Is your baby struggling to sleep through the night? Are they walking up at all hours, after only a short period in dreamland? This can be a stressful time – not only is it a struggle for you as a mom to not get enough good quality shut-eye, but developing a good sleeping pattern is important for your little one, too.
Luckily, there are a few ways to help your baby sleep through the night.
First, however, there are a few important points to consider:
It’s Okay To Want Them To Sleep Through The Night!
Let’s start off by acknowledging that getting up every two to four hours is tough! It’s more than OK to be looking for a way to increase these periods of sleep.
How Old Is Your Baby?
Remember, young babies need to wake up often to eat because of their tiny bellies. However, it’s not too early to begin laying the foundation for longer periods of sleep.
If your baby was sleeping through the night, but has suddenly gone back to waking up every couple of hours, read through The Four Month Sleep Regression. Why Does It Happen?
Now, let’s dive into the 5 tips:
Make Their Awake Time Active
After work or after a workout, you feel tired, right? No, I’m not saying you should enroll your baby into boot camp, but making sure they’re getting enough stimulation is important. Going for a walk outdoors with them, playing with toys, and giving them enough time on their play mat are all great ways to make sure your little one is getting enough activities in during the day so that their bodies recognize that they need rest.
There is a fine balance here. You want your baby to be stimulated, but not overly stimulated. When it’s time to wind down and give them their last feed before sleep, find a quiet place without distractions for baby. This is just one part of creating a before-bed routine.
Create A Calming Bedtime Routine
No, not necessarily a set time schedule, but a routine that works for your baby and taking the “why” behind every step into consideration.
Having a strict schedule that you have to keep referring to is going to be overwhelming in the long run. After all, life doesn’t stay the same – you go on vacation, your baby goes through developmental leaps, and illness happens. Develop a routine you’re confident in and can adapt with the unpredictability of life. A warm bath, a lullaby, and a massage can help your baby relax. Calming your baby is just one of the benefits of massage.
Click here to download my routine for babies two to six weeks of age.
Ensure Your Baby Is Comfy And In An Optimal Sleeping Environment
Scratchy sheets, uncomfortable PJs, and distracting noises from the TV don’t equal a good night’s rest for any of us. Putting your baby in soft and comfy PJs, making sure their crib is warm and cozy, and turning down any noise in the house, like the TV or music, can help create the ideal environment for your baby to drift off into dreamland.
Another way to help get your baby comfy and cozy is to swaddle them. Two important points to keep in mind when swaddling your baby is to make sure that they are able to have their arms midline to their body, and the swaddle fabric should be stretchy but secure.
Learn How To Soothe Your Baby
Babies cry – it’s one of the ways they communicate. If your baby hasn’t been getting enough sleep because of sensory overload, crying is their way of dealing with it. Learning to soothe your baby can go a long way to relaxing them enough to stop the tears and drift to sleep.
Parents.com recommends switching off the lights to avoid overstimulation and gently rocking your baby. “Studies suggest that a calming response is triggered in an infant’s brain when being carried or rocked, causing the baby’s heart rate to slow and the muscles to become more relaxed,” explains Kristie Rivers, M.D., a pediatrician in Fort Lauderdale, to Parents.com.
Take A Few Moments For Yourself If It Gets Too Much
If you’re feeling far too overwhelmed and stressed out trying to coax your crying baby to sleep, give yourself a few minutes to reset – taking a small step back is OK! Babies can feel when you’re stressed.
Make sure your baby is safe, then go and take a few quiet breaths by yourself or listen to a calming song. Then, go back to your baby in a more relaxed state.
Learning what works for you and your baby can be difficult. It’s easy to feel frustrated and as if your baby is a complicated puzzle you just cannot solve. This is not true!
In my Babies Made Simple course, you’ll learn the Feed, Wake, Sleep and Have a Settled Baby Method. You’ll get the “know-how” to feel confident in your ability to parent your baby and have a routine that gets you the extended nighttime sleep you desire.
Get started here!