be between 19-20 degrees, but each individual baby is different so please keep that in mind. A must however, is not to have the room too hot, over about 24-25 degrees is considered too hot. Check babies neck and back for sweating if you are unsure.
The other thing to check is the light that gets into baby’s room when they sleep. If baby is having problems sleeping make sure to keep their room as dark as possible (some babies can sleep in light…if that is the case for you, consider yourself lucky !)
The dummy...well there are different opinions on this subject. If you feel you should try it, it can be useful in settling baby especially in the first 3 months. It is also beneficial in stretching out the baby's feed times when you are busy.
These are some of the issues you need to consider when getting baby into a sleep routine. Hopefully this guide has provided some useful information in helping provide your baby with quality sleep. For some it may give you back your sanity....I truly hope it does.