When it comes to sleeping, all babies are different and how to get a baby to sleep really depends on their routine and character. Some go to sleep without a problem but others can take a little while to settle down. Whatever one your baby is, it’s completely normal and there are things you can try to help your baby fall asleep quicker and easier. We’ve put together some great tips that you can use to make the process much easier. It can feel like your baby will never sleep through the night, we have some great information on that too, click here to find out more.
The first step on how to get a baby to sleep - A bedtime routine
If you’re putting your baby to bed at different times every night, it will confuse them and you may experience problems with getting them to settle. It’s better to put a routine into place as soon as possible for your baby, this will reduce the chance of problems as your child gets older. One great tip is to dim the lights and reduce sound around 30 minutes before you put your baby to bed. This will allow your baby to start relaxing without distractions from bright lights or loud sounds.
Once your baby is in a relaxed position, you can start to introduce other things that will calm your baby. These can include reading small books or putting them into a warm bath. By the time you put your baby into bed, they should already be feeling quite sleepy and will make the process much easier. It’s important that once you start this routine, you continue it every night. By changing it or only doing it on certain nights, it won’t have the desired outcome.
Don’t rely on cuddling or feeding to get your baby to sleep
One common mistake that parents make is using soothing methods to help get their baby to sleep. These can include cuddling or feeding before bed. This may work fine for you at the moment, but as your child gets older, they will rely on these methods and will struggle to go to sleep without them.
For example, if you’re away from home one night and your baby is put to bed without the usual cuddles or feeding, you will find that they either can’t get to sleep or if they do, they will wake up throughout the night. Try putting your baby to bed whilst they’re awake or they’re drowsy, this will encourage them to make their own soothing methods to put themselves to sleep.
Feeding routine for babies
It’s common for young babies to fall asleep whilst being fed. This is perfectly normal bt can sometimes affect your baby’s sleep routine. This is because that if you let your baby fall asleep every time you feed them; they will start associate this with the only way they can get to sleep.
To stop this from happening, feed them earlier rather than just before bed to allow them to get through the feeding without going to sleep. This will mean that they will be drowsy instead of fully asleep when you put them to bed and they’re more likely to stay asleep for longer.
Early Bedtime for a better sleep
First of all, an early bedtime is really important. However, sticking to that early bedtime every single night is essential. This get yours baby in routine which in the long run, will make things easier for your baby as well as you. The best time to put your baby to sleep is around sundown. We know this can be difficult as the sun sets at different times during the year. To combat this, find an average. Stick to around 6:30 – 7pm every night – if it’s still light outside, use blinds or curtains to keep the room dark.
If you begin to keep your baby up later, they can become overstimulated and will be too awake to be put to sleep. Routines are great and are key for your child’s development. They should be in place for many parts of your child’s life but bedtime is especially important.
Log milk intake
A new-born baby should want to feed around every 2 hours. If it is more frequent than this, they’re probably not drinking enough during feeds. It’s handy to keep 24-hour logs to monitor how much your baby is consuming. Therefore, it makes it much easier to know if your baby is having too much or not enough. If you find that they’re consuming more during the night than the day, this means that they’re snacking. When a baby snacks throughout the night, it’s because they haven’t consumed enough throughout the day.
Therefore, your baby will become hungry during the night and want to be fed. If you make sure your baby is consuming enough during the day, they’re more likely to sleep though 4-6 hours. A way to help your baby consume more during the day is to space out meals more so when it comes around to feeding, they’re hungrier than they’d usually be. Also, make sure that your baby is fully finished after a feed. Sometimes babies can come away from the bottle because they need to be burped, but it doesn’t mean they’re not hungry anymore.
Naps will not stop your newborn sleeping at night
A lot of parents think that if they let their child nap a lot through the day, they will not sleep when it comes to bedtime. However, when children become overtired, they become more stressed. This means that when they do go to sleep at their proper bedtime, they may struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night because their stress hormones wake them up.
Regular napping is really important for babies and young children as their body requires it to be able to function as normal. Until your little one is around 4-5 months old, they will struggle to stay awake for long periods of time. Try and help your child nap at similar times every day, this will make day to day like much easier.
Let them be independent
If your baby starts crying during the night, don’t rush in right away. If you do this every time, they will associate crying with receiving attention from you – this will encourage them to wake up more. Instead, if you know that they’re not hungry, pause for a short while. It’s not a nice feeling to leave your baby crying on their own, but it’s an important lesson for them to learn. Your baby needs to find ways to get themselves back to sleep instead of relying on a parent.
If they continue crying, go into the room but don’t pick them up. Instead, comfort them by shushing them or stroking them. By picking them up, you’ll wake your baby up fully and it will be much harder to put them back down. Give them their own space and let them work out what to do to get back to sleep. This isn’t only useful for night times; it will also come in handy when your child becomes older. If they are having a tantrum, they will already know that you will not rush to their side and pick them up. Instead, they will have to resolve their problems on their own.
Do what you think is right
Don’t feel like you have to research into every problem your baby experiences during the night. As a parent, it’s normal to worry but do what you think is right for your baby. We’ve given you some helpful tips but there’s no one telling you that you have to do things a certain way.
We hope that the information we’ve provided has been useful to you and has helped you resolve some questions and/or problems you were experiencing. Whatever you’re doing as a mum or dad, you’re doing fine. Just because your friends or people you know are doing things differently, it doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.