Ways to make babies sleep through the night
A peaceful sleep for your little one is all that a mother can ask for. Sleepless nights are something most new parents struggle with. Newborns and babies often don't sleep longer stretches which makes it difficult for parents to also sleep through the night.
If it's your first baby and you are looking for helpful tips related to baby sleep, you have landed at the right place! Your baby’s sleep is important for their healthy growth. You just need a few changes in the bedtime routine of your baby and try some hacks in building a consistent sleep schedule.
How Much Sleep Does a Baby Actually Need?
Know that the quality of baby sleep is equally important as the quantity of sleep. Sleep is the time when the body of the baby restores and rests.
As per National Sleep Foundation, with a time span of 24 hours, an infant should sleep for at least 12 - 15 hours. Rest assured, it is normal for newborn babies to sleep for a few hours and wake up for feeds. At a newborn stage, babies also go through sleep regression which alters their body clock. Hence, newborns’ nighttime sleep routine may take a while to adjust as they grow.
However, similarly, a preschooler should sleep for 10-13 hours and a school goer should sleep for 9-11 hours.
If your child is an infant or a preschooler, the ideal time to make them fall asleep is 8:00 pm as kids who sleep after 9 are more likely to sleep late and wake up often during nighttime. This is also dependent on daytime naps and often your child or baby wakes up during the night.
Reasons Your Baby Might Not Be Sleeping
Newborn babies often experience various kinds of discomfort.
One of the reasons could be sleep regressions. As they approach developmental milestones, they may experience sleep regressions.
Sometimes, colicky or an upset tummy might also keep them from a good night’s baby sleep. Colic discomfort can make your baby very fussy.
Last but not least, some babies form a sleep association that we do not notice. So, when those sleep associations are no longer available, it causes them discomfort and the inability to fall into deep sleep.
Tips to Help Your Baby Get Enough Sleep
Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine
If your baby is not sleeping through the night, it's never too early to develop a consistent bedtime routine and initiate sleep training. Just make sure your routine is simple and easy to follow.
Include activities that can soothe your baby, such as shushing or swaddling. Follow the pattern you set for your baby and follow it daily, such as going to bed at the same time every day. Eventually, your baby will get into the rhythm slowly and understand that it is time to sleep.
Once your baby comes on solids, it is okay to not breastfeed them every time they wake up at night. Start by increasing the gaps and then completely stop nighttime feedings. This way, your baby's bedtime routine will be managed and developed in a good way.
Let your Baby Soothe Themselves
It is absolutely fine to go and look if your baby cries suddenly, but don't spend too much time over there. Let them adopt their bedtime routine. This will help the baby understand that it's time to sleep on their own bed and not eat or play.
To assure peaceful baby sleep you can keep your hand on their chest for a while to calm them and then leave the room. Let them self-soothe. However, make sure your baby is lying on his back to avoid any sudden infant death syndrome. You can try a white noise machine to calm down the baby if they have separation anxiety. Allow your baby to get into a deep sleep by themselves.
Consult sleep experts for more methods of sleep training.
Make a Schedule
A newborn cannot differentiate between night time and day time so they keep on sleeping around the clock. But as they grow, avoid too many daytime naps. One or two naps are enough. Making a good night's sleep or bedtime routine will help you develop your baby's sleep naturally.
Cozy Ambiance is the key
Make sure the temperature of the room where your baby is sleeping is accurate. Ensure they have a bug bed or cot to allow movement during the night. Also, ensure that all windows are closed to avoid any unnecessary noise. You can put a few drops of lavender essential oil in the diffuser of your child's room to ensure fresh air so they stay asleep for longer stretches.
Give a Bath at night to your Babies
Giving a bath with lukewarm water to babies sometimes works magically to calm down the baby and give them a good baby's sleep. Warm baths help babies get more sleep!
Swaddling a newborn baby gives them a sense of protection to your baby and researches have proved that it aids in longer sleep. Just make sure to not swaddle too tight to make it difficult for the baby to breathe as it can lead to respiratory infections. They should be able to inhale and exhale deeply for safe sleep.
Engage your Child in Physical Activities During Day Time
It will make your baby vulnerable to fall asleep early at night. Let them play in their playpen for as long as they want. As the night approaches, slow down the activities and turn on the warm lights to let them fall asleep.
If your baby is grown up, make sure to give them at least 30 minutes of outdoor time (unstructured) every day.
Try Not to Change Diapers When Baby is Asleep
Do not disturb the baby once they have fallen asleep. If it becomes unavoidable to change the diaper of the baby, make sure to do minimal moves. Do not talk to them or do rapid eye movements.
Some Quick Sleep Tips to Make your Baby a Good Sleeper
- Baby sleep can not be forceful, be patient and give time to your baby.
- Once your baby starts sleeping in his/her own bed, take a step ahead and let them fall asleep independently. You can use a white noise machine or any other sound machine for this purpose.
- For many parents, following baby cues have become a life-changer. Observe your baby and follow the cues when they are hungry, sleepy, or feel like playing. This will help you understand the normal patterns of baby sleep and then mold them accordingly.
- Adjust the daytime naps according to the age of your baby. Infants can have two or three naps.
- Blackout curtains for grownups to help them fall asleep.
- While traveling, use a car seat to let your baby sleep in peace.
Most parents become frustrated to think that they are finding it difficult to build good sleep habits in their children. Well, the first thing you should do is relax. Most babies can't sleep in peace due to colic issues or sleep regressions so make sure your child is not having one. Sleep problems are very common in many babies and consulting a sleep expert can help you cope better with them. Do not tire yourself up and if nothing is working for you, bear a little with your child and then try again.