Seeing your baby sleep comfortably at night is one of the most rewarding and touching things you will ever experience as a parent. However, it takes patience and perseverance, and the stories that experienced parents tell new ones, about getting up in the middle of the night to pacify your crying baby, may seem all too familiar.
Thankfully, we have composed some tips which all you knew parents could use to make sure your baby, and you, gets a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Learn to identify the signs of tiredness: The most obvious signs of tiredness include becoming silent, losing an interest in activities such as playing with toys, losing an interest in other people, and of course becoming petulant. When you notice these signs, immediately make your baby go to sleep.
- Introduce bedtime routines: Babies learn to associate certain routines and rituals with their sleep time. This is related to how effectively those routines are planned prior to their bedtime. For instance, giving a nice warm bath straight before bedtime will allow the baby to understand that a bedtime is imminent when a bath takes place.
- Massage your baby: It has been shown through research conducted at Miami University that babies who are massaged gently for a month, 15 minutes before bedtime, sleep much better as compared to those that are not.
- Make soothing sounds: Producing rhythmic, soothing sounds reminds the baby of the peaceful state he/she was in inside the womb; the sound of your heartbeat works wonders as well. You could use white-noise for this, and it will make them very peaceful.
- Rock you baby to sleep: This is the classic technique to make your baby sleep comfortably. Sing him a lullaby as you rock him to sleep. You could use either a rocking chair or perhaps a rocking baby hammock. Also, if the baby wakes and moves during the night, the hammock will rock him back to sleep.
- Snuggle with your baby: If the baby wakes up in the middle of the night and makes a sudden movement (the startle reflex), it can be quite disturbing. To avoid this, snuggle with your baby and provide him with a sense of security and warmth.
- Cut your caffeine intake: Caffeine has the same effect on your baby as it does on you. It can keep you awake for hours, and if you are breastfeeding, it can pass on to your baby. This will obviously disturb his/her sleep.
- Feed during the day and sleep during the night: Your baby needs to eat frequently during the day. However, if he begins to take long naps between meals, then it is appropriate to gently wake him up and offer a light snack. This way, the baby will reserve his deep sleep for night-time.
- Pre-bed time feed: No matter what time your baby last ate, offer a light snack just before you go to bed yourself. Do not wake the baby up for this. If you do it right, your sleep time and will start matching with your baby.
- Emphasize the difference between day and night: During the day, make sure your baby gets a lot of activity in bright light. However, during the night, keeping the lighting dim and avoid too much stimulating activity.
- Do not disturb the baby: Do not change his nappy straight after feeding. At this time, he is probably very tired and sleepy. Instead, try changing it halfway through feeding time, and then offer the remaining food.
- Allow your baby to sleep on you: Babies are very comfortable falling asleep on top of their parents. As a mother, you can allow him to sleep on your breast after feeding. Furthermore, sleeping together will get him used to your sleep cycles.
- Do not focus on the time: Try not to look at a clock when you are trying to get your baby to sleep. It may make you anxious, and you might try to rush the baby to sleep.
Be patient; a perfect good night’s sleep is difficult for a parent to achieve. However, follow the above mentioned baby sleep tips, and you and your little one will definitely be more happy, healthy and peaceful.