If your friends have commented that you are looking wan and tired out after your baby has been born, it may well be because you are getting inadequate sleep. One of the biggest concerns of most new parents is how to get their infant to sleep and stay asleep through the night.
The first weeks after the baby is brought home from the hospital, can be especially trying and tiring for the parents. Until such time that a sleep routine is worked out, most parents will have to spend whole nights awake, trying to put their infant to sleep.
Babies and Sleep
Parents are aware of the importance of sleep for their new born babies. Most of the growth and physical development in infants take place while they sleep. Babies, who consistently stay awake at night, are more likely to fall sick as well. While parents are able to put their infants to sleep successfully on some nights, other nights getting their infant to sleep can be a daunting task.
There are many reasons why babies don’t get sleep at night. Some babies sleep through out the day, and are awake and alert at night. Colic pain can also cause a baby to cry and lie awake at night. External noise or sound can keep babies awake. Another reason why your baby is unable to fall asleep is because the diaper may be soaking wet. Extreme exhaustion can also keep babies awake at night
Ways to Get a Baby to Sleep
Initially a parent may have a tough time getting their babies to fall asleep. But once they work out a sleep routine for their baby, it becomes easier to put the child to sleep. There are many simple techniques which new parents can adopt, to ensure a good nights sleep for their baby and adequate rest for themselves.
Encourage Day Time Activity
If you allow your baby to sleep through out the day, then your child will certainly lie awake at night. During the day when your baby wakes up, instead of simply feeding and putting your infant back to sleep, spend some time with your child. Encourage your baby to stay awake, by talking to them, singing lullabies and distracting them with small toys. This way you will not only strengthen the bond between yourself and your baby, but you can also ensure that your baby is getting enough daytime activity which can ensure proper sleep at night.
Monitor Your Baby’s Day Time Naps
A baby’s growth and development depends on two factors, namely food and sleep. While babies should be allowed to nap during the day time, ensure that the child is not asleep the better part of the day.
If your child sleeps through out the day then it will be impossible to get them to sleep at night. Keep a check on the number of hours your baby sleeps during the day time. If your baby is unable to get sleep at night, then try to reduce your baby’s daytime naps.
It is extremely important to calm your baby down as their bed time approaches. There are many ways to soothe a baby. From simply holding the baby, to gently rocking the infant; a parent should try and find out what soothes and relaxes their baby best. Children are extremely sensitive to their environment. If there is a lot of activity during the daytime or if too many people hold the baby, the infant may become hyperactive and have difficulty falling asleep at night.
Get the Baby Used To Different Sleep Associations
Getting your baby used to a variety of sleep associations as their bed time approaches is one of the best ways to get the baby to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. For example is your infant is used to being rocked to sleep or nursed to sleep then follow that routine every night. Changing the bed time routine can cause your baby to lie wide awake at night.
Some babies are soothed by soft background music. If that is the case with your baby, ensure that you put the same soft music every night just before your baby falls asleep. After a couple of nights the baby will begin to associate the music with sleep time and will automatically fall asleep.
Keep a Consistent Bedtime and Bedtime Rituals
Let your baby sleep at the same time every night. If you keep changing your baby’s bed time ever so often, then your child will have great difficulty in falling asleep. If you put your baby to bed at seven in the evening, then keep that time fixed. It is also important to follow certain bedtime routines to soothe your baby.
A normal bed time routine for an infant could include a warm bath followed by a change of diapers and feed.
Ensure Your Baby is Drowsy but Awake at Bedtime
Put your baby to bed while they are still awake. This is the best way to get your baby to associate their crib with sleep. Never allow the baby to lie face down on their cot. Remove items like soft toys and blankets from the baby’s crib before putting them to bed.
Allow Your Baby to Settle Down
Sit besides your baby till they settle down for the night. Babies tend to be a little fussy at bedtime till they fall asleep. However, if your baby cries and is unable to fall asleep, then take the baby out of the crib and gently stroke their back and sing soothing lullabies.
Frequent Nighttime Stirrings
Most babies will twitch and turn in their sleep. Unlike adults, babies are not able to sleep through out the night. They will wake up often during the night. Most times unless they are hungry or scared the baby will fall asleep again in a few minutes time.
Ensure That Night Time Care Is Low Key
If your baby wakes up at night for a feed or change of diaper, ensure that your talk to the child in a soft voice and that there are no loud sounds or distractions which can keep your baby awake for the rest of the night.
Follow Your Baby’s Preference
Some babies are regular night owls. If your baby likes to sleep during the day and keep awake at night, then follow your child’s routine and make some personal adjustments.
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