Sleep and Swaddling
Sleep deprivation is one aspect of motherhood that you had always heard about and were expecting – but had no idea what it really meant. It’s hard to imagine a world where five hours of uninterrupted sleep sounds like blissful nirvana, and it probably feels as though you’ll never sleep soundly again. Trust us, there will come a day when your baby will sleep for a solid 11 hours – but for now, here’s what you need to know about sleeping:
- Expect your baby to sleep 14 to 18 hours a day – which seems like plenty of time for you to get an adequate amount of beauty sleep. But when it’s chopped up into two-to-three hour intervals around the clock, it’s hardly enough time to feel refreshed.
- Don’t worry about scheduling your baby just yet. He or she will work out a regular sleep/wake rhythm in time.
- Your baby will probably be eating every two to three hours – sometimes stretching it to four hours at night – but talk to your doctor if your baby happens to be sleeping for longer than that. Your doctor might recommend waking him or her to eat every three hours.
- Continue to put your baby to sleep on his or her back to reduce SIDS risk.
- Fussy babies (and overtired parents) might get much-needed relief from a bouncer, swing or car seat.
- Start a bedtime routine at night (such as bath, baby massage, book and bed) to indicate that it’s time to go to sleep.
- Wondering where your baby should sleep? There are plenty of options at this young stage.
- Some babies don’t like to be swaddled, but the most find comfort in the cocoon-like security, even if they fight it at first. If your baby is breaking free from the swaddle, first make sure you’re wrapping the baby correctly. Next, try a more sturdy swaddle, like one with Velcro. If that still doesn’t work, don’t worry about the swaddling.