Overstimulating a Baby – Why Should You Avoid This During Night-time Feedings?
Newborns acclimate themselves to sleeping at night and staying awake during the day as they grow. One of the factors is because the baby’s stomach is growing; now he/she can hold more milk and will be better equipped to make it for longer periods during the night. You probably can depend on your infant (at about 3 months) sleeping roughly 15 hours out of each day; about two thirds of this will occur at night. Thus, you will want to avoid overstimulating a baby so he can settle into his pattern.
Generally, your baby’s sleep requirements will be around 6 to 7 hours at night following a feeding. You can assist in this by avoiding any stimulation during nighttime feedings. This will help him develop good “baby sleep habits“. Try to keep the lights low during breastfeeding, and try not to speak to your baby or engage in play. This is important to establish; then the infant will come to understand that night is for sleeping, not play. Also, keep the door shut and siblings and pets out.
Additionally, it ought to be a mandate to develop good sleep associations; i.e. there are things that your baby associates with going to sleep; thus you should not let your baby develop a habit of falling to sleep in your arms or while being rocked or during feedings; and your baby probably should not fall asleep with a pacifier or he’ll come to expect it. He should get used to falling asleep alone in his crib. In this way, he will develop good habits and become accustomed to getting back to sleep on his own.
In the end, if your infant has managed to develop healthy sleep habits there will be few problems. However, you ought to be forewarned that if you don’t establish these healthy sleep habits from the get go, there can be long-lasting child sleep problems. You are really doing your little one a favor by enabling him to get right back to sleep on his own. Have a steady bedtime routine, and plan to put your infant into the crib while he is drowsy but still awake. Then he can re-establish these “same conditions” if he should awaken during the night.
Similar to adults, when an infant becomes overly tired he or she often will have a difficult time sleeping. So you may find keeping your baby up thinking he or she will sleep better at night may not work out. In fact, you may find that having your little one sleeping at regular intervals throughout the day works a lot better; it then may be far easier for your infant to go to sleep at night after his/her final feeding.
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