Getting your baby to fall asleep can often be easier said than done. It can be stressful, especially when you need to get some sleep yourself. When your usual bedtime tricks are not working, what can you do?
We have gathered some tested tips for parents when you need to easily lull your baby to sleep. This is what you can do to help your little one get some shut-eye.
Make Bedtime Earlier
Experts say that an earlier bedtime is a great way to make sure your baby is tired when it is time to go to sleep. At around 8 weeks old, babies experience increased levels of melatonin, the hormone that tells the body it is time to fall asleep. If your baby stays up too long, they may become overstimulated and sleeping will become more difficult.
An early, routine bedtime around 7 pm helps your baby maintain a natural sleep cycle. Studies have shown that 18-month-old babies with later bedtimes can develop issues with social skills, language, or motor functions – so going to bed early is best!
Make Them Comfortable
Your baby’s room should make them feel cozy and sleepy at night. Light can affect melatonin levels and even prevent the natural sleep hormone from working as it should. To avoid this, you will need to be sure that any nightlights are kept away from your baby’s eyes and are not too bright.
Their mattress should also be comfortable enough for them. Babies are light, so they need a softer mattress that can cradle them and support them while they sleep. This will also help them fall asleep faster.
Tuck Them in When They are Tired (But Not Sleeping)
If you wait to lay your baby down when they are already asleep, then it’s likely already past a good bedtime. Plus, if they wake during the night, your baby might be startled as their surroundings have changed. They will likely need you to help them back to sleep if that happens.
At 5 to 6 months, a baby should fall asleep without your help. However, you need to ensure that their environment is comfortable enough for this to happen. If you see that your baby is tired, bring them to their bed and allow them to fall asleep on their own.
Some signs of tiredness include blank staring, yawning, closed fists, or even jerky movements.
Do Not Come Running at Night
If you are a new parent, it can be very difficult to resist running to your baby’s crib when they cry during the night. You need to hold off a few moments before you go take care of them, however. You want your child to learn to calm themselves down without your help.
When you do enter the room, do not pick them up right away; however, you can always rub or pat your baby to comfort him or her. Picking him or her up too soon could wake them up more, making it take longer for them to fall back asleep.
Keep a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Always implement a relaxing time into your baby’s nightly schedule. This will let your baby know that it is time to sleep, as they get used to the routine. Start 20 minutes before bed and lower the lights and noise.
Your child might enjoy a softly spoken story, a warm bath, or some quiet music.
Why Sleep is Important for Babies
Sleep is needed for a baby’s physical and mental development. Sleep deprivation can lead to problems down the road such as bad behavior, anxiety, or mood swings. You can avoid these issues by ensuring that your baby is getting quality sleep every night. If you need help, reach out to Petite Dreamers. Louise is a certified sleep consultant who has years of experience in helping tired parents and their babies get much-needed rest.