When first born, babies tend to eat every two to four hours with short sleep cycles. Since they will not likely sleep more than four hours, mothers will have little rest these first few weeks. As babies reach six to eight weeks, their tummies can hold more nutrition and they can sometimes sleep up to eight hours.
For some babies, longer periods of sleep happen during the day instead of during the night and this can cause an issue for both the baby and the parents. This reversed sleep cycle can of course be corrected though through a little sleep training for babies.
First you must recognize the signs that your baby is sleepy. Some common signs are babies rubbing their eyes or turning away from a toy or person. Do not wait too long or your baby will become overly tired or they will have a more difficult time sleeping.
During the day lay the baby down in a room that is light. After a couple of hours you can gently wake the baby up and continue the morning schedule with lots of play time and light. Your baby will soon get used to shorter naps when it is light outside and so it is an essential part of sleep training for babies. As nighttime approaches, create a calming routine for your baby. An example would be a bath, song and then placing the baby in her bed in a dark room. Your night time ritual is important to help your baby understand that this is when longer sleep times occur.
The real issue in sleep training for babies is more about the mother’s habits than the baby’s. The mother must decide how involved she wants to be in the baby’s going to sleep. If you rock your baby to sleep, that is what she will expect. If you stand, rock her and sing, that is what she will expect. If you place her in her bed and let her fall asleep on her own, that is what she will expect. If you allow your baby to learn to fall asleep in her bed, she will know how to fall back asleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night.
If you follow these few steps you are well on your way to a good night’s sleep.