It can be challenging to find ways to reclaim your sleep after you have a baby. However, there are ways that you can get a break by ensuring that your baby sleeps peacefully and for long periods. The following are the 8 most important baby sleep tips that will give both you and your baby some much-needed time to rest.
1. Use a White Noise Machine
Babies often wake up at the slightest disturbance. To avoid this, you can drown out all of the typical noise in a house. The consistent noise works successfully for babies the same way it works for adults. They have timers and other settings that allow you to control the type of environment you want for your baby to sleep in. It is important to remember to keep it at a safe volume to avoid harmful side effects.
2. Swaddle your Baby
This tip takes a lot of trial and error. Every baby responds to swaddling differently. To make this process even more confusing, some babies react differently to swaddling at various stages of their life. The key is to try many other techniques and don’t give up on it even if your baby dislikes it at first. There is no shame in trying all of this and realizing it just is not for your baby and having to stop.
3. Feed your Baby Before Bed
What’s the best way to ensure your baby doesn’t wake up hungry as soon as you put them down? Dream feeding. This is when you feed your baby right on the cusp of them sleeping. This way, both of you can go to bed at the same time and sleep longer. If you time it correctly, you and your baby can both sleep restfully. This method may not work for every baby past a certain point, but it can be hugely helpful as a newborn.
4. Utilize the Eat, Wake, Sleep Cycle
This eat-wake-sleep process is what the name exactly suggests. Your baby eats after sleep, has some awake time, and then goes back to sleep. If your baby follows a specific schedule, it will be easier to put them down to rest.
5. Make Finding their Pacifier Easy
Experts say that if a baby can find their pacifier on their own, they will be able to soothe themselves and get back to sleep. The way to teach them this is to put a bunch of pacifiers in the corner of the crib. When your baby loses a pacifier, guide their hand to the corner to retrieve their pacifier. After about a week, older babies will be able to grab their pacifiers and soothe themselves to go back to sleep.
6. Put the Baby to Bed When they are Awake but Drowsy
Overall, it is essential to teach your baby how to fall asleep independently. If you lay your baby down while they are drowsy but awake, they will learn to fall asleep on their own without too much of your involvement. Later on, this will help them fall asleep by themselves when they wake up in the middle of the night, which is inevitable.
7. Expose your Baby to Daytime Cues
Babies are born without the internal clock that tells adults when it is night or day. The time to sleep and wake up has to be taught to a baby like any other human skill. If your baby is busy with you during the day, running errands, being outdoors, etc., the baby’s internal clock will realize the differences between day (active) and night (slow down, sleep).
8. Avoid Artificial Light at Bedtime
Your baby responds to things very similarly to you. Blue light affects sleep in adults and babies. Household lightbulbs, TV screens, and electronic gadgets all emit blue light. Both of you need to avoid artificial light at night. There are special bulbs you can install in your home, which will be good for your baby’s sleep and yours.
As with anything to do with babies, there is no one size fits all solution to getting your baby to rest. It is important to try various methods and not to try to force anything. All babies are different, and you should not blame yourself if certain things don’t work. Try one, two, or all of these baby sleep tips to find out the combinations that work for you and your baby.
Written by: Gabrielle Goldson
Check out our blog: Safe Sleep for Babies