Parenting Advice for New Moms
Feeding, sleeping, diapering: There's so much to learn about taking care of your newborn. We pinpoint the most common rookie mistakes, then tell you how to bounce back like a pro.
10. Having No Sleep Schedule: It's difficult to foster good snooze habits when baby naps at random times and places every day (i.e. car seat, swing, Mom's arms). “Many parents feel that sleep will happen on its own; they don't see it as a problem,” says West. “But putting yourself to sleep is a learned skill, and we can gently shape baby's habits early on.”
The Fix: By the time your baby is 3 or 4 months old, his days and nights should have some rhythm. One way to get started: Wake your baby at a specific time in the morning, i.e. 7:30 a.m., says West. “It sounds counterintuitive to wake a sleeping baby, but it's easier to get him on a routine if you start at the same time every day,” she says. In the evening, pick a time frame (say, 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.) for bedtime and stick to it. “The trick is to choose a time when your baby tends to be tired without going past that window of opportunity,” says West.
Moms who know… understand that the key to sleeping success starts with a routine. Try a bath, light massage and a book before bedtime. Baby will learn that sleep comes next.