Parenting 101: Setting your Baby’s Sleep Schedule (First 3 Months)
September 5, 2014
Being a parent opens up a completely new chapter in any person’s life. It’s part of the major divisions of human existence which, in total, includes childhood, teenage years, college years, working single, marriage, parenthood, midlife, and retirement. However, the early stages of parenthood is probably the most difficult stage of a person’s life.
You’re not quite over being an old teenager, but you’re not quite ready to be a full-fledged adult. You’re somehow in the middle, and you’re slowly making that transition. You’re like a sofa bed that’s expected to be both a sofa and a bed. It’s like crossing an unknown sea while you’re going through a flurry of responsibilities and bills.
However, this article isn’t about all that. I’m sure nothing tells you more about that stage in life more than experience itself. And if you’re reading this, I assume that you’re exactly at this phase, seeking how to set your infant’s sleep schedule. Good thing for you, ‘cause that’s what this post is all about! Your infant’s first three months into life should be the best in every way – especially in terms of sleep.
Introduce your baby to a consistent circadian cycle
Now you might think I’m writing in a different language here with all the fancy talk, but what I simply mean is that you should teach your infant the difference between day and night.
The most basic step in setting a sleeping schedule is teaching them the designated time to sleep and be awake. Out of a 24-hour day, babies sleep from 16 to 18 hours a day, which is 10 more hours than a grown person. However, those hours they spend awake must be at the right time. You don’t want your baby to be active during slumber hours. That’ll just add more unnecessary stress to your already-stressful life as a parent.
Thankfully, the way you introduce your baby to day and night is rather simple. When he’s wide awake and alert during the day, play and interact with him as much as you can. Keep his surroundings well-lit with some soothing classical music playing in the background.
At night however, lower the noise level to a minimum. Turn off the lights. Minimize interaction to only hygienic necessities, and speak softly. This will give your baby the message that there’s a time to sleep and a time to be awake.
Give your infant a bedtime routine
Most adults have a set of ‘rituals’ before sleeping. To give your child a clue that it’s time for some shut-eye, introduce them to their own bedtime routine. It can be something as simple as getting him changed into his little pajamas, kissing him goodnight, and then singing to him or her. You can be creative as long as it does what it’s supposed to do – which is to ready him or her for bed.
Learn to read your baby’s actions
Rubbing his eyes, being fussy, yawning a lot, and being easily irritated are signs that indicate that your infant needs to rest. These signs mean that it’s time for him or her to be put down in his crib to sleep. Parenthood is more than just helping your child survive. It’s about letting them live. Getting your baby to sleep and feeding and changing diapers are just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen. But no matter how hard the journey will be, the end result will always be worth it. Now go on and sing those lullabies!