Sleep is extremely important for the wholesome growth and development of a baby. It is essential for the babies physical development, immune system and brain development. Good sleep in babies ensures that the parents too, get some much needed rest. Establishing a healthy sleep pattern in a baby ensures that he/she is well rested and peaceful all through the day.
Till the age of two years, a baby needs 12-13 hours of night sleep. Helping the babies establish a sleep pattern will lead to better and quicker sleep among babies. Here are a few tips to help your baby sleep better .
Baby Sleeping Tips
Establish a Pattern
Babies mind stores new information in a sequence. If a certain routine or sequence is followed daily before the child is put to sleep, then triggering the first action in the sequence will help the baby tune its mind to sleep in future. A warm bath, a light massage, followed by dressing up for the night should do the trick. If you do this regularly, the baby will be better prepared to sleep, the moment a warm bath is drawn.
Preparing For The Rest
Night sleep is to rest the baby, physically and mentally. Winding down the baby helps prepare him/her for a peaceful night slumber. Start by having the night food early. Some babies sleep while nursing; if so, ensure that the feeding bottle is by the bedside even before the baby demands. Once the dinner is over, calm the baby down. See to it that the room is dimly lit and peaceful, before you take the baby in the room to sleep.
The baby should associate sleep with a pleasant state to be in and should enjoy being put to sleep. Once in the room, try a soothing music, bedtime story or a lullaby; anything that relaxes your baby and calms him/her completely should be used. Speak softly and do not animate the story or music. The baby will take this as a cue to winding down and settling in for the night.
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As the baby drifts off to sleep, do not put the child in a crib or on the bed in a hurry. Most of the times the baby is not asleep completely and such an action makes the baby believe that the parent will go away if the child falls asleep. This establishes a fear for sleep and the babies mind does not rest well. Such a sleep is usually uncomforting to the child. In extreme cases it may alter the baby’s perception about sleep, making the child irritating and edgy when being put to sleep.
This can be extremely tiring and frustrating to the parents as well as the child. Once the baby is asleep, look out for the signs of limp limbs, arms kept loosely to the side and face muscles relaxed. These signs mean that the baby is fast asleep and then the child can be put down. Try leaving a comforting prop like a soft doll, teddy bear, baby’s favorite quilt etc. next to the baby.