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Christine Jolly, Owner and Parent Coach

Hobart, Tasmania

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HELP! My Newborn Cries Till 9pm Every Night

 

This is the most common concern of newborn parents when they reach out to a parent coach for sleep assistance. Their newborn experiences and extended period of grizzling, feeding and crying during the evening till 9 or 10pm.

The most common cause is that the infant is overtired. They may need to go to bed earlier. Try a bath at 6 aiming for bedtime at 6:30pm.

It exacerbates the problem and over-stimulates the baby when parents constantly swap settling strategies and parents during this time. If you are struggling mentally to sustain a settling technique, by all means swap so that you can get into a healthy mental state to care for your upset infant. But when possible, limit swapping as much as possible.

Do not leave your baby to cry. They do not have the ability this early on to soothe themselves and will create negative associations with sleep time. You will have to spend a long time re-establishing trust with your newborn if they have been left to cry over long periods as your regular strategy.

Is your baby hungry? Some mums will feed for five minutes on both sides and then put them to bed when their tired baby hasn't yet had a full feed. Do not unlatch baby. Let them unlatch themselves when they have emptied your breast and then shift to the other side. As long as they are sucking, they are still feeding.

Examine your bed time routine. Is it a clear transition from being wakeful to signalling that it's time to wind down to sleep. Have a relaxing bath BEFORE the baby is showing tired signs. Their body temperature will begin to lower as you dry them and get them dressed and swaddled for the night. Enjoy cuddles, a song ... even a story. And then give your bed time feed before settling them to sleep in your arms and transitioning them to bed, still using settling techniques while they lie in bed till they are deep asleep.

If you are experiencing poor naps during the day, this may be causing your baby to be over-tired at bed time. You might try putting them down for a nap at 4pm. If they wake at 5 or 5:30, you can feed, bathe, cuddle, feed and put to bed by 6:30pm or 7pm.

Is their sleep environment appropriate for sleep? Is it dark? Is it too cold or too warm. Make any adjustments necessary.

There are so many variables that cause a baby to be unsettled. Follow the above tips and that will help eliminate any external problems that might be causing restlessness. We can do a SKYPE, Facetime, Email or even an In Home Consultation to help you discover some strategies to help your family achieve optimum sleep. Get in touch.

 

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Disclaimer: Articles on our website are for education purposes only.  Please consult with your doctor to make sure this information is right for your child.