The 5 Steps For A Better And Quitter Night Sleep
The first step - Create permanent anchors.
Each one of us was born and raised in a particular environment, where there was a certain order.
We knew there was breakfast, lunch, dinner, when to play and when to go to sleep. Our parents dictated our daily routine and built a certain routine for us.
Years passed, we grew up and matured, the world changed and together with it our day to day life and our routine. Each one from this stage dictates to what and when he does things. Now we let ourselves go to bed late and whenever we feel tired, get up when we need or not at all, eat whenever we feel like, and yet, our lack of routines are still routines.
But now we are parents, some of us build special routines for our newborn baby but some of us a lot of us go with the "routine" we have already set when there wasn’t a little bundle of joy in our home. Here is the problem! This routine doesn’t work for our baby and soon we will need to change it - To his/her routine.
How to organize a regular schedule for your baby?
Try to organize the day so that it has fixed anchors at regular times. For example: meals, playing times, going out for errands or just walking around the neighbourhood, all these “tasks” should be fixed and on regular times throughout the day.
The daily routine and road signs will give your baby a sense of security and will make it easier for him/her to follow the course of the day and help organize his/her day without they will even notice.
It is very important that during the day your baby sleeps in his/her bed so that they will learn that there is one fixed place and bed which they sleep in and have all the proper conditions for it.
The second step – The Sleeping Ceremony
The sleeping ceremony is of great importance, and it is designed to help your baby get a clear separation between day time and night time. We aim to lower our hectic life before going to bed and preparing our baby for a quality and pleasant sleep.
It is important that the order of things in the ceremony will be consistent and more or less at the same sequence and time. It is important to emphasize that the ceremony must repeat itself every day, and exactly the same.
During the sleeping ceremony you can put some calm music in the background, you can leave the light on, and it is important that the sleeping ceremony will have content and meaning. You can read a bedtime story, massage your baby for a few seconds, say good night to every large toy in the room etc.
Then when your done turn off the light or the music and put your baby down to sleep.
The third step - Identify signs of fatigue for a full night sleep
It is very important to recognize the signs of your baby fatigue and respond to them from the moment you recognize them and no longer than 30 minutes.
Common signs are of fatigue are:
Your baby rubbing their eyes.
Scratching their ear or head.
Another sign that you can recognize if your baby is tired is his hyperactivity. Here I remember the myth most of us heard from our surroundings that you need to wait until he or she gets tired and then they will sleep for a whole night or at least A few good hours. When I tried to do this, the dream of a good night sleep just smashed into my face.
When you know that your baby is long overdue and past his/her sleeping hour and he or she does not look tired at all, this is a red light you should notice.
His body is over-tired and excreted adrenaline which causes your baby to enter the hyperactivity state and in such a situation it is very difficult to soothe and lay them down to sleep. And even when you've succeeded in putting them down, chances are they'll wake up at night and not once but multiple times. So, avoid getting into over-fatigue and always remember that early response will ease your child's process of falling asleep and will benefit his/her sleep quality.
The fourth step – Day and night sleep cycles
One thing that changed my understanding of my baby sleeping patterns was understanding what sleeping cycles are. A baby's sleep cycle takes about an hour and is divided into two parts.
In the first part your baby sees a dream, so you can see that when he moves a lot during sleep, blinking (REM) and it almost looks like he doesn’t sleep at all.
In the second part of the sleep cycle, your baby enters his/her deep sleep phase, where you will see and feel regular breathing, relaxed body and see that your baby sleeps just "like a baby". After an hour or so, the sleep cycle is renewed and again your baby enters the dream phase.
Sleeping during and the amount of sleep is heavily depending on your baby age. See table above. If your baby is sleeping an entire sleep cycle, that is, an hour and more, then he or she decides to wakes up, there is no reason to bring him back to sleep, the physical system is refreshes and this is the time he or she can get up and continue the day.
During the noon sleep time your baby should not sleep more than 3 hours in total, otherwise it may turn into almost “night sleep” and it can and would change the routine and night time sleep.
Your baby should sleep no less than 55 minutes (preferably an hour) at noon, otherwise, it is likely that your baby will arrive at the sleeping ceremony overly tired grumpy and the night sleep will be effected.
Even during the night, the sleep cycle is the same sleep cycle, the only thing that should change is our attitude and the way we approach our baby.
When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, your goal is to get him/her back to sleep. When your baby wakes up, it is important not to start playing with him or her and to not incorporate any other factors that will distract your baby from sleeping, otherwise he or she simply would not want to go back to sleep.
The fifth step - Good Morning – It’s a new day.
So as not to cause confusion in your baby when the night ends and a new day begins, here, too, it is important to do a short sleep ceremony. You can open the blinds, say good morning to the toys in the room, change the PJ’s etc.
And always - start the day with a smile. It is very important that it morning and a new day has begun - Your baby should understand that too. Enter the room with a smile (even if you did not sleep at all that night), hug him or her say good Morning it’s a new and exciting day ahead.
But if you know that it is not yet time to start the day, then return your baby to sleep until morning.
It is important that you as the parent be decisive, very clear and confident in yourself and in your parenting. This is how your baby will learn he has someone he can trust and trust is related to every area of his or her life, not only to sleep, otherwise he or she will simply not understand what you will want from them at the next night.