A well-rested baby is a happy baby. However, the little ones often struggle to sleep on time due to several reasons and keep their parents awake all night. If you are a new parent, you might understand this delirium you have stepped into. The inability to put your baby to sleep will not only affect their health but also ruin your sleep routine, which can pose a threat to your productivity. Instead of whining about it, you can find some easy and effective tricks to give your baby the rest they need. Here are some simple and effective ways to put your baby to sleep and redesign a proper sleep schedule.
Don’t Feed Them Right Before Bedtime
Feeding right before bedtime should be avoided as it can mess up your baby’s sleep routine. Many babies fall asleep during feeding time, which is not something to be stressed about. However, continuing to do so will urge your baby to pick it up as a signal to fall asleep. Unless they are fed, they will resist sleep. The key is to feed them a little earlier before bedtime and complete the feeding routine before they are ready to shut their eyes. Make sure that the feeding time is moved ahead just by a few minutes every day until your baby adjusts to the new routine.
Give Them a Gentle Massage
A gentle massage can work wonders for your baby’s sleep routine as it helps them feel relaxed. Massaging is an effective way to help your baby drift off and sleep peacefully as it increases the production of serotonin. It also soothes a crying baby and keeps them calm. Give them a warm bath before the massage as it can help your baby feel more relaxed and enhance the effect of the massage. Using high-quality baby oil to massage your infant is highly recommended. To give a full body massage to your baby, start with the head and face and gently massage in circular motions. Move on to the chest and tummy area, followed by the arms and legs.
Set a Routine
Just like adults need a routine to keep their body engaged and follow a pattern to get optimum rest, your baby needs to follow a routine to get proper rest too. Your baby’s new routine will primarily depend on their needs along with your typical routine. You can set the routine as you like as the key is to stick to a particular pattern without fretting about the activities involved in it. Ideally, your baby’s sleeping routine should include bathing, feeding, storytelling, and preferably a massage. Performing these activities on a regular basis and in order will keep your baby in sync with their sleep time.
Swaddle Your Baby
Swaddling is the act of wrapping a baby in a blanket to make them feel more secure and at ease as it resembles the feeling of being in their mother’s womb. Swaddling also works when they cry or make a fuss. Initially, swaddling can be a bit difficult as it needs practice and patience. Once you learn how to swaddle a baby using the right technique, you will instantly see results. If you are still struggling, you can also use a zipper swaddle that is easy to use and produces effective results.
Identify the Signs of Sleepiness
As a new parent, you might not be able to guess your baby’s sleeping needs. However, over time, you will begin identifying the signs of sleepiness that act as a signal to put your baby to sleep. It is necessary to spot the signs and trace a pattern as it makes the task really easy and puts your baby to sleep in just a few minutes. A surge in melatonin can be detected by signs of drowsiness or a difference in your baby’s movements, which regulates their biological rhythms. Failing to trace this pattern can affect your baby’s sleep cycle as the surge in adrenaline and cortisol will become apparent and keep them awake.
Use a White Noise Machine
A white noise machine eliminates unwanted noises that may otherwise disturb your baby and affect their sleep quality. White noise machines muffle loud noises and keep their REM sleep cycle intact. Basically, infants sleep at light stages and the slightest noise around them can instantly wake them up. Using a white noise machine is specifically more important if your house is located on a busy street with blaring noises from heavy traffic and passersby. Turn on the machine at night to keep your baby well-rested during crucial sleep hours. Since there’s a myriad of options to choose from, pick a machine that is designed for babies.
Regulate the Temperature
Babies need a specific temperature range to stay comfortable and fall asleep. Even the slightest change in the range can keep them awake for long, thereby affecting their nap time. Infants need a cool room with a temperature range between 68 to 72 degrees F to sleep in. While the right temperature is needed for your baby to quickly fall asleep, they also need optimum light conditions to shut their eyes and delve deep into their dreamland. Turning on the lights will keep them from falling asleep as they will assume it to be daytime. Draw the curtains and keep the room as dark as possible.
Let Them Self-Soothe
If you keep picking up your baby to soothe them and sing them to sleep, they will get used to it and refrain from sleeping until you perform this nurturing act. Instead, let your baby self-soothe and fall asleep on their own. Even though it may seem cruel and disheartening, it is better for your baby’s sleep cycle. Give them enough time to adjust to their new crib and settle down. Try your best to not soothe your baby and let them fall asleep without your help.
With these tips, you no longer have to worry about your baby fussing before bedtime. However, you must be patient and give time for your baby to adjust to the new pattern. If it seems too difficult, take turns with your partner until you are used to it. Over time, your baby will successfully fall asleep without much hassle.
Photo by Peter Oslanec on Unsplash
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