- Bedtime routines
Developing a bedtime routine can be very helpful. Studies show that babies who follow a proper bedtime routine sleep well and are less likely to wake up crying in the middle of the night. You can develop routinely bedtime rituals like giving your baby a warm bath just before putting them in bed or you can read a story or sing a lullaby.
- Tired signs
Babies, just like adults, become grumpy and tired due to lack of sleep. Know when your baby is showing sleep signs, such as losing interest in toys and activities, becoming quiet or making a fuss. Put your baby to bed as soon as you notice any of these signs or else the baby might become irritable and grouchy. If you do not put your baby to sleep at the right time, the negative mood will affect them and make it even more difficult for them to sleep.
- Sounds and music
Simple monotonous sounds or lullabies can help your baby fall asleep. Recordings of your baby’s favorite lullaby played continuously or the sounds of sea or waterfalls. Sounds from ceilings fan, clock ticking, air conditioner, or that of running water from a close by tap can all help in your baby’s sleep. The right kinds of sounds have a soothing effect on your baby making it easier for them to fall asleep.
- Security objects
Giving your baby a security object, such as a stuffed animal or a blanket, can also be helpful. Keep the object with you so it smells of you. Babies have a powerful sense of smell and whenever your baby wakes up startled at night, the scent can help them calm down and go back to sleep.
- Reduce caffeine
When you are breastfeeding your baby, the caffeine you drink can give your baby a stimulant and make them restless and fidgety. Cut back on your caffeine intake to avoid the vicious cycle.
- Physical discomfort
For a good night’s sleep your baby needs to be as comfortable as possible. Make sure your baby is warm, cozy, and physically comfortable when you put them to sleep. Clear out your baby’s nose to create way for better breathing. Make sure that the baby’s room is clean, dust free and has no allergens. If your baby is teething at night, it can be very painful and uncomfortable for them, making it impossible for them to sleep well. With your doctor’s permission you can give your baby small doses of acetaminophen just before bedtime to help them sleep better.
- Snuggle up
Make sure that the bed where your baby sleeps is warm and comfy. Putting a warm baby to sleep in a cold bed can be very discomforting. Wrap your baby in a snug blanket before putting them to bed; this can also be helpful with the startle reflex.
- Sleep massage
Some researches show that prior to putting your baby to bed, a gentle massage can be helpful. A massage will help in relaxing your baby, sooth their muscles; thus, making it easier for them to go to sleep in a calm and relaxed manner.
- Soothe the baby
Help your baby relax and unwind before bedtime. You can read your baby a book, walk around with them, try a rocking chair or special baby hammock, offer a pacifier, or anything else which helps in relaxing your baby.
Light is one to help regulate your baby’s sleep cycle. Use dimmer lighting after the sun goes down even if your baby is not going to bed right away. Making clear distinctions between day and night time can be very helpful. Use bright lights during the day, even if your baby is napping, and dim lights during the night.