7 Incredible Tips on How to Help Your Baby Sleep
Taking good care of babies is very important for parents. How to nurture your baby depends upon what appropriate steps you are taking to make them healthy and happy. Sleep is one such aspect for babies, which needs to be properly taken care of. As a matter of fact, newborns have a hard time to distinguish between night and day, which is why they experience short bursts of sleep around the clock. Therefore, it is important for you that your baby sleeps better, and when this happens, it is a good sign for your baby’s health.
The following tips will help you regarding a good sleep for your baby:
1. Follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle
In general, babies wake up and are hungry, then eat, and finally after some time sleep. This is what typically known as eat-wake-sleep (EWS) cycle. Babies are unique and you have to figure out their feeding time, which by the way becomes shorter as they get older. So, you will have to see what works best for your baby and continually adjust things as its needs change. Although the EWS is different for different babies, the ideal combination is 3 hours-2.5 hours-3 hours.
2. Give your baby a dreamfeed
Dreamfeeding can sometimes be greatly effective in terms of sleeping yourself while keeping the baby asleep at the same time. Dreamfeed is basically the feeding given to your baby right before you go to bed. It is done to prevent the baby from waking up after you yourself go into the sleep. It is not in any way desirable when you fall asleep and the baby wakes up. Hence, dreamfeed helps your newborn baby sleep for a longer time.
3. Use white noises
There must be many activities in and around your house that might make it difficult for your baby to sleep properly. This where the white noise sound could help you; for that, you can use a white noise machine or a fan to create a gentle hum that masks other sounds. Furthermore, if you make it as part of your baby’s bedtime routine, it will invariably cue her to relax and go to sleep. You can also download white noise MP3s.
4. Lay your baby on a warm muslin blanket
When you hold the baby in your cozy arms, the sheer warmth makes her fall asleep more often than not. However, they also hate transferring from your warm arms to a relatively colder cot or baby bed. So to avoid this, use a muslin or blanket and put it under the baby in order to finally place her back in the cot. Sometimes, to keep the warmth intact, you have to co-sleep with your baby. In such a scenario, you should use a mattress that helps fall asleep fast. That way you can give your baby the necessary warmth and your reassuring smell.
5. Use a safe and comfortable swaddling
From birth until around four or five months, babies feel a sudden reflex while sleeping and they often wake up due to this. These spontaneous reflexes could cause sleep deprivation in your baby. So a safe and comfortable swaddle would be great for her to stay asleep. Keeping a tight swaddle prevents babies from startling themselves awake, thus a longer and better sleep.
6. Change your baby’s diaper strategically
If you change the diaper just before the night-feed, the baby could well be prevented from waking up after the feeding is finished. When she wakes up, change the diaper and re-swaddle to prepare for sleeping immediately following the feeding. On the other hand, if you change the diaper after the feeding, the baby can get too awake, making her more difficult to fall asleep again.
7. Proper use of lights
According to Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution, “lights push your baby’s biological ‘Go’ button”. On the other hand, darkness triggers the brain to release ‘melatonin’ – a sleep hormone. Hence, keep days bright and nights dark, not the other way around. Allow plenty of sunlight into the house and consider installing dimmers on the lights in your baby’s room. Even when she wakes during the night, don’t turn on the lights. Rather, soothe her back to sleep.
Since right from the birth, your baby goes through various developmental phases in quick succession, so you have to be more focused towards addressing various issues like sleep patterns. The above tips will help you in this regard.