Babies sleep a lot, but not when you want them to sleep. Many times when you feel drowsy and are ready to flop down into bed, your little one decides to have a party and requests you to join the all-night fun. And just because he is awake, nobody else in the house dares to sleep!
Getting a baby to sleep is definitely not an easy task, but it is not as difficult as you (and most of new parents) think. If your little one has difficulty sleeping at night, you just need to follow these 12 proven baby sleeping tips that make getting a baby to sleep all night a breeze.
Let’s go through them one by one!
The first and foremost step to get your baby to go to sleep is creating a comfortable, noiseless sleeping environment. To achieve that, you must keep three key sleeping factors – lighting, temperature and noise – in mind. Since babies sleep best in the dark, try to keep the room as dark as possible. The room temperature should also be ideal to ensure your baby is feeling neither too hot nor too cold. Moreover, keep the room calm enough so that your little one could enjoy a quiet, restful sleep.
Even though your baby naps several times during the day, you should be very lively with him while he’s awake. Encourage activities like talking, singing and playing during the day to promote better sleep at night. The more you keep your little one busy during daytime, the more tired he will be in night and consequently, the better he will sleep at night. In other words, a busy daytime leads to a good, deep night’s sleep. Essentially, babies who remain active during the day settle better at night.
Maybe your child is not able to speak yet, but he often tries to communicate with you through gestures. Just like his feed-me cues, which help you know he is hungry, you need to watch carefully for his sleep-me cues that he is tired and ready to go into the rest phase. Losing interest in the things around, yawning, rubbing eyes, pulling on the ears and being cranky are all signs that your baby wants to sleep. Ignoring these tiredness signs can make your baby overtired and more difficult to settle.
Since babies love predictability, they thrive on routines. The more they know what’s coming next, the more likely they accept it. For the reason, a regular bedtime routine becomes a surefire way to easily get your child to fall asleep. In fact, you don’t need to do much to create a perfect bedtime routine. Simply bath your baby, change him into his night suit, get the room ready, feed him until he’s full and you’re good to go. Make sure to repeat the same routine every night at the same time and you’ll find your baby associating these activities with sleep soon.
Many parents keep their newborn baby awake too long, hoping he would sleep longer in the next morning. But in fact, the opposite is true. When you push your baby’s bedtime, he actually becomes overtired which makes it difficult for you to get him to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Contrariwise, an earlier bedtime leads to a more restful and longer sleep in the next morning. So aim for an early bedtime, which is between 7 to 8 p.m. and not later than 9 p.m.
Inside your belly, your little one was lulled to sleep by the motion of your body movements. Now that he’s outside the womb, you need to teach him the difference between day and night, which is really not a difficult task. To help you baby learn that the day is for fun and night is for slumber, all you need to make daytime hours social and lively and nighttime hours quiet and calm. Once your baby is able to distinguish night from day, he will start to associate night with sleeping.
Babies sleep better with repetitive and nearly monotonous sounds, which are known as white noise. You often hear these kinds of sounds while tuning your TV or radio and running your fan or AC. White noise can be quite comforting for a newborn baby since it reminds him of the sounds he used to hear in your tummy. To ensure a peaceful, undisturbed night for your little one, you can take advantage of a white noise machine that helps you block out all disturbing noises around.
Many babies fall asleep more quickly with a special thing or a pacifier. If there is no comfort object available near them, they feel alone and start crying. To overcome this problem, a swaddling blanket or a plush teddy bear can be used to give your baby a sense of comfort and security during sleep. However, if your baby is younger than 6 months, it’s suggested not to leave him alone with a comforter or soft toy to avoid the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Dream feed means feeding your baby right before you go to bed. It is called the dream feed because you feed your baby while he is sleeping. Without waking your baby, you fill him up well so that he won’t wake up hungry as soon as you just fall asleep. Concretely, this top up feed not only helps your little one sleep for longer but also lets you go to bed early.
What most of the mums usually do at night is changing their baby’s diaper after a night feeding is finished. This makes the baby too awake, making it more difficult for him to fall asleep again. To prevent your little one from waking up properly, you should change his diaper during feeding. For a faster diaper changing process, keep changing supplies next to your little one.
Probably the most difficult but the most important way to help your baby sleep longer is to let him fall asleep independently. If your baby requires a sleep association – like nursing or rocking – to fall asleep, then he will surely cry out for these aids to get back to sleep. To avoid this, you should put your baby into his bed drowsy but awake. Thus, your baby will learn to fall asleep on her own and drift back to sleep after waking during the night.
If your little one needs a physical touch to fall asleep at night, you can consider co-sleeping with him. Co-sleeping doesn’t necessarily mean your baby needs to lie in your arms every night to fall asleep. It simply means keeping your little one close enough to yourself while sleeping, which you can do by placing his cot or crib next to your bed. However, if you want to share your bed with your baby, make sure to use an anti-roll pillow to prevent him from rolling off the bed while you both are soundly asleep.