For new parents and even for the parents of toddlers putting their baby to sleep at night can be a real challenge. While you might think that it is your baby making a fuss to sleep only because he had enough sleep throughout the day, in reality it might be your mistakes that is making it more difficult for you both to get him to bed at night. Often parents make mistakes that disturb the habit of babies of going to bed at night. At times, parents all together fail to grow the sleep routine completely. So, if you are a new parent or if you have a toddler who is making a lot of fuss about going to bed at night, check out this article to find out if you are making the mistakes that you should avoid to make your baby fall asleep quickly at night.
Expecting things to fall in place on their own
This is one of the common mistakes made by the new parents. If you think that your baby will sleep through the night just when you want to catch the bed, you are utterly wrong to expect that and it is sure to make things more difficult for you. Your baby is yet to grow a proper sleep and wake up routine and you just cannot expect him to get the right habit on his own, without you putting the right effort. So, do not have high expectations rather keep in mind that you have to ensure that your baby’s sleep timing is comfortable for you and also fulfills the sleep quota of your child.
Putting the baby to bed too late at night
You might be a night owl but your baby needs not to be. If you let him stay awake till the time you do not go to bed, it will certainly hamper the development of a proper sleeping routine for the baby. At one hand your baby will not have the sufficient deep sleep of night which is vital for his growth and at the other he will feel groggy throughout the day. So, even if you go to bed at 1pm at night, make sure that your baby is in his crib latest by 9pm in the evening. Once you set a time for your baby to go to bed, make sure to stick to it. If you keep on changing the bed time as per your choice or mood, it will certainly work as your biggest mistake disrupting the sleeping habit of your baby.
Stimulating your baby before bedtime
If you play badminton for an hour just before going to bed, you will never be able to fall asleep easily even after hitting the bed. It is the same for your child too. Playing with your child or stimulating him in different ways just before his bedtime is sure to make him feel less sleepy and he will not get to sleep without making a fuss. So, prior to few hours before the bed time of your baby, make sure that you do not play with him or do not let him do something that can be physically or mentally stimulating for him as it can disrupt his sleeping habit.
Depending on motion to make him fall asleep
There is actually nothing wrong if you rock your baby in your arms or in his crib before you put him to sleep but do not put him off to sleep by rocking his crib or rocking him in your arms. Once he gets the habit of rocking while sleeping, it will become difficult for you to put him to sleep without rocking him continuously, which is not only difficult but also impractical. So, if you see that rocking your baby in the swing puts him off quickly to sleep, it is best to not to let him make that a habit, otherwise you will have no option but to continue the swinging every night, even if that is not feasible for you.
Not establishing a bedtime routine
It is really important for babies to follow a bedtime routine. Your child should know that he will have to go to sleep once he has completed the steps like having a bath, changing into a different dress, cuddling and a lullaby. Do not let your child go to sleep listening to the lullaby, because then he will not get to sleep unless you sing continuously for him. However, let him listen to the lullaby and then put him to sleep. This way he will know that once the lullaby is over, he will have to go to sleep. Not establishing a proper bedtime routine can be one of the biggest mistakes you might be making to put your baby to sleep.
Not sticking to the bed time routine
You might actually feel tired on days to follow the same bed time routine for your baby, but not sticking to the bed time routine that you have established is even worse than not having a bedtime routine at all. If you have established a bed time routine for your baby, it is really important that you stick to it everyday. Otherwise it will not only affect the habit forming of the child but will also make it more difficult for you to make him go to sleep. Once you are able to establish a proper bedtime routine with your child, you can easily make him put to sleep even before his normal bed time, if you have to attend to something important.
Creating distractions while falling asleep
Parents often think that a dim light or a light music can actually be helpful for the baby to feel relaxed and to fall asleep quickly. However, in reality, a light, no matter how dim it is and some music, no matter how nice it is will at the end work as a distraction for your baby. It is also a good option to remove anything that might entertain him or keep him engaged from his crib too, so that there are no distractions. If there is something else to get busy with, your baby is more likely to put a fuss to get to sleep.
Breast feeding the baby to fall asleep
This is another common mistake that parents make and later repent as they find it difficult to keep up with the demand of the child. Breastfeeding your baby can actually make him go to sleep quickly as it is a natural comforting experience for him, but if he develops the habit of going to sleep while breastfeeding, he will not go to sleep unless you feed him which might not be possible for you always. So, it is best to not to put him to sleep while breast feeding him.
Putting your baby to sleep with a bottle
If your baby has started to have milk from a bottle, you might actually find it a convenient way to put him to sleep quickly while feeding from the bottle. However, it is a very bad practice because there are certain risks involved with it. Once he develops the habit of sucking the bottle to fall asleep you will find it difficult to remove the habit of a bottle which can actually make it much harder for you to make him start drinking from a glass or cup. Moreover, if she continues feeding from the bottle while falling asleep, she might choke on the liquid. It also increases the chance of getting an ear infection or problems like teeth decay. So, though it might be easy for you to put your child to sleep with a bottle of milk, do not let him develop the habit.
Attending the child as soon as he is awake
It is usual for babies to wake up and cry in-between sleep. If you attend him as soon as he has made a little cry it will wake him up completely, making it more difficult for him to get back to sleep again. So, when your child cries or wakes up while sleeping, do not attend him right away. Give him few minutes of time to soothe himself to sleep, if you see that he is not getting back to sleep on his own even after a few minutes, you should attend him to check if he has a reason to wake up.
Letting your child negotiate about going to sleep
This happens more for parents of babies of above 6 months of age. You can face the same problem with toddlers as well. If your child knows that he can delay the time of going to the bed by fussing with you or making untimely requests, be sure that he will certainly use that and delay the sleeping time. So, make it very clear to him from the very beginning that no matter what he needs or wants to do, he has to complete that before the bed time and you will not allow him to do anything else except going to sleep once the clock strikes the time.
Not setting firm guidelines about the place to sleep
Just like it is important to create the right sleeping routine for your child, it is also vital to set firm guidelines about where he should sleep. If you let him sleep with you one day and try to put him to sleep in the crib on the next day, he might actually find it difficult to get to sleep quickly or to understand that now he should get to sleep. Specifying a particular place for your child to sleep can be helpful to put him to sleep right in time.