Being a parent is a marvelous prospect. Especially first-time moms – it’s going to be a seriously weird and wonderful experience. The immense joy, the intense feeling of love and closeness that fills your heart – there’s no other feeling like it. But along with this rush of strongly positive emotions, there are worries that are going to creep in. That is understandable. It’s a massive occasion and parents wouldn’t be human if they didn’t have tinges of doubt and worries flitting about in their heads. When the baby’s born, those worries tend to dissipate.
Now mom and dad have a little person on their hands; the most precious thing in the entire world. New worries come to the fore. Something that a lot of new moms worry about is sleep and baby’s sleeping pattern. After all, sleep is vitally important. Proper sleep is needed for the baby to grow and develop. It’s about their health- that comes first.
But it’s also about the parents' sanity. They're going to want a proper night’s sleep.
They don’t want to be waking up every five minutes to comfort the baby, trying to get her back down into the land of nod. Mom's sleeping pattern is going to be off-track for a period of time. That’s inevitable. She'll be crossing her fingers and hoping for a solid block of sleep. If the baby’s an easy sleeper, that’s wonderful. But if she has trouble drifting off, good luck! There are signs to look out for. These are 10 signs that the baby will be an easy sleeper and 10 signs she’ll have some trouble when it comes to bedtime.
20 EASY SLEEPER: VERY ACTIVE
To kids, most things are new. Introduce them to a new thing, a new experience, and their big eyes fill with wonderment. Most babies want to engage, want to throw themselves into things, with a little bit of help from mommy and daddy of course, a little encouragement. Do this throughout the day and they’re going to get tired out. Babies who are very active and playful will of course get tuckered out a lot sooner. That’s a great sign and it should help when it comes to sleep. If her day’s been filled with new experiences, she’s going to need time to rest and recuperate, process everything that’s gone on.
19 HAVE TROUBLE: BAD DREAMS
Ever had a bad dream? Chances are you have and you know what it’s like. It’s said that babies start off having only two worries; that they’ll slip, and that they'll encounter loud sounds. But as they begin to have new experiences, discover more things, this list is going to grow. They’ll be unsure about certain things, despite all the reassurances from mommy and daddy. This could trigger bad dreams. It’s hard to say for sure what happens, what exactly a baby thinks about during such episodes. But one thing’s for sure, they’re going to have trouble sleeping again and will wake up distressed, in a state, looking for some comfort from mommy.
18 EASY SLEEPER: GETS USED TO ROUTINES
Some babies, not matter how hard you try, just won’t get on board with you when it comes to trying to implement a routine. This can be mightily infuriating for you the parent. You try a structured approach to certain aspects of her life, but it’s just not working. But some on the other hand, understand and fall right into this structured approach of doing things. If your baby is used to routines, chances are that she’ll know when it’s bedtime, or when you’re trying to get her down to sleep. Put other things in place, and she and you can look forward to some much sought-after shuteye!
17 HAVE TROUBLE: EASILY AGITATED
Firstly, understand that being agitated and being fidgety are two different things. Sure, it’s easy to get confused. Babies are constantly fidgeting, have jerky movements. But give it time and you’ll soon begin to tell, will see the signs that point towards agitation. If your little one is easily agitated, this could pose a problem, could indicate that she’ll have trouble sleeping. It’s because she’ll want everything to be perfect when she’s going down for the night. If things aren’t to her liking, even the smallest of things, she could kick up a fuss. When this happens, you’re going to be hard-pressed to get her down for a good night’s sleep.
16 EASY SLEEPER: HAS A GOOD FEED
Your baby’s going to need feeding at certain points throughout the day. If you want to help her get off to a good sleep, make one of these times in her downtime, the downtime leading up to bedtime. Think about it for a sec. If you’ve had a good a good meal, you go and sit on the couch, it doesn’t take much effort for you to drift off. It’s the same for your baby. If she has a good feed, it’s definitely a sign that she’ll go down for a longer uninterrupted sleep. Make a good feed part of her pre-sleep routine.
15 HAVE TROUBLE: TOO ATTACHED
Babies are going to be attached to you, their mom. You’re the person she’s going to feel the safest with, most at ease around. But as time goes by, this level of attachment should ease off a little bit. Attachment is great, it’s necessary. But you don’t want her to become too attached. That’s when problems can occur, problems such as getting her off to sleep. If she’s too attached, she might have a hard time getting to sleep, then remaining asleep, without you by her side comforting her. Get her used to new people, so she’s not overly reliant on you.
14 EASY SLEEPER: DRIFTS OFF BY HERSELF
Wouldn’t you just love it if this was to occur? When a baby’s really young, they’re all like this. They don’t require much. If they’re even the slightest bit tired, they have no problems drifting off to sleep. But as she gets a little bit older, she might need another level of comfort, perhaps reassurance, before she goes to sleep. If your little one continues to just drift off by herself when she’s tired, that’s a great sign, a big indication that she’s an easy sleeper. She doesn’t require any prompting. Her body’s telling her something, and she’s given in, lets her body do the work.
13 HAVE TROUBLE: RESISTS
Ok, so babies are going to cry, some more than others of course. But to babies, everything is a new experience and the world can be big and busy. So, they cry and seek comfort in the arms of mommy. But, as mentioned, some babies cry more than others. When meeting new people, when confronted with new experiences, they try to resist. As her mom, it’s your job to gently coax her into these new situations. But if there’s lots of resistance, lots of crying, it doesn’t bode well for other times of the day, such as sleeping time. She’s already got a pair of lungs on her and if she’s not ready, she’ll certainly let you know.
12 EASY SLEEPER: ENJOYS PLENTY OF NATURAL SUNLIGHT
This could indicate your baby will have a decent night’s sleep and it doubles up as a tip as well. You want to get your baby’s circadian rhythm into motion. You want to help her internal body clock get adjusted. A great way of doing this is to put her under plenty of natural sunlight. Of course, keep in mind how hot and sunny it is – you want to protect her at the same time. But letting some natural sunlight fall across her face will help get her body used to the day time and then subsequently night time when you’re back at home and you draw the curtains.
11 HAVE TROUBLE: DOESN’T DRIFT OFF DURING DOWN TIME
The purpose of downtime is to get your baby into sleep mode. She may have been excited during the day, may have been shown plenty of new experiences, situations that have kept her awake in wide eyed wonderment. But then when you try to slow down, make her more relaxed, and she doesn’t sleep, that could end up being a nightmare scenario for you as her mom. If you do the right things, a lot of babies won’t take long to drift off during some downtime. These babies tend to be easy sleepers. But with some, regardless of what you put in place, they take a lot longer to calm down and get into sleep mode.
10 EASY SLEEPER: DOESN’T WANT TO CONSTANTLY FEED
Initially, your baby is going to want to feed at pretty odd times. You may have tried to establish a routine, create a period of downtime before bed, a period which involves a good feed. But sometimes, even if you do this, your baby’s going to wake up crying in the middle of night, cranky and hungry, wanted another feed. Of course, if your baby’s hungry, it’s going to affect her sleep. Some babies just want to constantly feed, will wake you up periodically throughout the night. If she doesn’t do this, it’s a good sign.
9 HAVE TROUBLE: DOESN’T GET DOWN FOR NAPS
There are 24 hours in a day and babies spend most of it sleeping. But your little one’s main sleep should be at night. If that’s not the case, you need to get her into a routine so that that’s what happens. But she’ll still need to go down for naps. If your baby isn’t sleeping during nap time, it could lead to problems sleeping later on in the day. You may think the opposite, that no nap would mean she’s overtired. Being overtired doesn’t mean she’ll sleep better at night. It could result in quite the opposite. So, put an emphasis on getting her down for naps too.
8 EASY SLEEPER: DOESN’T CRASH
Believe it or not, you don’t actually want your baby to suddenly drop off to sleep. Ok, so when she’s really young, it’s fine, it’s inevitable. But your eventual goal should be to establish a routine. Create a routine which focuses on winding down gradually, so when you’ve gone through the routine, she’ll be in sleep mode. This is all about getting her used to a bedtime, which you’ll eventually need to do. If she crashes and regularly just drops off to sleep when she’s playing for example, it’s going to result in you having a rather difficult time getting her to bed later on.
7 HAVE TROUBLE: NIGHT FRIGHTS
These are very different to just having a bad dream. It can essentially be described as an extreme form of a bad dream. It is uncommon and generally happens to children a little older. But babies can experience sleep issues, too. They might result in your baby screaming out, crying in a frenzied panic. When she opens her eyes, it may look like she’s awake, but she’s not fully awake. These may occur several times a night and could last for minutes at a time. Of course, with a young baby it’s rather difficult to differentiate between such occurrences and something else. But it could be a factor.
6 EASY SLEEPER: NO SEPARATION ANXIETY
Early on, your baby’s going to be stuck to you. You’re going to be the most important person, most important thing full stop in her world. But eventually, she should gain the confidence to be able to do things by herself. Some babies take longer to get to this stage than others. If your little one can happily play by herself, do things by herself or with other people, it shows that there’s no separation anxiety, that she’s just engrossed and engaged in the moment. That’s going to be brilliant for you and for her when it comes to bedtime.
5 HAVE TROUBLE: TAKES A LONG TIME TO ADAPT TO NEW EXPERIENCES
Some babies, sometimes really young babies, just throw themselves into anything that comes their way. New experiences, being confronted with new people – it doesn’t faze them, they just take it in their stride so to speak. But on the flip side to that, there are some who take a long time to adapt to new experiences and people – generally just new things in their lives. If this is the case with your little one, it could result in her having problems staying asleep at night. All kinds of thoughts and worries could be whirring around in her head, causing her to have a restless night.
4 EASY SLEEPER: SETTLES EASILY
Some people go to bed and they’re off into the land of nod moments later. During the night they have a peaceful sleep, generally stay in one position and don’t move around too much. But then there are those who are constantly moving about in their sleep. They’re so restless and never settle. Babies are the same. Certain situations, circumstances that have arisen in their lives, could contribute to a restless sleep. But most babies don’t yet have such issues and they should settle easily. Here’s you hoping your little one is one of these babies!
3 HAVE TROUBLE: OVERTIRED
A lot of people can’t get their heads around how being overtired could result in your baby having trouble sleeping. It can be a tricky concept to come to terms with. But being overtired can really affect your baby’s sleep, how long it takes for her to drift off and how long she stays asleep for. Being overtired can be described as a place between being tired and exhausted. It can actually be quite debilitating. Being too tired to sleep is a sad feeling. It’s all about creating that wind down routine for your baby. If she’s overtired, this becomes vitally important.
2 EASY SLEEPER: LITTLE OR NO CRYING AT BEDTIME
Babies are going to cry, so get used to it. Of course, some will cry more than others. It’s a signal that they’re not happy about something, that they want something and want your attention. Babies soon learn that crying will result in mommy being by their side. Then again you get some babies who are pretty chilled, who are relaxed about things and don’t cry that much. This is a good sign as it means they’re not needy, don’t really fuss about things. If there’s not much fuss, it means they’re likely to get to sleep a lot easier, and stay asleep during the night.
1 HAVE TROUBLE: NEEDS A COMFORT BLANKET OR TOY
A lot of babies and kids have a comfort blanket or a favorite toy which they need in order to sleep. Or at least that’s what they think they need. They can become overdependent on such objects. In actual fact, it doesn’t really matter, it’s just their psychology becomes routed into thinking it’s necessary in order to sleep. It’s similar to being overdependent on mom, rather clingy. Being so attached to something such as a toy or comfort blanket could initially help with sleep, the feel and that familiar smell. Keep in mind that too much dependence on an object could cause problems.