Baby Sleep: How Much, When, How Long?

Baby Sleep: How much, when, how long? Parenting tips to help your baby sleep better, longer and settle much faster. Learn the signs of overstimulation in babies and what to do to avoid them

5 Signs Your Baby Went To Sleep Overstimulated

  • Short naps (up to 1 hour) during the daytime
  • Long and exhausting putting to sleep for a nap or nighttime sleep
  • Frequent nocturnal awakenings (more than three times per night)
  • Several awakenings every 15-20 minutes after putting the baby to sleep for the night
  • Very early morning awakenings (before 6 am)

Signs of Overstimulation in Babies

  1. Your baby’s movements are uneven (he’s experiancing tremors or jerks)
  2. The baby starts breathing fast
  3. He’s constantly rubbing his eyes
  4. The baby’s having a glassy stare (looking trough you rather than at you)
  5. He becomes fussy, cries a lot
  6. He turns his head away from you
  7. The baby’s covering his face with his hands
  8. His hands and legs are tense
  9. The baby’s arching his back

What can I do to help my baby sleep better, longer and settle much faster?

1. Find out the optimal time for your baby to stay awake

How can you do this? Watch your baby carefully. Note the time from the moment he wakes up to the appearance of the first signs of fatigue. Learn to recognize these first signs which show that your baby is tired ( he starts yawning, rubbing his eyes, and having the so-called “glassy stare”)

2. Put your baby to sleep as soon as the first signs of fatigue have appeared

Many parents believe that the child wants to sleep when he is already whining, crying or acting fussyly. However, these are the signs of exhaustion, verging on overstimulation. It would be better to never bring your baby up to this state of overexhaustion.

3. Make the daytime social and active and the evening quiet and calm

This will help your baby to learn the difference between day and night time, and set his body clock for recognizing day and night time.

4. Set a simple bedtime routine

Dim the lights 30 minutes before you start your bedtime routine. Make it a quiet time. Choose the activities for your baby that will help him wind down and set the right mood for the bedtime routine.

5. First bath, then PJs (no playtime in between)

There has been many times that I’ve made this mistake of allowing the playtime in between the bath and going to bed until I’ve noticed that it wasn’t a coincidence that my baby can’t unwind and settle for sleep and it usually took me almost an hour to put him to sleep. Crazy!

Having a bath followed by a PJs and maybe a short relaxing massage in between will help your baby understand it’s the bedtime. Whereas playtime after a bath sends mixed messages to your baby.┬áBabies thrive on routines. So the faster you show your baby what his bedtime routine is the better. Just make sure you stick to it.

6. Set an early bedtime for your baby

Early bedtime is considered to be from 7 to 9 p.m.. Although there are many well known benefits of early bedtime, some parents are still afraid that if they put the baby to sleep early, he will wake up in the middle of the night without any desire to go back to sleep. Actually, there’s no need to be afraid of this because it’s the other way around.

Have you noticed that it’s becoming much more difficult to cope with the baby by the evening? He starts crying more often, he doesn’t want to get off your hands, in general, he’s becoming really fussy. The simple reason behind it is that by the end of the day the baby’s fatigue is accumulating. And the sooner you put the baby to sleep, the better it would be for his health and nervous system.

He will settle much faster and sleep longer. Very many parents note that after they start introducing early bedtime their child starts sleeping better very quickly. In addition, you cannot underestimate the nice bonus an early bedtime gives you – free evening time to spend with your husband.

 

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