Ahh, the sleepless nights of having a baby. You heard countless horror stories of moms that haven’t slept for seven years, and now you’re one of them (or soon to be).
However, there are some babies that seem to sleep through the night with no problem. Is it just luck? Or can you do something to ensure a restful night’s sleep for both you and your little one?
Well, to be honest, it’s a little of both. But there are a couple of things you can do to help your baby sleep through the night and stay asleep longer.
These tips and tricks can be useful for newborns and babies up to 12-month-olds.
However, they become even more useful as time progresses. Your newborn might not sleep through the night but if you practice these tips consistently, you’ll set up a successful bedtime routine for your baby when they’re three-months-old.
WHAT SHOULD A NEWBORNS BEDTIME ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
Newborns sleep a lot. However, they don’t sleep more than 2 to 4 hours at a time for the first couple of weeks. Sleeping through the night at this point is almost impossible, but if you want to make your baby as comfortable as possible to keep them asleep longer, here are a couple of things you should try:
- Warm Bath: Baths smooth the muscle and help relax your baby. However, bathing a newborn every day isn’t necessary, so a warm rag around the hands, neck, feet, and groin has a similar effect.
- Swaddle: A pack swaddle is a complete hack for those of us that can never get the swaddle tight enough.
- Use White Noise: You can purchase a white noise machine or place a fan in a corner of the room (not near the baby) to have a similar effect.
- Create A Sleep Space: A dark room at a cool temperature with a bare crib – no stuffed animals or dangling toys that could stimulate your baby
Once your baby starts getting older, these tips will play an even bigger role in getting your baby on a sleep schedule.
NIGHT TIME ROUTINE FOR BABY
Once your baby is about two or three months old, you’ve probably learned a couple of things that help soothe your baby. This is the time when you can start implementing an actual bedtime routine for your baby.
Every baby is different and there isn’t a ‘tried-and-true’ method for the perfect bedtime routine.
On top of the suggestions above, you’ll want to:
OBSERVE YOUR BABIES SLEEP TENDENCIES
When does your baby get sleepy? How long does your baby sleep? Keeping a sleep log can work wonders in understanding your baby’s sleep patterns.
Your baby can’t tell you when it’s sleepy or how it feels, it’s your job to figure it out. If your baby starts getting sleep at around 9 P.M. consider implementing a nighttime routine around 8:00-8:30 P.M to help them stay asleep longer.
ALWAYS PUT YOUR BABY TO SLEEP IN THE SAME PLACE
Wherever your baby sleeps the most, consistently let them sleep in that spot. If your baby sleeps with you some nights and in the crib others, it will be harder on you to create a bedtime routine and to help your baby stay asleep longer.
It’s inevitable that your baby will fall asleep in the stroller but being consistent is key in all aspects. Even for naps, try and get your baby in the crib if possible.
PUT BABY DOWN DROWSY
It seems logical to place a baby down once they’re already asleep, however, that might not help your baby sleep longer.
If a baby wakes up and sees they’re in a different spot than where they fell asleep, they might start crying as a way to alert you that something is wrong. However, if they fall asleep in their crib and wake up in the crib, they are more likely to feel calm and drift back to sleep.
“Eyelids should be heavy, not shut”
BE FLEXIBLE AND CONSISTENT
Your baby is only human and every night will be different. Nighttime routines shouldn’t be written in stone. However, even when your baby is fussy, try and remain consistent in your efforts.
If you your baby used to find bath time soothing but now finds it to be a stimulating playtime, you might want to move the bath to earlier in the evening. Being observant, flexible, and consistent will generate the best results for you and your baby.