New Baby? Is Bedtime, Awake Time?
So many new parents struggle with Bedtime and all too often, it becomes Awake Time. Let’s face it, you just had a baby and you’re tired. You’re tired from the delivery, you’re tired from all the visitors, you’re tired of the phone calls, you’re tired of the constant care of this new little blessing that just joined your life. As Madeline Kahn, sang so well in Blazing Saddles…. Let’s Face It, I’m Tired!
“I just want to sleep and my baby just wants to stay awake.” Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone and NONE of this makes you a bad parent.
So what’s a parent to do?
Here’s Some Tips to help everyone get some rest!
My best advice to you, is to make Bedtime, Routine Time and it’s never too early to start.
With infants of course, you can’t force them to sleep, however you can encourage them. Please keep in mind, that not everything I suggest here, will necessarily work for every child. The beauty of babies, is that they are all special and unique and one size certainly does not fit all.
Here are some suggestions to help with Bedtime. When you find one or two that are working, make it a routine for each time your baby goes to sleep.
- Offer baby a Warm Bath
- Baby Massage (great anytime your baby is agitated or as a welcome bonding time)
- Singing and/or Soft Music while Massaging or Rocking
- Telling or reading a story while Rocking
- Put baby in a Baby Sling and walk around with your arms around your baby, humming or singing softly.
- Nurse or Feed your baby in a Rocking Chair, cradled, till they fall asleep. For those of you that are considering putting your baby to sleep with a bottle, please read the advice of Dr. Tanya Remer Altmann (Peidatrician). ”Please don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle. Falling asleep while drinking milk or juice can lead to cavities because the liquid pools around the teeth and provides a place for bacteria to grow. In addition to being bad for baby teeth, there can also be damage to future permanent teeth. Also, falling asleep while drinking increases your baby’s chance of ear infections. Bottle propping (when a bottle is propped up to allow a child to drink without a parent holding it) is just as bad and may also lead to choking as the milk continues to flow out. Don’t start an unnecessary feeding habit that often leads to a bad sleeping habit ~ both are difficult to break.”
So now your baby is finally asleep. As a new Mom, don’t think, “Now I need to get a few things done”, that can wait. Now it is time for you to get some rest. A well-rested parent is a happy parent. You know with or without a baby, lack of sleep, can turn you into an edgy, aggravated, impatient, short-tempered mess, something that will not do you or your baby any good. Your child can sense your moods and will react accordingly. A stressed out parent can cause an agitated baby. Sleep will help you to be more relaxed with your child and will help you deal with some of the anxiety and confusion a new parent faces when having a newborn.
Your next question, may be, “What happens when my baby gets up too soon and it’s not time to eat, but they’re crying?” First of all, give your child a minute. Don’t jump at their first cry. Give them a minute and they may settle down and go back to sleep. However, if they continue to cry and there is no sign of stopping, it’s time to intervene.
Babies awaken for many reasons, so go through “The Baby Checklist”, that is useful when babies cry. It is very often one of three options that are causing their discomfort.
- Are they hungry?
- Are they in pain?
- Do they need their diaper changed?
Check and make sure they are comfortable and nothing is causing them pain; clothes, zippers, anything. Of course, their diaper is easy enough to check and sometimes if you’re not sure, you can change it anyway.
Now consider, when was the last time they were fed. Even if it wasn’t that long ago, they may just need a little more of a bottle or nursing to put them back to sleep.
If you have checked everything and tried everything, sometimes rubbing your baby’s forehead or scalp in a very gentle, circular motion, will relax them and often help them fall asleep.
Another suggestion is to lay down with your baby laying on your chest, so that they can hear your heartbeat and breath. This will also relax a baby. Gently rub your baby’s back as they lay for even more comfort.
Infants need your love, patience and kindness. The more you do to take care of yourself, the better you will be able to take care of them. This is a time of splendor, of joy, of challenge and of delight. Your rewards will be endless. Enjoy!
If this post was helpful to you, comment below and let’s help some more parents! Feel free to share this with anyone who just had a new baby or just might enjoy the post or on your social media sites!
Peace, Love & Laughter!
Let’s raise happy and healthy kids together!
Catch my Parenting 101 show live on Periscope Monday thru Friday at 2pm, as we discuss topics of concern and great ideas for all parents and caregivers. Is there a topic you’d like me to address, just send me an email or comment below.