Your newborn’s sleep schedule is very important for his or her wellbeing. That’s why it’s crucial that baby gets the sleep they need at the time they need it. Unfortunately, many parents have problems with their little ones’ sleep schedule and often experience disturbed newborn sleep, which can have drastic consequences on baby’ health.
In this article we’re going to go over some of the most common causes of disturbed newborn sleep and explain how you can fix them yourself. Hopefully this will help you get your little one back on track!
- Lack of natural light: Exposure to natural light helps regulate your infant’s circadian cycle (sleep/wake pattern). Therefore, if your infant is deprived of natural light they will not be able to sleep properly and consequently won’t get the rest they need. While you can’t make your newborn stand in front of a light box, you can try increasing their exposure to sunlight by bringing them out in the open as much as possible during the day. In addition, only putting your infant’s crib in direct sunlight for short periods is generally enough to help them adapt.
- Lack of adequate breast feeding: Breast feeding is crucial for establishing a healthy circadian rhythm and satisfying an infant’s nutritional needs. Ideally, you should be nursing your infant on demand and not according to a set schedule. In addition, you should make sure that they stay with their mother throughout the entire feed. As soon as they start struggling to latch on, it’s important that you establish manual breast feeding and continue this until they are able to latch back on on their own.
- Too much handling: While it’s important that we handle our infants frequently, it can have detrimental effects on them if we handle them too much. Especially when an infant is trying to sleep, excessive handling can be quite disruptive and prevent them from sleeping properly and getting the rest they need. The best way to avoid this is to only handle your infant when they need it and make sure that they don’t get too much stimulation before they fall asleep. Also, if you absolutely must handle your little one, make sure that you do it very carefully and you’re not in a rush (rushing can also be disruptive for babies).
- Neediness: Babies often have a habit of waking up in the middle of the night to nurse or be held. Although this is perfectly normal, some parents do not always know how to deal with it, so they end up doing things that are counterproductive. For example, some parents try rocking their infants back to sleep when they wake up at night. Although this seems harmless and even helpful at first, it can be quite damaging for babies that are already having trouble sleeping. Researchers have found that babies who are rocked back to sleep at night have a hard time going back to sleep on their own later on.
After reading through this article, you should hopefully be able to identify any of the causes above in your own situation and know how to fix them. You can also consider organic formula for your baby to make a good newborn sleep schedule.