It is 2 am in the morning (or night, to you), and you sit down on your bed for the first time since you woke up this morning at 5 am. You were able to squeeze in a one hour power nap during the middle of the day, and boy did it feel amazing. You think that the skin-to-sheet contact that you feel will put you at ease, but you are too exhausted to notice. You lay your head back against the headboard of your bed and knock out before you can lay down any further. The worst part about it is, you still have not put the bottle down.
This is a typical scenario for the day in the life of a new parent. And, yes, the bottle was filled with milk. There is no doubt that new parenting is no joke. The other non-laughing matter is the amount of sleep that you get with a newborn baby, or even a toddler. Instead of feeling exhausted day in and day out along with your baby, we are going to go over some highly useful tips and tricks that will help you get our baby to sleep. So put that bottle down and read on!
Things To Keep in Mind
Being a new parent is overwhelming. As you get used to your new baby and begin getting them ready for a sleeping routine, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Be realistic: Unfortunately, babies have not yet registered what a sleeping pattern or normal sleeping hours look like. The best that you can do is work gradually to incorporate a normal pattern into their schedule, and plan out the day so that your baby is likely to feel sleepy at regular sleeping times.
- Be flexible: Often times, what you have planned out for your baby will not work, or will fall through. Do not get discouraged! Be open to trying other routines and styles that will eventually work to fit your new family’s needs. There is no right or wrong way to go about doing this.
Things To Do to Prepare
The best plans always have some well thought out preparation worked into them. Here are some thoughts that you can have as a parent when you are making decisions about your baby’s nighttime routine and sleeping habits.
- Location: As you get more acquainted with your baby’s habits, overtime you will begin to notice where they sleep best. Maybe it is in their crib, in your arms, or in a bassinet. Where ever it is, get the baby used to being in that position or place at certain sleeping times to encourage them to relax and relax their bodies.
- Sleep Associations: By having your baby associate a certain feel or movement with sleep is a great way to get them in a normal sleeping pattern. Your baby might like to be rocked or nursed to sleep, so make sure that you do these things when you feel like it is time for them to go down for a few hours.
- Daytime Activities: The way and baby acts or feels during the day will often dictate how well he or she sleeps throughout the night. Most babies enjoy to be held, and if a baby is kept relaxed and held throughout the day, the more likely it will be to have a peaceful night.
- Naps: With most people, you tend to get tired around the same times each day. The same goes for babies; especially if you keep them on a consistent schedule. By setting regular naptimes for your baby, you will help them develop a routine of taking a quick nap during the day. This will also help them sleep better at night.
- Rituals: Develop a bedtime ritual for your baby. For example, an hour before it is time to set them down, have a ritual of: a warm bath, rocking your baby, and nursing. Set your baby up to begin to recognize that sleep is going to follow these activities.
- Relaxation: There are other ways to help a baby relax aside from nursing and rocking. You can try out a warm bath or some belly rubs to see how they react. Find out what relaxes your baby and use these techniques to help them wind down from the day.
- Feeding: Although they will cry at times, try not to get your baby into the habit of feeding at night. Feed them throughout the day to help them develop the mindset that feeding is for daytime and nighttime is for sleeping. This will make for equally rested parents and baby.
Sleep Transitioning Techniques
As mentioned before, a consistent transitioning technique that will get babies ready for bedtime is essential in creating an effective routine for them to follow. Here are some transitioning techniques that can come in handy for you and your baby.
- Nursing: Nursing your baby to sleep is a good way to get your baby to sleep. You will know that they are full and satisfied, and it can be soothing for them to follow.
- Rocking: Certain motions and movements are good ways to get your baby to relax and put them down. You can rock them while walking or sing to them at the same time –feel free to add your own spin on things.
- Wearing: Wearing your baby in a sling close to your chest is also an effective way to settle him or her down for the night. Sometimes babies do not know when to wind down, and a protected and comfortably wrapped sling can put your baby’s body at ease. Once they have dozed off, feel free to place them where they normally will sleep.
Keeping Your Baby Asleep
Congratulations! You have finally put your baby to sleep. However, your work here is not done. There will be times that you find your baby will wake up in a few hours, every hour, or even sometime within the next thirty minutes. Here are a few tips to help your baby stay asleep once they are out for the count!
- Keep a quiet bedroom: Block out any disturbing noise
- Keep it dark: Use shades to keep the light out of the room so your baby will know that when it is dark, they should sleep.
- Sounds: You can always put on an audio tape or CD of soothing noises or lullabies to help your baby sleep; especially if you find that these noises relax them.
- Clean: Make sure that the room your baby is sleeping in is kept clean and free of dust, bugs, fuzzy or itchy blankets, and any other particles that can ignite allergies or be uncomfortable for your child.
- Temperature: Keep your baby’s bedroom cool. It is suggested that the optimal temperature for a baby to sleep is between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Just be sure that there are no fans or wind blowing directly at the baby.
Get Some Rest!
Now that you have these useful techniques as to how to get your baby to sleep, the both of you will be all set for a full (or decent) night’s sleep! Be sure to check out Udemy’s online courses that can offer you tips and tricks for caring and providing for your baby all in the comfort of your own home. Good night!