It is an absolute necessity of parenthood to help your baby (and you) get the best sleep possible. A baby (or parent) who doesn’t get enough sleep can easily become fussy and irritable. Here are some tips to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
Keep your baby active during the day. When you are awake, create a fun and active environment for your baby. Stimulate them with light and normal household noises. Talk, sing, and play with them to make sure they stay active.
Control and limit sleep during the day. It is important to establish a regular nap time throughout the day. However, sleeping for long periods of time during the day can create a mess when it’s bedtime and your little one isn’t tired.
Try using a pacifier. Some people trust them and others don’t like them, but pacifiers are a proven remedy to help some babies calm down and sleep. In fact, studies have shown that using a pacifier can reduce the risk of SIDS. Of course, if you choose to use a pacifier, you run the risk of waking up during the night when your baby loses his pacifier and cannot find it.
Establish a bedtime routine. It is very important to create a solid bedtime routine. This will help your baby know what to expect before going to bed. A standard nighttime routine could be a bath, reading a book, and then a goodnight kiss. It is more important that it is consistent rather than what it includes.
Put your baby in his crib while he is awake. This may be the highlight of this article. If you hold, rock, or swaddle your baby to sleep and then place him in his crib or bassinet while he sleeps, you’re looking for trouble. When you do this and your baby wakes up, they get scared and confused because it is not the same environment they remember before falling asleep. This is asking to wake up and cry during the night. The trick is to hold your baby until he is very tired but not sleeping and then put him in his crib.
Create a pleasant sleeping environment. Keep your babies’ sleeping area quiet and dark. Some babies wake up with the slightest noise or movement. If your baby is like this, you can keep the noise under my oil by oiling the springs on the crib and turning off the ringer on the phone. Try to keep the temperature and humidity at a constant level. 68-72 degrees and 40-50% humidity seems to work well for my daughter. If your baby seems to wake up often with a stuffy nose, try using a humidifier to keep the air more comfortable. You should also keep allergens, including pet dust and dander, away from your baby’s crib or room.
Try using “White noise”. Sometimes using a constant noise or buzz will help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep. We personally use a small box fan at a low temperature. It creates a buzz that seems to help relax our daughter and drown out other household noises. Instead of a fan, you could try recording a parent’s voice singing a lullaby or just a tape of the rain or the ocean. I have heard this works for multiple parents.
Don’t get frustrated. Putting your baby to sleep does not measure how good a mother you are. Every baby is different and you need to be patient and try to understand what your baby’s specific needs are. Remember that you can always ask your child’s pediatrician for recommendations.