Having a baby is one of the most magical and rewarding experiences that could ever happen to a parent. Nothing beats the feeling of simply watching your little bundle of joy sleeping peacefully in your loving arms without any care of the world. However, this isn’t always the picture you expect to see once you have a newborn baby. It’s not all the time that your baby gets his well-deserved rest. You may often find your baby waking up crying every now and then or in the middle of the night and you may experience difficulty in putting them back to sleep, which is the most excruciating part. When this happens, you’ll also be just as sleep deprived as your baby. However, relax and put your worries aside. You can follow these 6 simple tricks that are proven to work when it comes to putting your baby to an uninterrupted good night’s sleep.
1. Create a bedtime routine for your baby.
According to pediatricians, one of the most effective ways to let your baby know it is already his bedtime is giving him environmental cues. This is made possible by developing a routine which you must consistently follow before you tuck your baby in. Hence, the moment you see that very sign of sleepiness, start the routine immediately, which may include cooling down the room temperature, keeping all sounds low, and dimming the lights. Babies sleep best in a cool, noise-free, and dark environment and will always associate these cues with bedtime. You may also give your baby a warm bath, read him stories or sing him some lullabies. Do these bedtime rituals religiously and you will be assured of a healthy sleeping habit for your baby.
2. Take advantage of white noise.
A white-noise machine always does wonders for baby’s bedtime. I mean, who wants to sleep in a noisy environment? So keep your white noise machine running as it helps muffle outside sounds. Infants deserve long stretches especially at night and what better way to achieve this than to keep sounds at a minimum as much as possible. A regular fan on medium speed also works but make sure to keep it at a distance so it wouldn’t blow directly on the baby.
3. Trust the power of swaddles.
Your baby might at first hate it, but experts suggest to just keep practicing until your baby gets used to it. Swaddling is proven to keep your baby snug while asleep. A swaddle also prevents your baby from waking himself up inadvertently as a result of startle reflexes, which are common among newborn. Infants who are swaddled tightly tend to sleep longer and more soundly.
4. Keep the baby’s room clean and comfortable.
Of course, making the nursery properly ventilated and sanitized will go a long way in terms of providing the best comfort for your infants at home. As a parent, make sure to thoroughly check the room, most especially your baby’s crib, for any signs of bed bugs, insects, and other pests. Bed bugs, for instance, can harm your baby once the bug bites become infected. Also, bed bug bites can be very itchy and irritating and your baby will not surely have a peaceful sleep if he is bitten by bed bugs. Immediately take measures against these tiny critters by, first, regularly cleaning the baby’s room and then applying safe methods of eliminating these pests through the help of a pest control expert.
5. Limit your baby’s day time naps.
While it is important to give your baby frequent naps during the day, you must also ensure that your baby does not nap for too long. Having 2 to 2.5 hours of nap time is already enough. You may find it a bit harsh to wake a sleeping little baby, but letting you baby sleep for too long during the day might make it difficult for him to sleep at night. Controlling the baby’s napping time will allow him to sleep better during nighttime. Be mindful not to overtire your baby, though. An overtired baby does not mean he will sleep more easily. Quite the contrary, retiring your baby during the day will only keep your baby stressed and restless, thereby enabling him to only have interrupted and short sleeping hours.
6. Apply dream feeding.
Another trick that you can use to put your baby to sleep is dream feeding. This means you feed your infant just before you yourself go to bed. Dream feeding, in a way, serves as an advanced feeding for your baby so he won’t wake up once you are already dozing off.
More tricks can be added to these six but these top tricks are great for you and your baby as a start. A piece of advice: don’t be too hard on yourself and allow your babies to also work things out on their own. If possible, wait for a while when your baby wakes up accidentally and resist the temptation to immediately soothe them back to sleep unless it is really necessary. Let babies sleep independently. After all, this is what sleep training is about.