The first few weeks and months of your baby’s life can be difficult. Not only is it a whole new world with a brand new baby, but sleep is a foreign concept. Now, developmentally your baby can only handle so much sleep depending on their age and stage. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start encouraging longer nighttime snoozes.
- Where Should a Newborn Sleep?
- How to Keep Your Newborn Safe While Sleeping
- When Do Babies Start Sleeping Through the Night?
6 Tips to Get Your Baby Sleeping Through the Night
1. Establish a Bed-Time Routine
A bed-time routine will be comforting to your little one as well as signal to them it is time to sleep. Your baby’s routine can be a combination of any regular bed-time activities. You could read a book, sing a lullaby or two, bathe your baby to start the ideas flowing. But there are some keys to success and they include:
- Make sure every activity is calm, especially at the end of the routine.
- Play active games during the day and quiet games in the evening. This will help your baby settle down before bed and not get over-stimulated.
- It is vital that the activities are in the same order every single night.
- Many babies enjoy taking a bath right before bed as this can calm them down.
- Make nighttime conditions in your baby’s bedroom consistent. So, if your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, the lights and the sounds should be the same as when they fell asleep.
2. Only Change Your Baby’s Diaper When Necessary
Changing your baby’s diaper in the middle of the night most likely will wake them up. So, only change their diaper when it is an absolute mess. If you do have to change their diaper, keep the lights dimmed, and talk as little as possible.
3. Consider Moving Your Baby to Their Own Room/Space
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that your baby share a room with you for at least the first 6 months of their life all the way up to a year. But it possible that the closer proximity to you is causing more overnight wake-ups. If you do decide to move your baby to their own room, talk to your baby’s doctor for help with the transition.
4. Don’t Rush in at the First Whimper
Give your baby the change to self-soothe and go back to sleep on their own before you check on them. In fact, your baby has to learn the skill of self-soothing. It is not something that is instinctual. So, you need to allow your baby to learn this skill. Plus, all babies wake up overnight, just like adults can.
6. Don’t be Tempted to Start Solids too Early
It doesn’t help your baby sleep through the night and can be detrimental to their health. Introducing solids before 6 months can lead to tummy troubles. Babies can’t fully digest solids before around 6 months. Also, your infant could choke.
If you are reading this bleary-eyed and fatigued, be patient with yourself and with your little one. During these days, weeks, and months of extreme fatigue, it helps to sleep when your baby sleeps, during the day and the night. Sounds like a cliche, but it really does help. Reach out to your loved ones to help prevent extreme exhaustion.
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