Here's a question -- are you tired? Chances are yes! It's hard to get enough shut eye when taking care of little ones. Especially if those little ones don't sleep through the night.
Now, in saying that, experts remind us that for the first 3 months, babies are still sorting out a sleep schedule. Many have night and day confused, and are hungry every couple of hours. That's to be expected. And, many babies - as they grow - continue to wake up during the night to eat.
But, there are times when our little ones decide night-time is where it's at, and they wake up ready to play, read books, all kinds of fun stuff. If that's happening at your house, it can be rough for Mom and Dad to get enough shut eye to make it through the days ahead, right? Well, experts say it's up to us to help them understand, which can be hard. Dr. Nancy O. Wood is a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates.
"It will seem at first like you are ignoring your child's needs. But, really what you're doing is going in and meeting their needs and putting them back to sleep. And, that will help train them that, oh, ok, this isn't the time when we're going to wake up and have a party. This is the time when we're going to go to bed. And, then, in the morning, you wake up and have fun morning activities," explained Dr. Wood.
Dr. Wood says we need to go in and stick to the business of whatever our children need. For little ones, that may be a clean diaper, a new pacifier or something to eat. As our kids grow and can tell us, Dr. Wood says we should ask them what's wrong because maybe we can adjust the night-time routine to take care of those problems. For example, if they have to go to the bathroom, maybe less to drink before bed. Or, if they're scared of the dark, consider turning on a night-light or using a lovey. Dr. Wood says night-time routines are also very important because that's a cue to our children that the day is over and it's time for bed.
For more information on sleep and babies, click here , for sleep information focusing on older children click here and if you want to connect to Dr. Nancy O. Wood - click here .
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