SECRET WORD: DAILY ROUTINE
Babies do need a certain routine. In their new home, they need safety, objects and sounds they are familiar with utmost. Changes excite them but if they would know what is going to happen, what is going to come by with their parents’ signs, they would be less uncomfortable and can move from feeding to play and from play to sleep smoothly. Also when they are awake, they will be more interested in games and they can learn better.
Most of the books we read on baby’s sleeping are on how to create a routine for “sleeping+feeding/breastfeeding+time awake“. This means that sleeping by itself is not the problem or the solution, but part of the whole routine. This does not mean being strict or authoritarian mother and father but it means getting your baby ready for what is going to happen, provide safety, familiarity and giving enough time for him or her to learn things.
BODY’S BIOLOGICAL CLOCK
Listen to yourself for a couple of days. You will notice that you get sleepy at certain times, If you put your head on the pillow at those times, count back from 10, you will go right into sleep. But if you fight your sleep and tidy up the house, try to watch a soap opera, once you go to bed, you will be tossing and turning for a long time. On the top of that, your mind will be occupied with the book you read, movie you have watched, things you need to do and you wonder and say to yourself. What just happened, you were supposed to be sleepy.
Sleep came to you, you missed it. Babies are the same. At certain hours, their bodies and brains get tired. They feel that they need to rest. They become sleepy, and they show that through certain signs. If you can understand these signs, then it will be easier to put your baby to sleep. Later, your baby will get fussy. (S)he will get upset and then start crying for not getting his/her rest.
Babies have a biological rhythm. This should be observed well and the signs should be responded to without any delays. You have to observe when your babies tend to fall asleep everyday and work on creating a routine. You can not expect your baby to sleep every 3 hours and depending on your schedule push him her to sleep at 10pm. If your baby is sleepy at 9:30 then you have to create a routine of sleeping for three hours starting at 9:30pm.
Biological clock, falling asleep, staying a sleep, peaceful and comfortable awake hours are all apart of this chain. Everything will go in order and a routine will be created by recognizing the baby as an individual, observing the signs. One book might not provide all the answers or the solutions you might need. You can create a daily routine by reading different books, reading stuff on certain websites, things you hear from friends, bloggers, forums etc. and pick the ones that suits your baby and parenting style.
Babies may not be able to fall a sleep like we do. It might take them 20 minutes on average once they are put to bed to fall asleep. The important thing during this time is to calm them down and help them keep themselves busy.
Sleep cycle has it own ups and downs. There are certain times during sleep, where baby is deep asleep or very light asleep, almost close to waking up. In infancy, this cycle takes around 45 minutes. If your baby wakes up 45 minutes after you put him or her to sleep, then that means baby’s sleep is getting lighter and (s)he is not able to fall back to sleep by herself. It is healthier to not to pick up the baby out of the crib or the bed and help him / her fall back to sleep on his own.