One of the downsides of having a baby is forgetting what a good night’s sleep is and having difficulty remembering when was the last time you slept peacefully. Sadly, having your baby sleep through the night really does seem like rocket science and it might drive you crazy figuring out what works and what not. To avoid sleepless nights and nervous breakdowns, here are a few useful tips you can try out and see if they work for you and your baby.
Establish a Routine
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it cannot be emphasized enough just how important a routine is for your baby. Bedtime routine that doesn’t change helps babies feel comfortable and safe in this scary world they have found themselves, so once you establish a routine, stick with it and you’ll see how your child will accept it. Simplicity is the key: after bath, sing them a bit, feed them, and when they’re drowsy put them to sleep. The sooner you start with the routine, the sooner you’ll see the results.
Make Baby Comfortable
The desire for freedom and need for more space does not occur until they grow up a bit. While they’re still very young (up to six months, approximately) they like to be tightly wrapped in swaddles and baby sleeping bags. This way they will be calmer and sleep more peacefully, but you will also not have to worry about them kicking around and rolling off the bed. You can even rock them to sleep more easily when they are tightly wrapped.
Use white noise
For some strange reason, babies like constant noise in the background. There have been cases where mom has been using a vacuum cleaner in the next room and it would put baby to sleep. Also, a fan put on medium and left in the room was noted to calm it down as well. If you don’t like the idea of using fans and vacuum cleaners, there are CD’s with white noise available to buy, or you can find some recordings with white noise on Youtube and play them when you’re preparing your little one for bed.
Know when to change diaper
When you have to change the diaper in the middle of the night, it can also mean that you’re going to wake up the baby and then have trouble putting it back to sleep again. This is why you should know when and how to change the ‘middle of the night diaper’. Rather than turning the light on, use night light in the nursery. Baby will probably still be drowsy or even still half asleep, so be careful and gentle so as not to wake it up. Change the diaper, then feed it, and gently put it down. Without all the fuss, lights, and noise, it will go back to sleep much more easily.
Awake but drowsy is the key
If you learn when to put your baby to sleep, you can avoid middle of the night cries later on in life. When you put your baby to sleep, make sure it’s drowsy and not asleep already. This way it will learn to put itself to sleep and you will not have to pick it up every time it wakes up. Even if it wakes in the middle of the night for feeding, you will not have to lull it back to sleep, just make sure it’s sleepy enough and gently put it back in its crib.
Parenting is hard, and you never stop learning; but make sure you cherish those gentle and precious moments you are sharing with your child.