Haven’t had a good night’s sleep since your baby was born? Tired of being woken up in the middle of the night? Here are four tips to improve your baby’s sleep so you can have a restful shut eye. Although sleepless nights are a given for any parent, there are certainly some ways to have it better than it might be.
Maintain a rhythm
A baby’s sleep requirement changes as they age. Newborns sleep up to 16 hours a day. But why are you sleep deprived while they get so much sleep? A newborns capacity to retain food is very limited. Smaller tummies retain smaller quantities of food, and therefore wake up more often for refills. Most babies wake up out of hunger. This pattern might seem maddening at first, but trust me, it gets better as your baby can go longer between feedings. By the age of 3-4 months most babies sleep about 5 hours at a time. By one year of age, most babies sleep about 8-10 hours each night. The trick is to keep them fed so their cause of waking isn’t a hungry tummy.
Have your baby sleep in your room
When your baby is just born, it it is ideal to have them sleep in your room, but in their own crib. Ideally, your baby should sleep in your room with you, but alone in a crib, bassinet or other structure designed for infants. This practice can go up until the baby is 6 months to one year. Sleeping in a space where the baby is in close proximity to their parents is important for the baby to feel safe. This might also help decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Adult beds aren’t safe for infants as a baby can become trapped and suffocate between the headboard, fall off the beds, and be stuck 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.
Encouraging good sleep habits
For the first few months after the baby is born, mid-night feedings will be a definite sleep disruption for parents as most babies are alike. Do not be discouraged as this is normal, and you shouldn’t feel alone in this.
It’s never too soon to help your baby become a good sleeper. Consider these tips:
Follow a consistent, calming bedtime routine.
Stimulating the baby too much in the evening can make it difficult for your baby to settle to sleep. Try bathing, cuddling, singing, playing quiet music or reading, with a clearly defined end point when you leave the room. Begin these activities before your baby is overtired in a quiet, softly lit room.
Put your baby to bed drowsy, but awake.
This will help your baby associate bed with the process of falling asleep. Do not give your baby electronic devices during this time. Remember to place your baby to sleep on his or her back, and clear the crib or bassinet of blankets and other soft items.
Use comfortable and unchanging sleeping devices.
- It helps to have your baby get used to a certain surface and until they develop a sleeping pattern. If you are travelling outside your home and need to put bub to sleep, make sure to use a bassinet that can be used as a stand alone sleeping device.
Give your baby time to settle down.
Your baby might fuss or cry before finding a comfortable position and falling asleep. If the crying doesn’t stop, check on your baby, offer comforting words and leave the room. Your reassuring presence might be all your baby needs to fall asleep.
Consider a pacifier.
If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick. In fact, research suggests that using a pacifier during sleep helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
Keep nighttime care low-key.
When your baby needs care or feeding during the night, use dim lights, a soft voice and calm movements. This will tell your baby that it’s time to sleep — not play.
Respect your baby’s preferences.
If your baby is a night owl or an early bird, you might want to adjust routines and schedules based on these natural patterns.
If you’re considering safe and comfortable travel systems for your baby that also support sleeping, explore the Baccani range that offers multiple different pram, seat, bassinet, and car capsule options.
Keeping it in perspective
Getting your baby to sleep through the night isn’t a measure of your parenting skills. Take time to understand the common baby habits and find out how you can communicate with your little one. Understanding their needs can help you have a peaceful time with not only their sleeping habits, but across all departments when raising them. And thats how you can help your baby sleep through the night.