A newborn healthy baby is usually kept in a bassinet in the hospital. Once baby and mom return home the battle of being able to sleep a full night begins,
Having baby close to mom in the same room reduces health risks, convenient and less stressful for the mother.
Most newborn babies begin life sleeping in a bassinet as it’s made to fit a tiny body who has been used to a tight space inside the womb. Bassinets are smaller than cribs and much easier to fit into your bedroom. Having the bassinet close your bed makes it easier for you to reach and feed especially in the early morning hours.
A newborn who is being breastfed needs to be fed often and the longest they may sleep is around 3 hours. By two or three months they may sleep for five to six hours at a stretch. Some babies may even miss a feed from 1 to 5 am by the 3rd month. Breastfed babies usually need a feeding or two during the night. By the fourth month, your baby may sleep seven to eight hours without waking up.
The best time to train your baby to have longer sleep is when she’s around 3 months. You can gradually stop the feedings in the middle of the night. Wake baby up before you retire to bed and try to feed at least a few sips. If this doesn’t work, give a good feed before she’s put to bed for the night. If she falls asleep whilst feeding before taking a fair amount of milk, burp and feed again. This way baby will be a belly full and most likely to sleep the night through.
Although newborns need to be fed often, feeding times could be stretched around three to four months. This can be done little by little, in the night too and your baby will eventually sleep throughout the night.
Shortening night time feed also helps. Little by little breastfeed less when awake and decreasing the nursing time until baby eventually gives up this feeding time.
Start a bedtime routine as it will help your baby to get used to the fact that it’s time to sleep. A nice warm water bath is soothing and induces sleep and it’s one of the best solutions to training your baby to sleep.
Whenever baby wakes up crying don’t rush to feed at night. Sometimes he may go back to sleep. But if they crying is getting louder, soothe him with a gentle caress or hum his favorite song. It’s better for them to learn early that night waking is not for feedings and eventually they will fall asleep throughout the night.
Once a baby reaches 30 pounds, it will be time to change the bassinet to a crib. Initially, you could have the crib in your room until he gets used to sleeping in the new bigger surrounding. If you plan to move your baby to his own room leave some of your personal stuff in the room as babies feel comfortable around anything that smells like “mummy”.