Being a parent is one of the most fantastic thing ever. Even though it can be a bit challenging sometimes, especially since one isn’t born with the right manual to proper parenting. It could also be somewhat disorienting and challenging putting a baby to sleep. Your baby’s tiresome sleep routine could have you up all night trying to calm them.
Do you stay up all night trying to put your child to sleep? Do you have headaches the next morning from staying up all night? Well, let us consider some ways you could adapt to help you put your baby to sleep and allow you to get needed rest at night or any time of the day for that matter.
1. A cosy well-done swaddle is better
Babies can display involuntary startle in their reflex when sleeping. This happens from birth to about six months, and it is caused by a feeling of free-falling that causes sudden jerks and arms lifting, hence causing them to stay awake and alert. Having your baby in a well-secured swaddle helps them avoid jerking from sleep and allows for sound sleep. Some people refer to this as “snug as a bug in a rug”.
2. Use dimmers
The use of dimmers can be used to help your baby tell the difference between night and day. Teaching your child to associate night for sleep can be a challenging task, but it would be a huge relief for you once your baby is able to understand this earthly rule. Make sure to use dimmers in lamps and lights around the house to help signal your child that is night time, and it is also sleeping time.
3. Warm water bath
There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t enjoy bathing with warm water, and this includes babies. Babies enjoy warm water a lot, and it would be nice if you add a warm bath to your child’s nightly routine. This helps them stay warm before getting tucked into bed. Bath your baby with warm water and have them in a fresh diaper at night. This is sure to guarantee you and your baby a good night sleep.
4. Monitor the temperature in your baby’s room
“The optimum temperature for an infant’s sleep ranges from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit”, according to Dr Alan Green’s book, From First Kicks to First Steps. By regulating the temperature of the baby’s room, and keeping it a little low helps your child fall asleep easily.
5. White noise
White noise can be likened to the rush of blood in the veins similar to the sounds heard by your baby when in the womb. This familiar sound can help your child relax and sleep better.
Getting the right kind of noise to help soothe your child can be a bit tricky. You could put a fan at medium speed or simply use a white noise machine. You could also use any noise that helps your baby get sound sleep. Simply have it recorded and put it on a loop.
6. Diaper plan
Tactful diaper plan can help your baby get an excellent sleep. Change your baby’s diaper before midnight feed, and have them back to sleep with a cosy swaddle. If their diaper is changed after their meal, it might have them fully awake and might take them a long time to go back to sleep.
7. No-no to caffeine
It is imperative that you cut your intake of caffeine if you are still breastfeeding your child. Caffeine can be found in your coffee and soda and can be undetected in your baby’s urine.
The intake of caffeine can cause your baby to be irritable and fussy. It can also deprive them of sleep as the brain is kept alert. So it is best that you stay away from caffeine if you want your child to get needed sleep.
8. Limit screen time
You need to set a limit to screen time before bedtime for your child. Kids enjoy staring at screens (computer, phones and TV), especially if it’s showing that has their interest (cartoons). Research makes us understand that babies that play with touch screens like phones or other devices took a longer time to get sleep. Keep your baby away from any gadget for at least an hour or two before bedtime to help them get better sleep.
9. Bassinet or a co-sleeper
It’s very vital for your baby to be able to sleep as close to you as possible, at least for the first six months. Ditching the baby’s crib using a co-sleeper or a bassinet is an ideal alternative to make sure your baby has uninterrupted sleep time. Bassinets help your baby feel cosier, safer and secure as it allows parents to be right next to them when it’s snooze time. Also, sleeping close to your baby when they are sleeping, or napping has the same effect.
10. No eye contact
Don’t make eye contact while cradling your baby to sleep. This is because the first things babies adopt is making eye contact to recognise and communicate with the people around them. Love hormone (oxytocin) is being released in your baby when making eye contact with them. This can cause the heartbeat to increase and instead of helping them sleep, keeps them up. Not making eye contact when cradling them, would help your baby relax and sleep faster.
11. Wake your baby up to feed
It is perfectly okay to wake your baby up for them to feed especially if it’s past their feeding time. This would get your baby into a proper sleep routine and also ensure they understand they need to get sound sleep.
12. Figure out what helps your child sleep better
Find what best way to put your child to relax and maintain it. Babies like adults have their own likes and dislikes, and while there are no actual set guidelines for what works best, your child might be giving you signals as to what helps them snooze better.
You just have to figure it out and go with the flow. It could be a particular humming sound, song or even merely brushing on their brows. Whatever it is, maintain it! Are there sweet tricks you use to help your child sleep better? How effective are they? Please share with us in the comments. Thank you!