WITH the New Year in full swing, there is one thing every parent is wishing for…more sleep!
If you don’t have one already, January is the perfect time to put a new sleep routine in place for your little one.
US paediatrician Dr Harvey Karp has offered insight on how to get your baby’s sleep back on track. Pictured, stock imageCredit: Getty
The expert says the biggest new-parent misconception is that sleep gradually improves until the baby is sleeping an 8-hour stretch at 4 monthsCredit: Supplied
US paediatrician and founder of Happiest Baby, Dr Harvey Karp has offered insight on how to get your baby’s sleep back on track.
According to the expert, starting a bedtime routine for your child and helping them get a good night’s sleep is vital to both your little one’s happiness and your own.
But like any new parents will know, creating a baby’s bedtime routine can be challenging, and there may be some trial and error before you find what works for you and your baby.
“We all have our own bedtime routines — some of us like tucked in blankets, some enjoy reading before bed, others can only sleep in a pitch-dark room,” he explains.
“Just like for adults, having set rituals gives babies comfort and eases them to a good night’s sleep.”
Like many new parents will know only too well, a newborn will not sleep much during the first weeks.
However, Dr Karp says there’s one important assumption that many new parents get wrong.
“The biggest new-parent misconception is that sleep gradually improves until the baby is sleeping an 8-hour stretch at 4 months,” he explains.
“Not so fast! For many babies, sleep habits are a bit of a rollercoaster with small wins and regressions along the way. It’s natural for new parents to experience frustration and exhaustion.”
But the good news is that there are simple cues you can implement to help teach your little one how to sleep.
The biggest new-parent misconception is that sleep gradually improves until the baby is sleeping an 8-hour stretch at 4 months
Dr. Harvey Karp
“Signal it’s sleep time by turning on white noise,” the expert explains. “This will help soothe them.”
Next, the expert notes how comfort is key in helping your baby nod off.
“Do a snug swaddle and give them a dummy to get them comfortable and cosy for bed,” he advises.
“Follow this with some gentle rocking to ease them into the sleepy zone. These steps will help you develop a bedtime routine for your newborn, and help parents settle into their own routine as well.”
He adds how in the end, it’s all about consistency.
“Wake up and feed your baby at the same time each day, and with these four simple cues, your baby will be on a consistent schedule pretty soon.”
And the expert also has some advice on when you should you start creating a bedtime routine for your baby.
He notes: “Most babies are receptive and able to start a bedtime routine at around 6 to 8 weeks with changes effective within 1-2 weeks.”
Dr Harvey Karp recommends doing a snug swaddle and giving the baby a dummy to get them comfortable and cosy for bed. Pictured, stock imageCredit: Getty
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