Hushabye and Good Night: Solving Sleep Problems
Waking up in the middle of the night with a new baby is one of the "givens" of parenthood. You know it's going to happen, and you also know that it will eventually stop when your baby mercifully starts sleeping through the night as they get older... What about when that night seems too long in coming?
Keep in mind that for the first few months, most newborns generally don't sleep through the night. This is because during the early stages of life, babies (whether breast- or bottle-fed) need to eat every four hours - or eight to twelve times per day.
If feeding is not the issue, sleeping problems may simply be a behavioral tic that can be solved with sleep training. For example, letting baby sleep less during the day and putting them to bed at the same time each night. If sleep training doesn't seem to be working, your baby's sleep disturbances might be caused by an underlying medical issue.
Here are some of the symptoms of baby sleep problems:
- Loud snoring or breathing, or interrupted breathing while sleeping
- Breathing through the mouth while asleep
- Being scared or confused when waking up at night
- Rhythmic kicking while sleeping
- Restless sleeping
- Baby often has trouble falling or staying asleep
- Hard time waking up in the morning
- Irritability or behavioral problems during the day due to exhaustion
If you notice these symptoms in your baby or if you've tried sleep training and it hasn't helped, talk to your pediatrician. He or she might even recommend a pediatric sleep clinic or pulmonary specialist. Soon enough you'll all be sleeping better at night.