The newborn phase is the most intense getting-to-know-you you’ll ever experience, as you attempt to figure out what your tiny human needs for sleeping and feeding. Will they have a reliable schedule or routine? Probably not. Newborns sleep a lot. Or they don’t. Or they sleep really well during the day and are ready to play from midnight to dawn with the occasional catnap. Sometimes they feed All. The. Time. And often they switch things up, just when you think you’ve finally got an idea of what to expect.
Still, many parents find it helpful to have a rough idea of a schedule and what could be coming, week by week. Here’s what to keep in mind when it comes to sleep, wake times, feeding and diaper changes in the first four weeks.
Now that you’ve made it through the “fourth trimester” and all the ups and downs that come with it—welcome to months four and five! When your baby is around five months old, you will probably see more of a schedule with dedicated nap times—usually two naps a day. Many parents also find that on-the-go napping comes to an end around five months, as your kiddo needs their own quiet, dark space to settle down to snooze. Sleeping for 12 hours a night is becoming a possibility, even if you’re not there yet. “A four-month-old or five-month-old often needs a feeding at night, but around six months, if they’re growing on their curve and everything is fine health wise, then there absolutely is that ability to sleep 12 hours,” says Erin Neri, a certified pediatric sleep consultant in Sherwood Park, Alta.
When I was expecting my first baby, I followed along in the books about every single stage of my pregnancy, I read about what to expect when baby arrives.
I learned about anything that I thought I would need to know for that first little bit of baby’s life; I read a lot!
Of course, I didn't think much about baby sleep until I realized that my precious little bundle of joy DID NOT KNOW HOW TO SLEEP!!
So, I read more and more about nothing except baby SLEEP!
What I wasn't prepared for was the sheer amount of information out there, and how much the "experts" contradicted each other!
Even among medical professionals, the number of times I must have read one person say that one thing was an absolute must, then to have another "expert" say that the first was wrong or harmful, was mind-boggling and extremely stressful!
As most parents do though, I took that information, analyzed it, filtered everything through a combination of common sense and personal beliefs, and came up with a strategy I was comfortable with.
But one thing I was never sure about, mainly because nobody seemed to have a clear answer, was whether I could sleep train while I was breastfeeding or how to sleep train while I was breastfeeding.
The primary argument against the idea, so far as I understood it, was that breast milk gets digested faster than formula, and therefore babies who are breastfed need to wake up several times a night to feed.
Otherwise, they'll feel hungry throughout the night, be unable to sleep, and potentially suffer from malnutrition.
Now, I know that there are different views on this matter, and whichever one you subscribe to, you're probably convinced that you're right. And you might be, assuming of course that you agree with me.
I'm kidding, of course. Like most things in parenting, there's not so much of a "right and wrong," as opposed to "right for your child."
But there are a few facts that you should know if you're breastfeeding and trying to decide whether or not to sleep train your child.
After all, what's the point of sleep training if your baby's nutrition needs prevent them from sleeping through the night?
So, here's an interesting fact.
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