Babies are one of the few pure things in the world. They are a bundle of joy for everyone. Their giggles and laughs can light up the whole mood, but let’s face the other side of the story – babies can be a handful too.
New parents will agree on how exhausting it is with a newborn. Post-partum depression is natural among so many new mothers. The reasons being the overwhelming responsibility and the sheer struggle to take care of the baby. It takes a lot of time to understand what the baby wants and manage their daily routine. By the time parents fully understand one thing, their child develops a new habit.
Putting babies to sleep is undoubtedly the most challenging part of parenthood. Parents find it difficult to put their baby to sleep, or they wake up too often during the night. The struggle is accurate, and most parents get exhausted with little to no success.
Fortunately, we have consultants and sleep experts who have shared ample knowledge of how to help babies sleep peacefully. We have made a list of just the right tips for you, which will make your life a bit easier:
1. Make a Routine
Babies don’t know the difference between day and night, but they do respond to their surroundings. It is important to light your house according to the time of the day. After sunset, dim the lights of the house and keep the noise low. This way, the baby will know the difference between day and night and start relaxing after sunset. During the daytime, expose your child to natural bright light, andhe/she will respond to it actively.
2. Understand Your Baby’s Needs
Babies sleep for up to 18 hours a day, andthey need to be fed every two to two and half hours. During the first three months, babies can sleep and wake up whenever they want because they do not understand the difference between day and night. By four to six months, babies tend to analyze their environment and know when it is time for bed. They may be capable of sleeping up to six hours at night.
But just when you think it is getting better, your baby will throw tantrums at around the age of seven to nine months. By now, they are intelligent enough to know that bedtime means that they will be left alone. So they would cry for you to be present.
3. Feed Your Baby Well
Here’s a catch – your baby’s hunger trumps his need for sleep. He/she will most definitely wake up crying if he is hungry. For a peaceful sleep at night, make sure that the baby is well-fed during the day.
Count the minutes for which the baby takes his feed. If you are bottle-feeding him/her, take notes of how many ounces of milk he/she drinks at a time. If your baby feeds for a few minutes, he/she is not entirely fed and was only snacking. You should eliminate this snacking habit and get your tiny bellies full during the day. Feeding time should be shorter at night and longer in the day.
4. Set Bedtime Routine
It is a proven fact that children who had bedtime routines from an early age sleep more quickly than kids who never had a bedtime routine. Set up a particular order of activities during the day and evening. These activities can be loud and engaging in the day, but everything should be low and quiet after sunset.
Before bedtime, include a set of routines so that your baby can familiarize himself/herself with them and know that it’s bedtime. These routines can consist of a massage, a warm bath, lullabies and bedtime stories, etc. Save the last activity for your baby’s room so that you can put him/her in a crib just when he/sheis drowsy.
5. Do Not Feed Your Baby to Sleep
It is common for babies to sleep while eating, but it would be best if you did not make this a habit. Your baby will stick to this habit and won’t sleep without getting fed. This means that you will have to feed him/her whenever they wake up at night.
Therefore, make sure to feed your baby earlier than his/her bedtime. After that, sing a lullaby to him/her or read a story. Just when the baby gets drowsy, tuck them in the crib. You must put your baby in the crib when awake but drowsy. If you tuck them in while they are sleeping, they will fuss when they wake up during the night. Babies need to learn self-soothing and fall back to sleep on their own once they have woken up.
6. Daytime Naps Are Important
Babies do not function as adults. You cannot overtire your baby in hopes of getting them a better and longer sleep at night. In fact, a tired baby is a fussy baby and will tire you too.
Let your baby sleep several times during the day. Not only will he/she be active the next day, but he/she will also sleep peacefully at night. Once you see your baby with a bored expression on his/her face and just staring at something, know that he/sheis tired and needsa power nap.
7. Let Your Baby Work
It is natural for babies to wake up at night, especially during the first three months. Unless you are absolutely sure that the baby is not hungry, there is no need to go running to him/her.
Let your baby soothe themselves – babies do sleep on their own more often than not. Of course, if the crying prolongs, you can go and shush them. But don’t pick them up immediately. Climb the soothing ladder only when it is necessary.
8. Early Bedtime
It is not advisable to keep the baby awake till late in hopes that he/she will sleep till late in the morning. If you follow a sleep schedule, you must adjust a proper bedtime. After sunset, humans start to lose their energy and feel sleepy. The same is for babies too.
As indicated earlier, dim the light by evening and if the sun is still up, pull down the curtains. Let your baby realize that bedtime is near.
9. Have Patience
If your baby used to sleep soundly earlier and now he/shedoesn’t, there is no need to panic. Babies change their habits very quickly, just as they develop into bigger humans. Regressions in habits last for a few days, and there is always a chance that you can train your baby again. You just have to stay calm and don’t lose your patience.
Babies Are Angels on Earth
As much as we love babies, they can be a lot of work and struggle. Maintaining a healthy sleep routine for a baby is hard for parents. The struggle is ten folds for mothers because of health concerns and lactation. It is only fair that both parents help each other and schedule a proper sleeping habit for their new angel. This way, you both can enjoy all the cuddles and giggles without being too exhausted.