Thursday, 29 September 2016

A nice rhythm

After spending all that time in your belly, your baby will suddenly end up in an all-new environment. And suddenly he will have to deal with day and night, light and dark. It’s not possible for him to have the perfect rhythm from day 1. This has to ‘grow’. You help your baby a lot by offering him rest and predictability.

Predictability

If you stick to a fixed order of sleep time, awake time and feeding time, you will make it predictable and clear for your child. This will help your baby get into a healthy sleeping and feeding rhythm more quickly. This rhythm doesn’t have to be based on the clock! The amount of food and sleep he needs is not always the same. After all, there’s a lot going on inside of and round your little one, and his body responds to that. Pay close attention to your child. Put it to bed on time, and keep applying this same ritual for this as well. Even when the day looks a little different than usual, you should still offer that familiar predictability.

Rest & sleep signals

If your baby is sleeping well, you will learn to understand him sooner. If he slept well and wakes up rested, the hunger signal is clearer too. Your baby will let you know when he wants to sleep again. Sometimes this can be very soon!
Be open to those signals and trust them. By meeting your baby’s sleeping needs, you are letting him know that sleep is good, something nice. Always put your baby to bed on time or directly after the first subtle sign from your child. Examples of sleep signals are yawning, rubbing the eyes, red cheeks, warm ears, kicking and whining.
If you wait too long, your child will become upset, and crying will be the only way he has left to communicate. If you wait too long, it has the opposite effect to the one you want; sadness and overtiredness will only make it harder for your baby to fall asleep. In addition, the familiar bed will suddenly become a very unpleasant place for your child.

Thanks to the Puckababy, Rose is now sleeping better, and feeding very well too. We are also on that pink cloud now!

Rhythm

There is a fixed order to the sleeping pattern of every human being, including your baby’s. The deep sleep, dream sleep and light sleep keep coming around. One total sleep cycle takes about 45 minutes. If your child is too cold, or if there’s commotion in the house, your baby will wake up easily while he’s in the light sleep phase. But that doesn’t mean your little one is properly rested. Usually this takes at least two sleep cycles, so about an hour and a half. Tucking him in warmly, whispering sweet words or putting your hands on his belly may help your baby fall asleep again.

Day & night rhythm

At first your baby won’t really understand the concept of a day and night rhythm yet. This will develop in steps. Make the room light during the day and properly dark at night. After a few weeks, your baby will be awake more often during the day and sleep more deeply at night.

Every baby is unique and has his own rhythm. During the first months, the sleeping pattern can still be very irregular. Until they are 6 months old most babies need another sleep after feed time and play time. Sometimes it’s very soon, and sometimes the baby will fall asleep again right after feed time. That’s why it is very important to meet your baby’s need for sleep. Stay alert for the sleep signals of your child while he’s awake. Put your child to bed on time, and stick to a fixed ritual for this.

She sighs in relief as soon as I close the sleeping bag, and she falls asleep quickly. Beautiful!

Sleep rituals

Your child always needs some time to surrender to sleep. The predictability is important for this too. If you always do something according to a fixed ritual, it won’t take your baby long to recognize it. It will give your child rest, what makes falling asleep easier. An example of such a sleep ritual is putting your baby in the sleeping bag or tucking him in tightly, singing him a song, giving him a kiss and putting on music for him. Keep it short, clear and calm.