Tired of being awake at all hours with your baby? Here are some simple tips to help your little one sleep through the night.
If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep since your baby was born, you’re not alone. Sleepless nights are a rite of passage for most new parents, but don’t despair. You can help your baby sleep through the night. Honestly !
Developing a Rhythm
Newborn babies sleep 16 hours or more a day. But often in increments of only a few hours. Although the rhythm may be irregular at first, a more regular sleep schedule will emerge as your baby grows and can lie down between feedings. By the age of 3 or 4 months, many babies sleep at least five hours straight. At some point during his first year of life the baby begins to sleep about 10 hours each night. But every baby is different.
1 Put your baby to sleep in your room
Ideally, your baby should sleep in your room with you. But alone in a crib or in a structure designed for infants, for at least six months. This could help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Adult beds are not safe for infants. A baby can get stuck and suffocate between the headboard slats, the gap between the mattress and the bed frame, or the gap between the mattress and the wall. A baby can also suffocate if a sleeping parent accidentally rolls over and covers the baby’s nose and mouth.
2 Encourage good sleep habits
During the first few months, mid-night feedings will certainly disrupt the sleep of parents and babies. But it’s never too early to help your baby sleep well. Here are a few tips :
3 Follow a regular, soothing bedtime routine
Overstimulation in the evening can make it difficult for your baby to adjust to sleep. Try giving him a bath, cuddling him, singing to him, playing soft music, or reading him a story. With a clearly defined end point when you leave the room. Start these activities before your baby gets too tired, in a quiet, dimly lit room.
4 Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake
This will help your baby associate the bed with the process of falling asleep. Remember to lay your baby on his back and clear the bed or bassinet of blankets and other soft objects.
5 Give your baby time to settle down
Your baby may fuss or cry before he finds a comfortable position and falls asleep. If the crying doesn’t stop, watch your baby, offer comforting words, and leave the room. Your reassuring presence could be enough for your baby to fall asleep.
6 Consider using a pacifier
If your baby has trouble calming down, a pacifier may do the trick. In fact, research suggests that using a pacifier while sleeping helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
7 Keep night care discreet
When your baby needs care or feedings at night, use dim lights, a soft voice and calm movements. This will tell him it’s time to sleep, not play.
8 Respect your baby’s preferences
If your baby is a night owl or an early riser, your routines and schedules may need to be adjusted to accommodate these natural habits.
9 Keeping Things In Perspective
Remember that making your baby sleep through the night is not a measure of your parenting skills. Take the time to understand your baby’s habits and communication patterns to help him sleep better. If you have any concerns, talk to your baby’s doctor.