Lack of sleep during the night is one of the many challenges parents face with their babies. But this doesn’t have to despair any parent because there is always a solution to every problem.
Once babies are born, they need to be fed every few hours since their stomachs are very small to sustain them throughout the entire night. But after a few months, they will need less feeding giving them a better chance to sleep soundly for a stretch of about six hours.
However, your baby may not be able to develop good sleeping habits even after a period of six to nine months due to normal developmental factors. For instance, your little one may be wanting some reassurance and comfort during the night, or teething may be upsetting their sleep patterns and bedtime routines.
This can make you very upset as your own sleep pattern is also interrupted. You may also feel very tired and sapped of all your energy increasing chances of having mental illnesses such as depression.
In this guide, we explain several things to help baby sleep healthily without causing you the trouble of waking up frequently to calm them down during the night.
Begin A Consistent Bedtime Routine
Your infants are able to maintain a lengthy sleep when you keep everything the same and in the same arrangement. This is based on a certain study that involved 400 mothers with babies between seven and thirty-six months old. The study indicated that infants who were used to consistent bedtime routines were able to sleep better, easily, and hardly cried during the night. Some of the commonly used bedtime activities include:
• Bathing them before going to bed as this makes them calm down
• Keeping every activity in the house peaceful and calm particularly after you perform the routine
• Playing quieter games in the evening and active ones during the daytime
• Making all conditions in the room the same as when they left for slept. For instance, the sounds and lights should be consistent. This may help them fall asleep again when they wake up at any time of the night.
Most parents start their daily sleep routines when their babies are between six to eight weeks old.
Don’t Allow Them To Get Overtired Especially During Evening
Being a great mother can involve many things such as understanding when their young ones want something such as breastfeeding or sleeping. In this case, you should be able to understand when your baby is tired because this can affect their sleep behaviors greatly during the night. For instance, when you see your baby fussing or rubbing their eyes, chances are that they are tired. In such a situation, you need to get them to bed as soon as possible. This will help them have long stretches of sleep. Ignoring them can make it hard for them to fall asleep most of the times during the night.
Teach Them The Difference Between Day and Night
This can help your child know the right time to sleep. During the day, take them out in fresh air for walks, and make things more stimulating like giving them beautiful objects to look at or even surrounding them with brightly colored blankets. During the evening, change the room to appear darker, more gentle and calmer.
Do not Be Too Quick To Respond
It is normal for babies to be noisy especially when they are sleeping. They can cry, squirm, startle, or even fuss. In such situations, you should be slower to respond to such things because they might settle down and sleep again without needing your help.
Help Them Sleep Safely
It is advised by various Pediatrics associations to always practice child safety routines every time you put them to bed. This not only helps them have better sleep, but also prevents them from having the sudden-infant-death syndrome (SIDS). The following are some of the recommended practices:
• Make them sleep on their back
• Use a flat surface to lay them down especially when outdoors
• Put loose bedding away from the baby and all other soft objects. This includes pets, blankets, and pillows
• Avoid using positioners and wedges
• Sleep in the same room with your infants but not bed
• Do not smoke around you baby
Change Diapers Strategically
Strategically changing diapers can benefit your baby a great deal when it comes to making them sleep for lengthy hours. After feeding them at night, make sure to change their diapers before preparing them for bed. In addition, when he or she wakes up at any hour of the night, ensure to change their diapers to reduce the chances of waking up too often.
If Drowsy, Put Them To Bed
It is a good practice to soothe your baby and put them to bed when he or she is drowsy. You do not have to wait until they are totally asleep while still holding them. This can develop a behavior later in life that can make them hard to release once they get asleep in your arms. You should begin this practice when your infant reaches the age of six to twelve weeks. Making use of this routine is very important as it teaches your little one on how to gently calm themselves to sleep. Also, every time they wake up at night, you do not have to soothe or cuddle them so that they can get back to sleep.
Baby Massage Can Help
This can help most infants to calm down their feelings and sleep very well at night. Study shows that regular-baby-massage increases the amount of sleep-inducing-hormone known as melatonin. This improves the sleep patterns of your baby. However, you need to know that not all babies love being massaged. You should, therefore, ensure to follow the lead of your own baby.
Feed Them Enough Before Bedtime
Improving dinnertime-feedings can help your little one to sleep for longer hours. This is because they do not have to wake up every time because of being hungry. Before laying them down for sleep, consider offering a little larger meal or nursing them longer if you are breastfeeding.
Rest and Do Not Fret
Before you begin finding what is best for your baby, you need to rest your mind and body. Things might not be easy at first but you need to understand that such moments will not last forever. Resting before everything else makes you recharge your batteries. This could help you become calmer, consistent, and more tuned to whatever experiences your baby is facing during sleep.
To conclude, these are the things to help baby sleep for long hours and also soundly. You need to do everything possible to ensure your baby sleeps well. This is what restores energy to their little bodies, and increases tissue growth and repair. Also, important hormones responsible for growth and development are released during sleep.