Tips for Premature Babies and Sleep Routines
My method and routine works well with premature babies because it’s progressive, building gradually on the routine from birth to weaning.
As a premature baby is generally born smaller, it can take longer for them to sleep through the night as they need to be a good weight and be able to take enough milk during the day to sleep through the night.
All newborns regardless of age and weight, mechanically work the same, they need to be fed until satisfied, winded well during feeds, structure a little awake time and need to feel secure to sleep. You can also teach positive associations with feeding and sleep from birth. This is something that develops over weeks and months.
A premature baby’s stomach is often more sensitive as well as on the smaller side so their digestive system needs time to mature, however this should not interfere with sleeping well at night but that sleeping solidly through the night might take a little longer.
Teaching the difference between night and day early on, means a baby, no matter how small, when waking for night feeds should settle straight back to sleep and may wake less at night due to having slightly fuller feeds during the day. Premature babies will often sleep more during the day too, needing to be woken for feeds which also makes easy work of teaching the difference between night and day. The length of time a premature baby spends awake during the day, between feeds could be much less than a term baby but this is to no disadvantage to implementing a routine or creating good sleep habits at night.
Waking your baby after day feeds to allow the option to be awake at the right time in a 24 hour period will result in your newborn increasing activity and alertness during daylight hours at their own pace which will make for peaceful, calm nights and easy settling.
For more information on creating a routine for low birth weight, digestion, sleep and settling, order my book 7pm to 7am Sleeping Baby Routine or book a consultation with me.