Baby Won’t Sleep Unless Held
When your newborn arrives home with you one of the problems many parents face is making sure their baby starts their life sleeping in the correct way. One of the major problems you may face is getting your newborn to sleep without being held. Most sleep experts now agree the major mistakes a new parent makes when arriving home with their newborn is the failure to establish a routine based around getting an infant to sleep.
You can often find yourself struggling under the problem of helping your newborn to sleep without being held. A regular pattern of the same actions taking place after every feed to help your infant to sleep in a crib can be established with a few easy steps.
When you arrive home with your newborn one of the first things you want to do is spend time enjoying the company of your baby. The problem you will face is the issue of your baby sleeping the majority of the day over the first few weeks of life. From birth through to being six weeks old, your newborn will generally sleep between 16 and 20 hours per day, often only waking to feed.
1. Adjust Feeding Schedule
In the early days of life, getting your newborn to sleep without being held can be difficult as they often fall asleep while being breast or bottle-fed. The first step to avoiding the mistake of starting life without wanting to sleep while being held is to make sure you recognize the early signs of drowsiness. This is often described as the first stage of sleep and in a newborn is seen as yawning and droopy eyelids. Even if your newborn is wanting to stay awake, they may struggle to do so when they are firstborn.
Once you have recognized your baby is starting to feel sleepy, you should stop the feed as this is usually a sign they have eaten enough and are preparing to return to sleep. If your newborn is expected to return to sleep relatively quickly it is vital you do not decide to simply rock your baby to sleep in your arms after every feed. This will not help you in the future when you hope to get your newborn to sleep without being held. Over the course of the first few weeks of life, your newborn will begin to the routine which will form the basis of life in the first few years.
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The majority of experts do not recommend allowing your newborn to fall asleep when feeding as this can be a choking hazard and cause problems for your child. Helping your newborn to sleep without being held should begin in the first few weeks of life when routines are easily established.
2. Adjust Sleep Routine
It is not always easy to get your newborn to sleep without being held, but it is possible to do so for most parents like yourself. The most simple way of helping your newborn to sleep without being held is to create a routine with the same actions taking place before your baby returns to sleep after every feed. The common routine your baby can follow to help your newborn to sleep without being held can include:
- Changing the diaper
- Holding your newborn until they become sleepy
- Placing your baby on their back in a crib
3. Resist Allowing Baby to Sleep in Your Arms
Most experts agree that the first few years of life are important in forming the routine for the life of your infant. If in the first few days of life, your newborn becomes used to you holding them in your arms as they fall asleep, this will be the action they come to expect in the coming months. Just think, your newborn will sleep between 16 and 20 hours per day, according to some experts over the first six weeks of their life. From six weeks to four months they will sleep an average of between 15 and 16 hours per day. By allowing your newborn to get used to sleeping in your arms you are committing to spending the majority of your time holding your infant as they sleep.
4. Stay Persistent
You should remember your need to help your newborn to sleep without being held has practical reasons behind it. Your newborn often spends the majority of their time asleep in what is known as the Rapid Eye Movement, REM, stage of sleep. This is the lightest stage of sleep and is often marked by the ability of your child to wake with ease at the slightest sound of movement. Experts often argue a parent who does not allow their newborn to sleep without being held may struggle to place them in their bed without waking or disturbing their latest sleep cycle. If your baby wakes during a sleep cycle and is struggling to return to sleep, they will often struggle to return to sleep without being held in your arms.
5. Use Different Forms of Lighting
One major part of teaching your child to sleep at the correct times of the night and day can be found in marking the difference between night and day. You may be trying to help your newborn to fall asleep without being held and not considering the issue of when you wish to sleep for the majority of your night. Most experts believe your newborn should be looking to sleep through the night by the time they reach between four and six months of age.
The question you are now facing is how to get your newborn to sleep without being held while beginning to understand the difference between night and day. Many experts believe the best way of doing this is to use different forms of lighting for your newborn in their bedroom to mark the difference between night and day. Firstly, the initial step should be to allow natural light to flood into your newborn’s bedroom during the daytime hours. It is also important to allow some light to enter your newborn infant’s room during the nighttime hours but to ensure this is lower than the lighting in the day to encourage sleep.
6. Use Pacifier
One of the most important questions a new parent asks is whether they should use a pacifier to help their newborn sleep on their own. If you are looking to help your newborn to sleep without being held you can look to use a pacifier in an attempt to aid sleep. The use of a pacifier should never be forced onto the child with it being offered instead of pushed into the mouth of the infant. among the benefits of using a pacifier is the reduction in the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome which has been proven among infants who use a pacifier on a regular basis.