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Nighttime waking is one of the most common dilemmas for new parents. Here are a few simple tips you may want to try to get a bit more uninterrupted sleep:
1. Keep to a routine. If your baby wakes up late in the morning to help make up for some of his late nights, begin waking him at an earlier time each day to help encourage him to get the sleep he needs at night -- when the rest of the household sleeps.
2. Choose a well-lit area for your baby's naps. This will help encourage shorter naps, which in turn may help your little one sleep better at night.
3. Increase daytime feeds. Feeding your baby more often during the day will allow him to meet his nutritional needs at a time more convenient to you.
4. Feed your baby in a quiet, darkened room occasionally if your baby is easily distracted during the day.
5. If breastfeeding, allow your baby to finish the first breast offered. This will provide him or her with more of your rich hindmilk, which may also help to space out his nighttime feeds.
6. Carry your baby -- with the aid of a sling or other baby carrier. This will help to keep your baby relaxed, especially during the early evening hours, encouraging an easy transition to sleep.
7. Keep the evening calm to avoid overstimulation. If a bath is relaxing for your little one, you can bathe him before bed. If it's too stimulating, bathe him at another time.
8. Feed your baby in a darkened room at night if he or she wakes up hungry. Let him know that night is for sleeping.
9. Avoid nighttime diaper changes if at all possible.
And don't forget to take care of yourself!
- Rest while your baby rests. This is especially important when you have a high-need baby.
- Take a walk. Sunshine and fresh air are good for both of you. Going out together, with your baby in a sling, baby carrier or stroller can be a great stress reliever.
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