Getting your baby to sleep can seem easy at the start, but after a while, it can become a task that you dread. Especially when those late-night wake-up-calls begin to take their toll. Here are some things you must do when trying to get your little on to nod off!
Tend to them straight away
At the very early stages of your baby’s life it is completely normal for babies to wake frequently through the night. It’s important to tend to your newborn straight away as they are unable to comfort themselves but from around two to four months old, it’s okay to let them try and settle themselves.
Expect changes to your newborn’s sleep pattern. Newborns don’t awaken just because they are hungry. There are other reasons why your baby may wake: Wet nappy, teething or growing pain and illness.
Learn your baby’s cues
The first few weeks of baby’s life is all about adjustment. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get into a routine, take your cue from baby and you will begin to learn the signs of when your baby is tired. Every baby is different and it could be anything from rubbing his/her eyes, pulling on their ears or staring into space
Day and night
Teach your baby the difference between day and night as early as possible. For daytime naps put your baby to bed in the light and keep the sound levels at a normal level. At night, keep everything quiet and use as little light as possible. Soon your baby will begin to sleep longer at night.
Go to bed when drowsy
As your baby gets a little older, it’s important they learn how to go asleep on their own. Do this by putting your baby to sleep when they are drowsy and tired, not fully asleep. Your baby needs to be able to soothe himself so he/she can eventually soothe themselves back to sleep when they wake during the night. This will help lay the foundations for baby to start sleeping through the night.
Two to four naps a day
Infants usually sleep between 13 to 15 hours per day. However, every baby is different and some need more or less sleep than others. All infants should have between two to four naps per day.
Try not to fall into the habit of rocking or comforting your baby to sleep, it’s okay to do it sometimes but if you get into a habit, your baby will expect it every night and that is not manageable and will become an issue for both you and baby that you will eventually have to tackle.
As baby gets that little bit older, it’s time to find a routine and try as much as possible to stick to it. However, it is never too early or late to start a good bedtime routine.
- One guaranteed way to get your baby relaxed, tired and calm is a bath. Keep bath time to before bedtime. Try a short massage before bedtime with calming lotion or baby oil. Always change nappy before bedtime but if you are feeding and don’t want to disturb baby in his/her relaxed state change just before feeding.
- Reading a story or singing a lullaby is a great way of signalling bedtime and a treasured bonding time for baby.