Having a baby is truly one of the best feelings you can get in the world. However, dealing with these little angels during the night can be hell for parents. This is why we are going to talk about some of the best ways to prepare your baby for a good night’s sleep. So, let’s get right into it.
1) Establish a Sleeping Schedule and Stick To it
Persistence is key. If you make a sleeping schedule for the baby, then you need to stick to it. Putting the baby to sleep each night will help them regulate their sleeping patterns. When eight pm is around the corner, the baby’s organism will already be preparing for bedtime. You should aim for sleep time to be between seven pm and eight thirty. This way you don’t wait for too long or too little and the baby’s body won’t be overtired waiting for bedtime to come.
2) Always Have Some Quiet Time Leading Up to Bedtime
When bedtime is around the corner you can start dimming the lights and start changing the baby’s knitwear into their pajamas. Changed and ready for bedtime? Good, time to turn off the TV, stop the loud noises and create a serene atmosphere for the baby to sleep in. Having a good transition period between the loud noises of everyday life and a quiet atmosphere needs to be made for the baby to get a good sense of when bedtime is and to let them sleep easier. After the baby has gone to sleep, try to maintain a quiet atmosphere. Don’t turn on the TV or use the PC on speakers, lower the volume on the TV (or, ideally, turn it off), and use headphones for the PC to not distract or disturb the baby.
3) Eliminate All Sources of Light
This one ties in nicely with the previous tip. Light sources will be a strain on the baby, making it harder for them to sleep. You can’t approach nap time by dimming or turning off all the lights, waiting for them to go to sleep, and then turning them all on again. The room needs to be the same when the baby wakes as it was when they went to sleep. If the baby needs to be changed during the night, keep the lights dim. Don’t flash it with the light of the sun, it will make it a lot harder for the baby to go back to sleep afterward. Utilize blackout blinds to keep light from the outside getting inside the room as well. Start doing all of this just before bedtime to make a fitting transition for the baby that they can adapt to.
4) Have the Baby Always Sleep in a Room With You
This is a step that can often get misinterpret and lead to bad decisions. Your child is most vulnerable for the first six months. The baby shouldn’t be sleeping in a different room in case of an emergency. But they should be always sleeping in a crib, and not in an adult bed. This is because adult beds are not designed for infants. They can easily trap the baby between the headboard slats and lead to their suffocation. It is also dangerous to sleep with the baby because there is a chance of a sleeping parent covering the baby’s nose and mouth, causing them to suffocate.
5) Let or Don’t Let the Baby Cry?
Parents all over the world are torn over the question of ignoring their babies when they are crying and coddling them when they are crying. Some experts claim letting the baby be on their own will result in the baby putting themselves back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. Although if you are going to go through with this type of training, you should wait at least until the baby is six months old. There are several steps you should follow:
• Always put the baby in the crib while they are still awake, and avoid putting them there while they are asleep
• If the baby cries, wait a few moments before checking on them. They might be testing you to see how you react. You are best off giving them attention after around three to five minutes have passed, and even then, try to console them without directly picking them up. The baby just needs to see your face, this will be enough for them to know that you are by their side
• If they keep crying after you have checked them, slowly and gradually increase the time between each next check. If you started with three minutes, the next one should be in five minutes, then seven, and so on
6) Put the Baby to Sleep While They are Still Awake
You need to strike a balance on this one. Although it might seem conventional and harmless to let your child go to sleep in your arms and then place them in the basket, you need to train them to associate the bed with sleep time. Otherwise, you risk the baby developing bad habits further in life. This routine is useful because it teaches the baby to soothe themselves to sleep. The end result is that you won’t need to coddle them or rock the crib to get them to sleep again when they eventually wake up during the night. If you seem to be struggling with implementing this, you should move the baby’s bedtime schedule earlier. Keep in mind, the quality of your breast milk can have an effect on the baby’s sleep.
7) Try Adding Some Ambiance to the Background
While the baby is developing in the womb, it will get used to constant sounds around them, primarily the mother’s heartbeat and her stomach’s gurgles. This means that the baby can find pure silence unnatural and almost unnerving when they are born. So, you will want to get them gradually used to it, and not exposed to the deafening silence all at once. If the baby is being severely nervous or crying a lot, you can try adding some background noise to try and soothe them. For example, if you play some white noise it can cause the baby to go to sleep much faster and easier due to them associating the noise with nap time. Just don’t overdo it. And do remember to carefully commit to the mentioned tips if you are raising a child alone.