Wisdom//

Parenthood’s Expert Answers Your Top Sleep Questions

Sleep medicine specialist, Dr. Raj Dasgupta, addresses the questions keeping you up at night.

Trendsetter Images / Shutterstock
Trendsetter Images / Shutterstock

Good sleep can be extra hard to come by for new parents. The first year of your little one’s life will be full of anxious baby monitor checks, late night feedings, and probably a sleep regression or two (ugh).

The good news is that the sleepless nights won’t last forever.

To help you find your way to better sleep, we asked our Instagram followers for their most pressing sleep questions. Check out what answers our sleep medicine expert, Dr. Raj Dasgupta, had to offer.

Are bassinets with rocking and sound sensing a healthy option?

When I think of these fancy bassinets, it’s not really a health issue for the baby whether you have one or not. They’re kind of a luxury for both the baby and the parents.

The bottom line is that each baby is an individual, but technology does not necessarily mean better sleep.

My 1-month-old fights all daytime naps. I check for everything, they eat well, and nothing helps.

During the first month of life, newborns need to sleep all the time — and I wouldn’t really call those naps. But, I wanted to give you a couple of reasons why newborns and babies are fighting sleep:

  • The most common reason: Your baby could be overtired and could have missed their sleep window.
  • Your baby just isn’t tired enough.
  • The napping area isn’t suitable for sleep. (Ask yourself: Is it dark? Is it quiet? Is it cool?)
  • For older babies, they could be ready to transition to fewer naps during the day.

At 4 months, do you wake baby during the day to feed them? Or let them sleep and wake naturally?

During the first year of life, babies are sleeping almost all day. At 4 months — assuming the baby is healthy — I would just let the baby wake up and sleep naturally.

If we’re talking about the first month of life, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that if a baby is sleeping more than 4 hours, especially in the first 2 weeks of life, we have to wake the baby up.

My newborn wakes up as soon as they’re asleep and becomes restless. Is this normal?

Well the answer isn’t “is it normal or not” because every baby is an individual and getting sleep is very precious. The main thing is having a routine before going to bed to help transition into sleep.

Along with having some nice soft music in the background, the trick is to not let your baby fall asleep when you’re rocking or feeding them in your arms. Instead, gently put down the baby when the baby is drowsy, so they can learn to fall asleep themselves.

Self-soothing is not easy, but it will help you and your baby sleep in the long run.

Takeaway

It can be super easy to focus all your worries on how your baby is sleeping, but don’t forget that your sleep matters, too.

We know it can seem like the first step to getting some shut-eye is helping your little one nail down their own sleep routine, but sleep is often an ongoing issue for babies into early childhood, so make sure to start finding ways to get some rest as soon as you can. You got this!

Originally published on Healthline.

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