Baby sleep cycles can often seem like impossible puzzles for many mums and dads. After all, how many parents have gotten up at 2AM to pat or nurse their newborn to sleep, only for the baby to re-awaken all too soon? However, you definitely need to figure out your newborn’s sleep patterns to help them develop smoothly!
You’ll be delighted to find out that there are ways you can cope with your baby’s sleep cycles. Check out the 7 tried and tested methods listed below!
7 Ways to Cope with Baby Sleep Cycles
1. Understand Your Newborn’s Sleep Patterns
Adult sleep cycles are made of several phases, while baby sleep cycles can simply be divided into active and quiet sleep. During active sleep, your little one may move their arms and legs or even let out a cry.
It’s easy for a parent to mistakenly think that their child is awake and then pick them up to soothe them. Disturbing a baby’s sleep cycle can lead to even more frustration on your part, though! Avoid stimulating them when they’ve partially awakened, and they’ll probably go back to sleep on their own.
2. Make Use of Wind Down Routines
A wind down period can cue your newborn that it’s time to sleep, or at least go back to sleep. This can be a massage, a bedtime story, or a cuddle. However, this goes together with the next tip…
3. Avoid Sleep Props
It may sound like common sense to pat your child until they finally fall asleep. But this can easily make your child dependent on patting to help them start a new sleep cycle. Same goes if they’ve fallen asleep while breastfeeding or with a favourite blanket by their side.
Instead of relying on a sleep prop to reinforce baby sleep patterns, train your child to fall asleep by themselves. After the wind down routine, lay them down when they’re drowsy but still awake.
4. Be Patient When Teaching Your Baby to Resettle
Chances are your little one won’t instantly master the art of entering a new sleep cycle. Try helping your baby settle or self soothe during the day, when you have more energy.
5. Determine Why Exactly Your Baby is Crying
So you’ve awakened to the sound of your baby’s cries once again. This time, pay attention to their pitch and figure out what your newborn is trying to tell you. Are they distressed? Do they need a milk feed? Is something hurting them? Once you’ve solved the problem, your baby will find it a lot easier to go back to sleep. This builds your little one’s trust in you, too!
6. Sync Your Child’s Body Clock with a Normal Day
Start helping your little one adjust to 24-hour days by making them part of your daily routine. Expose them to natural lighting patterns along the way, such as morning sunlight or darkness at night. Then once night falls, avoid stimulating your baby too much! This helps teach them that night-time is sleepy time.
7. Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Sacrifice is a huge part of the parenting journey, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect yourself to the point of breaking. Otherwise, you might sink into postpartum depression, which is definitely not good for you and your little one!
30-minute naps can provide you with a valuable energy boost if you’re short on sleep. Even lying down and trying to drift off can be helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask trusted friends and family to watch over the little one while you nap. Be gentle with yourself and remember that this too shall pass.
With these 7 steps, you can find it easier to cope with your baby’s sleep cycles. The two of you might even experience more restful sleep afterwards!
Still having a hard time coping with baby sleep cycles? You might need baby sleep help. Our methods at Nurture Parenting have proven effective for 16 years and counting. On top of that, there’s no controlled crying involved, and cuddles are definitely allowed! Contact us today to find out more.
Visit our blog regularly for more articles about figuring out your baby’s sleeping patterns.
Nurture Parenting, a company in Australia that offers a holistic approach to baby sleep through The Nurture Sleep Program that is designed to take babies from sleepless to slumber.
Nurture Parenting is recognised as Australia’s baby sleep expert. Headed by Karen Faulkner, a Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant, the company offers The Nurture Sleep Program that helps babies and children on sleep training. This is a tried and tested approach that has already transformed the lives of families through its exclusive baby sleep methods that help baby self-settle and promote blissful sleep.