While helping some moms try and get their babies on schedules and sleep through the night as of late, I realized we haven't talked about something very important! Does night sleep affect daytime sleep? Do you know the answer?
Absolutely YES. Did you think that? Good. You're tired. Being a mom is exhausting. Being a mom to a baby who doesn't sleep... complete and total exhaustion. So you think, if I could just get this baby to sleep through the night, I could finally get some real sleep. But, are you focusing just on the night? Let me tell you friends, to get that precious night sleep, you've got to get that baby sleeping enough during the day to take enough night sleep.
If a baby is overtired, they can't get the sleep they need. We've addressed this a bit before, so I want to focus on the opposite. Night affecting daytime. You may think, "my baby only wakes up once at night, so that's pretty good for a baby," but if your baby is old enough to sleep through the night (7-10 weeks old), your baby should be sleeping through the night. And if they aren't, their nighttime sleep may actually be causing their bad sleep patterns (or other random bad habits) during the day.
If your baby isn't sleeping through the night yet, and your baby totally can, it's time to try a few things and get that baby sleeping. So let's discuss a few different scenarios, and if none of these apply to you, comment! Remember, this is after a baby hits the 7-10 week period.
You think your baby is hungry during the night
If you think your baby is hungry, I want you to try everything else up your sleeve to get that baby to sleep instead. Feeding your baby, once they are old enough to take all of their calories during the day, is actually making a very bad habit. You may not think it matters, and you may not even realize it, but when that kid is one and still wants food in the night, you're going to be pulling your hair out!
Always note that you are the mom, and I assume you actually know your baby better than anybody on the planet. So if your baby is legitimately hungry (maybe a growth spurt), feed that baby...but make sure you know your baby is really, actually, hungry. Don't just assume right off the bat that that is the problem because there could be many other things going on.
If you think your baby is, in fact, hungry, but just hasn't figured out how to take all of his calories during the day, you can always try feeding him water at night, so he will start taking all of his calories during the day. (If you aren't sure how much your baby should be eating during the day, consult your doctor on the appropriate amount.)
A crying baby
If your baby is waking up and crying, figure out what kind of cry it is. If it is a cry you can ignore because it will last a minute and she's really just whining, ignore it. Get some sleep. If it's a more hysterical cry, figure out what is wrong with your baby. Try to rule out being hungry, and see if there is anything else. Does she calm down immediately when you enter the room? Does she just want to be near you? Can you sit in the room for a minute then sneak out when she's calm? Does she need to be re-swaddled or get a binky?
Your baby is losing her binky
If your baby takes a binky but is losing it during the night due to it rolling out of the crib, get a WUBBANUB. Don't wait around for the day you get super annoyed that she keeps losing her binky, run and get one now. This binky can't roll out of the crib, and they have the easiest time finding it again.
Trust me. When my twins took binkies, I gave each one of them two, because they like to give each other their binkies through the crib slats, and never had to worry about them losing their binky.
Combat these sleeping issues at night, and your baby's days will get so much better. They will be less cranky, eat more during the day, and nap better. Especially if your baby is having a hard time connecting sleep cycles, getting them to sleep through the night will help tremendously in getting that baby to take better naps.
- Mama Jackie
*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your 8 hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let’s remedy that! In the “Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas” series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie calms all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series, and a blog will be published just for you!*
Featured Image PC: @_ashley_noel_