Newborns have a difficult time distinguishing night from day, thus they have short bursts of sleep around the clock. Once your baby is a few weeks to months old, you can start helping them to learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own. This is vital so sleep problems won’t be a issue when they grows up. Here are five tips to give you a great start.
Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine
A regular bedtime schedule is crucial to everyone. Babies like predictability, so a bedtime routine that is done at the same time every night will signal the baby that it’s time for sleep. A bedtime routine doesn’t have to be anything complex. It’s recommended that your bedtime routine is simple and not too stimulating for your child. Depending on your child’s age, you can do bottle or nursing activities, sing a lullaby, or read story books.
Make Sure Your Baby is Well-Fed
Newborns have a small stomach that takes months to mature to be able to hold a substantial amount of food. They usually feed every 2-3 hours, but they’ll eventually stretch out the time between their feedings when they reach between 3-6 months of age. Use it to your advantage by providing a nighttime feeding before your baby goes to bed, so you know your baby is full before you finally drift off to sleep.
Lay Your Baby Down Drowsy but Awake
Parents usually sneak their babies to their cribs right after they have nursed them to sleep. However, these babies are the ones that frequently wake at night because they don’t know how to fall back to sleep. It’s crucial that you allow them to settle down first. It’s recommended to put them down to bed awake just before they drift to sleep and let them fall asleep entirely on their own. Most experts say that babies who fall asleep on their own are more likely to sleep better.
Establish a Good Sleep Environment
It’s vital that your baby sleeps in a comfortable room that promotes an excellent sleeping atmosphere. Maintain a proper room temperature and ensure that the room lighting is not too bright when the baby sleeps. Sometimes, it’s difficult to figure out what your baby likes, so make sure everything is just right without compromising on safety.
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Discourage Bad Habits
If your baby gets used to the habit of falling asleep using a soothing technique, such as using a pacifier, nursing, or rocking, he will be more likely to cry out for you at night to help him back to sleep. If you eliminate these sleep props, you will be helping your child to go to sleep on his own.
It’s important that babies get their needed sleeping hours each day to ensure good health and overall development. Make sure you attend to all your baby’s needs and apply the above-mentioned tips to help your baby, and yourself too, to sleep better throughout the night.