Identifying Your Baby’s Sleep Style
Navigating newborns and infants are challenging for any parent. But identifying their sleep style or patterns can be even tougher, especially when you’re completely exhausted yourself. Here, Rachelle breaks down some of the most common baby sleep styles and how you can work through them to get a more restful night’s sleep.
A baby with a light sleep style can be incredibly exhausting and frustrating and make you feel chained to silence each time Baby goes to sleep. That shouldn’t be the case, though, as your baby needs to learn to sleep through normal noises. What happens with light sleepers is that they haven’t quite learned to self-soothe yet. If Baby wakes often, try letting them settle themselves back to sleep. You can also make small adjustments to make their sleeping environment more comfortable, like darkening the room, making the temperature a bit cooler, and using a white noise machine. It may also be an indication that your little one is needing to rebalance the total hours of sleep used in the daytime, instead of at night. Every baby has an ideal total hours of sleep in a 24-hour period and this often needs adjustment to better meet their needs.
Early risers can also be exhausting for parents, cutting your sleep short every night. But if you’re putting Baby to sleep early in the evening and they wake up around 5 or 6 in the morning, they’re actually getting a full night’s sleep. But if it’s still tough to manage, there are a couple of ways to help.
First, you can try pushing bedtime to a later time at night. Don’t do this all at once, though; do it in 15-minute increments, so it’s a smoother transition. Another tip is to treat your baby’s early wake time as if it’s happening in the middle of the night. Approach Baby with a soothing voice and keep the lights down to see if they can self-soothe themselves back to sleep. Lastly, offering a 30-45 minutes power nap in the evening will help extend the bedtime and help with “the witching hour.”
It’s perfectly normal for babies to sleep a lot. But if you notice your baby taking shorter, more frequent naps, it can quickly put a dent in your schedule and knock the entire family out of routine. If this happens, try getting back on schedule as soon as possible. Wake Baby up at the same time each morning, then put them down for a nap at the same time — usually about two hours after wake time.
In the beginning, you only need one nap a day in the crib to help in the transition to crib naps later on. The best first step to building a sleep structure is going to be a set morning routine and bedtime routine that helps your baby create healthy and happy sleep associations.
It’s a common (and frustrating) issue many parents face: Their baby can only sleep soundly in one place, like someone’s arms, their car seat, or a swing. But it’s important to remember that these are habits babies learn, not born with. Try to prioritize making Baby’s crib more soothing and inviting, and use an object to help them transition — like a lovey or something that smells like mom. Also, be sure to stick with a sleep routine as closely as possible where Baby is laid in their crib for every single nap.
Get a customized plan for your baby’s sleep style
Navigating your baby’s sleep style can be unpredictable and exhausting. It’s not only crucial for them to get sleep, but you need your rest as well. Sleep by Rachelle can identify your baby’s unique sleep style and create a method that works for them — and for you. With more than two decades of experience, Rachelle can help everyone get the sleep they need. Get started with a complimentary sleep assessment with Rachelle today!