One of the most rewarding things for a new parent is hearing the soft sounds of silence – your baby’s peaceful sleep! Every baby is unique in his sleeping habits, and parents can have trouble finding their way around.
To help you improve your baby’s sleep, here are 15 tips to help you improve your baby’s sleep.
- Consistency is key
A bedtime routine can help a child relax before going to bed, and can also help him or her prepare mentally and physically for the end of the day. Pre-bedtime activities can include a bottle, a story and pajamas.
When these items appear, children know what is expected of them and that play time is over. Try to keep the room a little quieter when this routine begins.
- Make sleeping time enjoyable
Sleep should never be considered a bad thing in the eyes of a child. Make bedtime a soothing and relaxing experience for them by incorporating a soothing night light, some natural music sounds and their favourite blanket or stuffed animal. The night should be a comforting experience for them.
In addition, bedtime should not always be a punishment for children. Therefore, sleep, by association, is something that children will want to avoid. If they are having problems, a time-out might be more helpful.
- Swaddle your baby
Children still prefer, especially in the early years, a warm and protective space similar to that offered by the womb. Pajamas and diapers are perfect for keeping the baby warm and wrapped in a comfortable position.
Swaddling cloths can also prevent babies from waking up with jerky movements and shaking, and they can even keep nervous babies from hitting or scratching each other.
- Give children time to fall asleep.
The key to a good sleep is to put your baby to bed while he’s still awake. That way, he associates his bed with what makes him comfortable and sleepy.
While it’s nice to see your child falling asleep in your arms, it can teach him bad sleeping habits as he grows older. Falling asleep in his crib will help him become a more independent sleeper, and it will be much easier for you.
- Give children a moment
It’s hard to hear a baby’s crying and not pay attention – but that’s exactly what you need to do! If you hear your baby crying in the crib, stop and wait a few minutes. You don’t necessarily have to help him; he may already be used to crying just because he doesn’t want to go to bed yet.
Just wait a little while. If the children need a change or have lost their pacifier, you can come in. However, he may be able to go back to sleep after a few minutes, which is a big victory.
- Don’t make eye contact
If your child looks you in the eye while sleeping, he may think it’s time to wake up. If you have to go into the room for any reason, try to calm him or her down without looking at him or her at this time, and rest him or her without too much interaction.
Soothe them, but don’t talk to them. Keep the room dark, so that it is clear that it is not time to wake up.
- Refuse to have fun
Children can easily stop their tired mode and return to play. As a parent, it is essential to try to stay calm and focused when bedtime comes.
Children will try to make you laugh out loud, but now is not the time. Even if you feel guilty about not playing with them, it will make both of your mornings much easier to deal with!
- Avoid or be prepared to change diapers
Even if you know it will be messy in the morning, it is helpful not to change your diaper. These movements can make your baby think it’s time to wake up and play.
If it’s unavoidable, place all necessary diaper change items outside the room. This will save you from spending too much time in the room looking for items, and you won’t have to turn on the light to find anything.
- Create a soothing environment
Soothing music can help drown out other sounds in the house and put babies to sleep faster. Choose a music player that offers a variety of sound options to discover what your child likes best.
It could be a white noise, a water sound or even a lullaby. Once he finds something he likes, play it in his room before he lies down.
- Block the light
A dark room is the best way to tell your baby it’s time to go to sleep. Plus, if he wakes up in the middle of the night, he’ll know from the darkness that it’s not time to get up yet.
Find light curtains that will block out the light. As you get older, you can slowly open these curtains so they don’t get too used to the total darkness.
This will help them stay asleep when they are in new environments that don’t have the same light-blocking curtains.
- Recognizing a Tired Baby
If you see a sign of fatigue in your baby, whether it’s a yawn or rosy cheeks, act immediately. Timing is critical to a baby’s sleep, and if you miss your window of opportunity, chances are you’re having a rough night.
These little signs show that your body is ready for sleep, and taking immediate action will increase the chances that he’ll fall asleep easily. If you wait too long, your baby will be too tired and the waking hormones will start to take effect.
At this stage, it may be too late for your baby to fall asleep without a fight. You’ll quickly learn to recognize your baby’s signs; just make sure both parents know the signs.
- Turn down the temperature
People of all ages tend to rest better when sleeping in colder temperatures. The thermostat should be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit so your child can rest as comfortably as possible.
Not sure if they’re too cold? Many parents tend to feel their baby’s fingers or toes when they check his temperature. In most cases, these parts of the body are cold, but that doesn’t mean your baby is cold.
Instead, check your baby’s chest temperature. This is the part of the body that will tell you whether or not it’s comfortable.
- Prepare for your needs
A full diaper can mean a huge mess in your baby’s crib, but turning on the lights and trying to change the sheets completely is a piece of cake for a good night’s sleep. Instead, be prepared to do whatever it takes to be always ready. You might consider putting extra sheets and diapers in a closet outside the bedroom.
You can also add a waterproof pillow between two sheets. In case of a mess, you can remove the sheet and cushion and have a dry layer underneath. Thanks to the preparation, changing the sheet will be quick and easy, and your baby will be back in bed in no time.
- The labeling team
Partners who can get 5 hours of sleep each night are essential for their general health and performance as parents. To do this, partners must work in teams each night, even if the nursing job is a one-person show.
Partners can wait their turn, changing or soothing the baby, or whatever is necessary. Depending on the work schedule, you can vary the “night shifts” so that everyone still feels rested in the morning.
- Driving children to the pacifier
Many babies wake up in the night simply because they can’t find their pacifier. You can solve this problem by teaching your child how to find a pacifier himself!
Simply place a pacifier in each corner of the crib, then spend each night guiding your baby’s arm so he can reach the pacifier in any corner. With this practice, no matter how he turns and twists, he’ll be able to spot the edge of the crib.
After about a week or so, he should know how to reach the corners and find the pacifier himself. This will eliminate the need for parents to go into the bedroom at all.
Better sleep for everyone
By following these tips, not only will the baby get a better night’s sleep, but so will his parents! Remember to incorporate these suggestions so that everyone goes to bed on time and wakes up happy and rested.
Not all the tips will work with your child, but it’s all about patience and consistency. Work on an agreed-upon sleep routine and schedule that works for everyone in the family.