Although newborns sleep for 16 or more hours a day, they sleep in short bursts of about 1 or 2 hours at a time. This is the reason many newborn parents complain of sleepless nights. As babies grow older, they develop a more consistent sleep schedule with extended hours. The tips below will help your baby sleep better and allow you to get some solo time to chill or sleep.
1. Develop a Rhythm
It is crucial to teach your baby that daytime is different from night-time as soon as possible. That is because the brain associates light with being awake and darkness with sleep. Make the day active and playful, expose them to light, and do not mind everyday noises during their naps. It helps lengthen their awake times and ensures they sleep for more extended periods at night. In the evening, keep the lights low, voices quiet, and minimize stimuli so that your baby understands that night time is sleep time.
2. Sleep in The Same Room
Your baby should sleep in the same room as you for the first six months of their lives, both day and night. However, they should be alone in a bassinet, crib, baby cots or a cozy baby co sleeper to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It will also help your baby get used to sleeping by themselves early.
3. Establish a Routine
Environmental cues effectively teach babies when to sleep. For most babies, sleep rhythms start to develop at around six weeks; when they can tell the difference between day and night. This is the perfect time to introduce a bedtime routine that will help your child adopt good sleeping habits. Some of the things you can include in the routine are
- Calming activities like a warm bath, massage, and cuddles to help their bodies relax and get ready for sleep.
- Dim lighting to help set their internal clock.
- Reduce the noise.
- Sing soft, soothing lullabies, and read softly spoken stories.
Ensure the sleep-time routine is practical and short, and repeat the activities daily until the baby knows what to expect. Leave some room between bed and feeding times as feeding your baby to sleep makes them link the two, making them expect a feed whenever they wake up at night to help them back to sleep.
4. Do Not Rely on Soothing Methods
Put them down every night when drowsy and not asleep to learn to fall asleep unassisted. Avoid holding, rocking, or feeding your baby to sleep because it makes them expect the same treatment every time they wake up at night. You can also enhance this by waiting for a few minutes before responding to their fuss at night to see whether they fall back to sleep independently. If you have to check on them, do so but avoid turning on the lights, picking them up, or playing with them. Besides, check to ensure your child is okay and not wet, hungry, or feverish.
5. Have a Nap Schedule
Naps Are essential for helping babies sleep better at night. They allow babies to rest well so that they are not overly tired in the evening and regulate stress hormones ensuring they enjoy a sound and more relaxing sleep. Also, they need to have several scheduled naps to get quality rest and ensure they are physically and mentally restored. Nap times are also perfect to practice putting them down when tired because you are more alert and can easily pick up cues.
6. Give It Time
Many parents feel pressured to have their children sleep through the night, but you do not have to. Be understanding and allow your baby to show their capabilities and look out for cues and adjust schedules and routines depending on their natural preferences. Doing this promotes the chances of developing a favorable sleep schedule.
What to Expect
Unfortunately, it is not all blissful after this because babies change sleep patterns quite a bit. Be ready for disruptions as your baby grows and hits new milestones. Growth spurts like pulling up to sit or stand and rolling over, illness, and teething can all temporarily affect how your baby sleeps. But you do not need to be discouraged because sticking to your routine will help your baby settle back to a regular sleep schedule.
Author’s Bio: Matt McGrath is an avid traveler and a prominent writer in the blogging community. He has been to more than 50 countries. While he loves discovering new cultures and adventures, he is also passionate about sharing practical tips to his followers. If you love to travel and adventure, we recommend that you read and follow all his articles! More about him on his website – http://mattmcgrath.me/