Putting your baby to sleep is a hard thing for most of the parents. At different ages, babies behave differently about going to sleep. Adjusting with it and ensuring that your baby and you both get sufficient night time sleep can be really challenging. However, this is where parents need to be particularly patient because the baby is still to develop a night time routine and it is most expected that parents have to put in extra effort to make it work for everyone. This article includes some best sleep strategies for babies as suggested by the experts. These strategies can be really helpful for the parents to make their baby go to sleep without a lot of fuss.
Place your baby in her crib before she is asleep
This is one of the most important habits that you need to develop in your baby from the very beginning to ensure that the sleep time routine of your baby is less strenuous for you. Putting your baby on her crib only after she has fallen asleep will only make it much difficult for her to soothe herself to sleep, needing you to give more effort. Make it a point to place your baby in her crib once she is drowsy but not asleep. She should learn to soothe herself to sleep without any help from you. This will not only make it much easier for you to put your baby to sleep but as she will develop the habit the challenges of putting her to bed at night will be mostly resolved.
Design the right sleep time routine for your baby
A sleep time routine is most vital in order to make your baby put to sleep easily. Develop a routine that suits you and you can stick to. Changing your baby to the sleeping clothes, giving her the night time feed, cuddling can be the routine which will tell her that the next step for her is to go to sleep. Also fix a particular time for her sleep so that she will know when she should get to sleep. Once you have developed a night time routine for your baby, the things are most expected to get much easier. However, it is important that you follow it strictly everyday at least for the first few months of establishing the routine. Even a slight change in the routine can create confusion for your baby making it more difficult to put her to sleep. However, your baby might not be ready for a formal night time sleep routine before 4 months, hence be patient.
Fix the place to sleep
If you are letting your baby sleep with you on the bed one day and on the other day you are trying to make her sleep on her crib, things her surely going to be difficult for you and for your baby too. Your child should be well aware about the environment where she will be sleeping.Co-sleeping with your baby can make it much easier to put her to sleep but keep in mind, once she develops the habit of sleeping with you, it will be much difficult for you to change her habit to sleeping in her crib or alone. However, you might continue co-sleeping for the first few weeks after the birth of your child, as that will make the night time nursing much easier for you.
If you are taking your baby with you to the bed to sleep, it is important that you keep a check about the following things,
- Make sure to put your baby to sleep on her back. This will reduce her chance of rolling off to the side.
- The bed should not be very high and there must be proper baby guard at the side to ensure that the child cannot fall off.
- Make sure that there are no blankets or pillows near her which can cause her to choke at night.
- If you are sleeping with your baby, never take alcohol or any other type of medication that can make you forget about the child while you are asleep.
Light has a lot to do with your babies sleep
New born babies find it particularly hard to differentiate between night and day and hence they are really confused about when to sleep and when to wake up. The best way to help your baby in this case is to use the lights in the right way, which can also be most helpful to put her to sleep easily. Once your baby is few weeks old, start building the biological clock of her body. Make sure that during the day her room as well as the places where she goes is brightly lit. If you are putting your baby for a day time nap, make sure to do it in a well lit room, so that she knows that it is only the day time nap.
To induce sleepiness in your baby during the night it is best to make her follow the bed time routine in a room that is not very well lit with bright lights. Also spend time with your baby in the evening in a room that is not brightly lit just to make her realize that the time has changed. It is best suggested by experts to put your baby to sleep in a completely dark or a very dimly lighted room. In case your baby wakes up during the night, instead of taking her to a lighted room, nurse her or soothe her in a dimly lighted room. If the morning light is making your baby wake up too early, make sure to use blinds in her room, so that the light does not disrupt her sleep too early in the morning.
Do not attend your baby immediately at night
Waking up between sleep is a common thing for babies and you really need not to be worried every time she cries a little or wakes up from her sleep during the night. If you rush to her every time she wakes up and take her out of the crib it will stop her from getting back to sleep again on her own. If your baby cries at the middle of the night, wait for some time just to check if she can soothe herself to sleep again. Attend her only when she is not able to soothe herself to sleep even after 4-5 minutes or her wailing increases with time.
Do not change diapers frequently at night
Changing the diapers frequently at night will not only disturb your sleep but will also disturb the sleep of your baby. So, it is best to relax the diaper changing rules during the night time. Put her in a good quality night time diaper and do not bother to change or even check every time your child cries. Just change the diaper only if she has pooped and needs the change immediately. Changing the diaper is sure to disturb the sleep of your child making her to wake up and then getting back again to sleep, which can be particularly difficult for your baby.
Do not cause any excitement before bedtime
If you play with your child before her bedtime or even if you talk a lot with her just before going to bed it is most expected to excite her and keep her awake in the crib. Many babies get excited even by direct eye contacts with their parents. So, if your baby is drowsy or it is nearing her sleep time, do not make eye contacts or opt for any actions involving her that can stimulate her or make her excited. If your baby is excited when you are trying to put her to sleep, all the try is going to be a waste. The time right before going to the bed and also right after placing her in the crib should be without any kind of excitement or rather boring for her. So that she naturally dozes off to sleep.
A “dream feed” might help
According to many experts giving your baby a dream feed can be helpful to ensure longer stretches of sleep without in between waking ups. Often babies feel hungry in between the long stretch of sleep at night, which can work as the reason of waking up in between. Giving your baby a feed at night, before you go to bed, can be a good option to ensure better sleep for both of you. Before you give her the feed, make sure to wake her up sufficiently so that she does not choke on the liquid. Also make it a point to feed her in a dimly lighted room so that she is not all up, which can make it difficult for her to get back to sleep.
Ferberizing can also be effective
Ferberizing might actually be helpful to make your baby understand that she needs to soothe herself to sleep once it is bed time. To follow this process, put your baby in the crib once she is drowsy but not asleep and then leave the room after a few comforting words or a light touch. If she cries, which she will, get back and respond to her softly with a reassuring voice or just touch her tummy to soothe her for a moment and then leave the room again for a brief period. This will tell the baby that it is bed time and you will not be there to entertain her, so she has to soothe herself to sleep. If she cries again visit her, assure her again but do not spend much time with her. It might be a bit difficult for you to develop the habit but she will learn within weeks.