Baby Sleep Patterns and Bad Naps

By Ashley | January 15, 2010
Babies And Bad Naps

Although babies are the joy of their parent’s lives, the little bundles can also be the cause of utmost frustration, especially due to disturbed sleep and fatigue. Getting a baby into a regular sleeping pattern is a difficult job but the results are worth every ounce of effort that has gone into the creation of the routine.

Keep a track of the signs of sleep that a baby shows. The child may rub his/her eyes or rest his/her head. Every child shows different signs of sleep. When you notice these signs, gently rock the child to sleep in his/her familiar surrounding—maybe his/her crib or bed.

Keep a track of the pattern of sleep he/she seems to be following for a certain period of time. It could be a week or 10 days. It may be a good idea to record the pattern in a journal or chart, so that the similarities can be identified.

Put the child to sleep during these planned nap times before the child is over tired. It is more difficult to put an agitated and irritable child to sleep than a relaxed one.

A common misconception is that if we deprive a child of sleep during the day, he/she will sleep better in the night. However, this is not true. The more sleep he/she gets during the day, and the more relaxed and rested he/she is, the better he/she will sleep in the night.

A child falls asleep well on a full and satisfied stomach. Once you identify the time the baby shows signs of sleep, make sure you have fed and changed the child and prepared the surroundings to help the baby fall asleep.

If you are breast feeding the baby, do not let the baby fall asleep while drinking or without drinking for the required amount of time.

Teach the child to fall asleep on his/her own. Form a schedule of feed–play–sleep. Allow the child to play by himself/herself for sometime after feeding. Slowly rock him/her, dim the lights and give the child his/her favorite toy that he/she can snuggle up and sleep with.

Tuck the child into his/her crib before he/she is sleepy. Do not wait for him/her to show signs of sleep once the time for a nap is established.

Do not let the baby fall asleep in your arms. Usually when this is done, he/she will wake up when you put him/her down or not be comfortable in his/her own sleeping space.

Use the same music or sound to put the child to sleep every time. He will then associate the sound to his/her sleeping time. This will create the practice of falling asleep more easily.

Try not to lie too close to the baby while making him/her fall asleep. He/she will then easily sense your absence when you get up. Rather, sit nearby and sing to the child or rock him/her. Usually a child takes about fifteen minutes to drift into a deep sleep. During that time, it is better that you do not try moving away or causing any distraction.

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