Visit any babycare forum or blog and one of the most popular topics you will find is how to make your baby sleep.
Parents of new-born babies are often sleep-deprived and drained out and wonder when the baby will be able to sleep for most hours of the night.
There are many reasons why babies stay awake through the night. They might get hungrier often or might need your comfort and reassurance. He or she might be suffering from teething trouble or colic.
So much so that baby sleep consultants are officially a thing, and several websites and consultants who specialize in establishing a sleep routine for your baby. From soothing music to a relaxing bedroom decor to baby sleep books, there are several approaches to sleep training.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to get that uninterrupted sleep:
How to Get Baby to Fall Asleep
Establish a routine
This is the single most important tip that sleep consultants swear by. You need to minimize the stimuli around the child and introduce to calming rituals.
From lullabies to warm baths to softly spoken stories, doctors recommend having a night-time schedule in place as early as you can set it. In fact, you can start with your ritual once the baby is around 6-8 weeks old. Consistency is key. Repeat the same activities each night so that the baby learns from the environment.
Put them to bed when they are drowsy but not asleep
Again a very important tip that baby sleep books and doctors recommend. It is difficult to achieve especially for breastfeeding mothers. It seems that babies who drift off to sleep on their own, learn how to fall asleep early on.
To achieve this, try to put your baby to bed as soon as they seem to be quieting down. Keep the cuddle time to a minimum and try stopping soothing methods like patting or rocking them to sleep.
Don’t underestimate the power of naps
It might seem counterintuitive but well-rested babies sleep better than overtired ones. If you skip a nap then infants get overtired and this causes their stress hormones to spike up(who knew they had stress hormones!). However, monitor their nap duration. Longer naps in the late afternoon can have an adverse impact on the quality of sleep during the night.
Keep an eye on the nap times and the clock. Remember to pick up on the tired gaze and schedule the naps at the same time every day.
Sleep training doesn’t equal crying it out all night
Crying it out or Controlled Crying is one of the most controversial sleep training techniques that many experts recommend.
If you are trying out the CIO method, remember that it is okay to visit your child and comfort during this phase without physically facilitating sleep.
It is when a baby is given the necessary space to learn how to fall asleep naturally that it can take control of its own body. While we don’t advocate one technique, in particular, CIO seems to have many benefits and important for the baby’s long-term wellbeing.
Baby Sleep books
Learn from expert opinions and other people’s experiences. There are scores of baby sleep books in the market that help new parents cope with the stress of establishing a sleep routine for their baby.
The books help you understand the baby’s sleep patterns, why they stay awake at night, and what are the various techniques that others have used successfully.
More importantly, when you read the baby sleep books and recognize all the patterns and universal problems of new parents, you are relieved to know that “you are not alone”.
It is also important to remember that you must set your expectations according to the baby’s age and always speak with your pediatrician when trying out something new.