Separation Anxiety in Babies
When you have a new baby, it’s a very exciting time. It’s also a very exhausting time. Babies don’t do much more than sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom.
It doesn’t seem like a lot to manage, but it is. They are doing these things constantly. You have to tend to the baby every couple of hours. That includes in the middle of the night. There are many other times you will have to separate from your baby, which can lead to baby anxiety.
Easing Your Baby’s Separation Anxiety
When you have an infant, you will need to use every single trick in the book to help ease their separation anxiety.
While it won’t always work, there are a lot of things you can do to increase the odds of that happening. Most babies experience at least some anxiety. The anxiety comes from the pressures of being in a scary new world and growing pains.
Here are some simple tricks to easing your baby’s anxiety:
Do Not Sleep With the Baby
As a new mother, it can be hard to put your baby down. You want to hold them and cuddle them all the time. Some parents don’t even want to leave the baby when they sleep, so they buy a device to keep the baby safe in bed with them.
While it’s understandable that you want to spend time with your baby, you need to let them sleep in their own crib. If you sleep with the baby every night, separation anxiety will increase as they get older.
This will seriously affect your personal relationship with your partner, and it may prevent the child from developing independently. Prevent this from happening from the start by not allowing the baby to sleep in your bed. This will help your baby sleep on their own as they get older.
Don’t Rock the Baby to Sleep
Most television shows and movies show mothers rocking their baby to sleep as a way of easing your baby’s anxiety.
For that reason, you may think that’s the best thing to do. It even works! So, what’s the problem if it is effective? Well, it’s only effective as a short-term solution.
Rocking the baby to sleep will make them associate the rocking with sleep. They may not be able to sleep unless you rock them.
That will make getting the baby to sleep much more difficult when they get older. It will make it very difficult for anyone watching the baby if you are not there. Keep the rocking for feeding time and easing your baby’s anxiety.
Learn How to Swaddle Properly
Swaddling refers to wrapping your baby up in a blanket nice and tight. This is a way to help sooth your baby and get them comfortable for bed and acts as a way of easing your baby’s anxiety. They will sleep better when more comfortable. They will also be nice and snug, preventing them from waking themselves up by moving. It also helps regulate their temperature before thier own body is able to do it for them. There are a number of ways to swaddle. It’s a good idea to practice before the baby arrives. Not all babies enjoy swaddling as much as others. If you baby seems to struggle, look for other ways to sooth them.
White Noise Machine
Many people use white noise machines to help themselves fall asleep. There’s something soothing about the sound of running water and crickets that help easing your baby’s anxiety. Well, it can help your baby sleep as well. Put the baby in its crib when they start to get drowsy and turn on the machine. They should start to nod off instantly. Of course, the baby will get used to the white noise machine, so be sure to bring it with you if you aren’t at home. If you don’t like the white noise machine, you can also try soft, soothing music.
Control the Light
When a baby is first born, it doesn’t understand the difference between night and day. This is why babies create their own sleep schedule the first couple of days after they are born. However, we can’t just sleep when we want. Babies need to learn that day time is when they should be up and night time is when they should be sleeping. While it takes some time to teach them this, it happens you can start to teach them by using light.
If your baby is wide awake at night, as they will be from time to time, it’s best to keep the lights off and keep it dark. Similarly, if they are sleeping in the middle of the day when it’s bright out, you shouldn’t shut the lights off. They need to learn that it’s light out during the day.
It’s been shown that babies can hear a mother’s voice while in the safety and warmth of the womb. That makes a mother’s voice especially soothing to a baby. If your child can’t fall asleep due to anxiety, try singing or talking to the baby to contribute to easing your baby’s anxiety. You don’t have to sound like Beyonce. Your child doesn’t care about your singing ability. They simply want to hear your voice. It’s relaxing to them. Pick a lullaby that doesn’t give you a headache and start singing softly. Don’t start singing something upbeat or it might have the opposite of the desired effect.
Let Them Go Back to Bed
Many new mothers are glued to the baby monitor. If they hear even the slightest peep, it will cause them to jump up, easing your baby’s anxiety. It’s understandable to be protective of the baby, especially if it’s your first child. However, that’s not always the best solution. Have you ever woken up and gone right back to bed? Babies do the same thing. If you run to them the second they wake up and make a noise, it might only cause them to wake up even more. If you let them be, they may just fall right back to sleep. Give them a chance to calm themselves. They don’t necessarily need you to run to them just because they woke up for a quick moment. This will lead to more independent behavior in the future as well. This may be difficult
Put Them in Their Crib
For many new mothers, they hold their baby until they fall asleep, easing your baby’s anxiety. At that point, they put the baby in the crib. The order on this is a bit off, though. It’s best to put the baby in its crib before they fall asleep to help your baby sleep. Try to look for the signs of the baby getting drowsy and put them to bed at that point. You’ll notice the stretching and the tired eyes with time. If you get them to bed before they fall asleep, they will associate going into the crib with falling asleep. Putting them in their crib after they fall asleep can be confusing. It may even cause them to have trouble sleeping since they wake up in a completely different place then they remembered.
Work With Your Partner
You are not the only one who made this baby. You and your partner will both have to work together if you expect to see results with the baby’s sleep and easing your baby’s anxiety. Tell your partner exactly what steps you are taking to help your baby sleep so they can do the same thing when they are in charge of the baby. Consistency is extremely important. Your attempts won’t be effective if they are only followed some of the time. If you have trouble expressing this to your partner, go over why you care so much calmly. If you can’t make them pick up the same habits you are working on, you may be forced to agree to disagree and just do what you can when you are in charge.
Tend to Teething
One of the main reasons for trouble sleeping in babies, especially as they get a little older, is teething. Their little teeth are breaking through their gums, and it hurts. While you won’t be able to completely alleviate the pain, you can do some things to help them feel better.
First, you have to determine the cause of the problem is teething. Some of the signs are chewing on everything and drooling.
Do not use alcohol to numb the baby’s gums. It’s a bad idea. It could even harm the baby. You also can’t give the baby anything to chew on while sleeping for safety reasons. Instead, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor about any mild pain medication that can help ease the pain at night to allow them to sleep. Only use the medication to help your baby sleep.
To make the best of the situation, you should learn everything you can about babies and sleep as well as how to develop good sleeping habits for your baby. It’s one of the most difficult things you will experience as a new parent. Once you get the sleeping pattern down, you will start to get much more sleep yourself. Here is some information to help your baby sleep.