Every new parent thinks that they are ready for the sleepless nights that a newborn brings… until they actually have to deal with the continuous sleep deprivation! It is not always easy getting your baby to go to sleep, unless you have a few tips up your sleeve. Here are 10 tips that will totally transform your life.
Swaddle your baby.
Swaddling. What is it? Wrapping your baby in a light blanket to recreate the environment that your baby is familiar with, the inside of the mother’s womb. Some babies find swaddling comforting and soothing. Other babies, however, might enjoy their newfound freedom of not being restrained by the limitations of the mother’s womb. In that case don’t swaddle your baby. Most importantly, whatever works for your baby is what you should do.
Avoid interacting with your baby at nighttime.
Babies are very young and nighttime feeding is impossible to avoid. When you feed at night try to be as little disruptive as possible. Be calm, gentle and frankly boring. Remember that you are the most fascinating thing in your baby’s life. Studies have shown that babies are more sensitive to their mother’s voice than to the sound of a fire alarm. In addition to keeping nighttime as dark as possible, remember to avoid lullabies, soothing shushes and eye contact. Let the silence do all the talking for you.
Create a cool temperature sleeping environment.
Just as adults sleep much better in a cool environment, so do babies. According to the sleep experts, it is best to try and keep the room thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Just as a tip the experts suggest that you put your hand on your little one’s chest to ensure that your baby is warm enough.
Learn your baby’s sleepiness cues.
Timing is of the essence here. As soon as your baby starts showing signs of drowsiness, it is time for bed. Otherwise, soothe your little one until the drowsiness signs appear. Put your little baby in the crib and let him or her drift off to dreamland. When your baby shows those signs, it means that the melatonin in his or her body is at its peak and that it is the perfect time for him or her to fall asleep without much hassle. It is best not to wait until your little one has fallen asleep in your arms, otherwise that behavior might become a struggle to get rid of later in life. If you miss those signs, your baby might become fussy and overtired, making it very difficult for him or her to fall asleep.
Develop a bed routine for your baby.
Adults find it difficult to go to sleep if they are anxious and babies are the same. Try to create a bedtime routine such as; reading, cuddling, swaddling with an end point in mind for the baby to fall asleep. Try to ensure that your baby feels safe, secure, happy and loved just before bedtime. A recent study revealed that babies who followed a bedtime routine went to sleep easier, slept better and cried out less often at night.
Create soothing noise for your baby.
It is important to drown out the sound with better sound for your baby. The idea is to muffle outside sound and use a device creating white noise inside your baby’s bedroom. Most of a baby’s sleep consists of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which means that the slightest noises will wake the baby up. According to Brooke Nelle, a sleep consultant from New York, the white-noise machine should muffle the sound but not drown it out completely.
Ensure that your baby is not hungry but full.
Something that most new parents can’t escape is sleep deprivation, because newborn babies are known for feeding every two to three hours during the night. So, how can you get a few extra minutes of heavenly sleep? The best is to encourage your baby to drink more than usual on his or her last feeding before bedtime. An easy way to do this is by rubbing your baby on the cheek and jawline to urge sucking.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies should sleep in the same room as the parent for the first six months to a year, however not in the same bed. Sleeping in the same bed is very risky. Not only does sleeping in the same room provide your baby with the closeness that he or she needs but it also encourages breastfeeding, is known to let the baby sleep for longer at a time and reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Dim the lights of your baby’s sleeping environment.
Blocking out the sun is a great way to keep your baby snoozing, because light signals daytime to babies. Babies are known to only start developing a fear of the dark at around the age of 18 months. So, it would be best to even keep the night light off.
Put your baby to sleep with a pacifier.
Not only does it reduce the risk of SIDS, but it can also help your baby to settle down should you be struggling to put your baby to sleep. A pacifier can create the same soothing comfort that feeding does without keeping mom up.