When you decided to welcome this little bundle of joy in your lives, you knew your lives would never be the same again.
Even though parenthood can be a rewarding experience, it’s also very challenging and exhausting - both physically and mentally. Especially when it comes to sleep, getting your baby sound asleep is not only difficult but also something extremely important - for your own health and well-being.
After endless bouts of laughter, adorable cuteness and a day full of love and fun, at the end of the day, both you and your baby must sleep peacefully.
Even though sleepless nights are a rite of passage that every new parent must go through, a few useful tips can make it much less daunting. From preparing a comfortable bed to setting a schedule, you can do a lot!
So let’s see how you can get your baby to sleep soundly through the night and in turn catch some much-needed sleep yourself!
1. Develop a routine early on
It’s never too soon to develop a routine that suits you and your baby. Babies don’t just love, they thrive on routines - it allows them to relax knowing what’s coming next.
Start with knowing this simple fact - your newborn will sleep more than 16 hours a day but just a few hours at a time. So you need to develop a certain rhythm with their sleeping schedule to ensure their sleeping bouts come at regular intervals.
Depending on the age, your baby might sleep 5 or even 10 hours at a stretch which may change as they grow older. You have to recognise their schedule and balance it. If you are aware of how long your baby sleeps at a stretch, you can give yourself a break for that long.
For example, if your baby is sleeping for 5 hours at a stretch before waking up again, then you can decide how long you can keep them up before they should be put to the bed again at an appropriate time.
2. Keep Your Sleeping baby Close By
It’s recommended that you keep them close by when your baby is sound asleep, especially during the first month. It will help you keep an eye on your child and reduce the risk of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
It’s best to prepare a bed specifically for your child in a bassinet or a crib. Make sure the baby bed is all set with a proper blanket, dry sheets and cushioned up for your little one.
A proper bed is another important factor that must not be ignored. It’s not safe to put your baby to sleep on your bed - it will increase their chances of suffocating by accident.
Your baby must sleep close by, but alone in their own bed. That doesn’t mean you can’t snuggle with them when you want to - just make sure the bed is safe for them.
3. Optimize the routine and environment
One mistake most parents commit is forgetting that their babies are new to the world and the simplest of things can overstimulate them.
So when you are trying to put your baby to sleep, you have to ensure that your surroundings are in touch with your decision.
Avoid loud noises or bright lights around your baby when it’s their time to sleep. Instead, optimize the surroundings for them by doing the following:
Set the room temperature to the right degrees
Don’t put too many or too few clothes on them
Ensure they don’t have rashes in case you decide to keep their diapers on
Their cot is comfortable and it has a layer of baby dry sheets
There’s no potentially harmful toy in their bed
They sleep and nap every day at the same time
Don’t make them too tired or it may make it harder to put your baby to sleep
Keep in mind...
Always remember that every baby is very different and that their sleep cycles may not always fit the categories that you hear about. The best thing to do is to pay attention to your baby and their sleeping habits.
If your baby is healthy and happy, then probably there isn’t much to improve. As long as you are aware of their sleeping habits - and they are healthy enough, it’s all good to go.
If you still think that your baby is overall fine but has unusual sleeping habits, just consult a pediatrician for your own peace of mind.
And in the end, remember to get some sleep yourself. You can’t pour from an empty vessel, so stay healthy and catch up on sleep as much as you can if you want to take care of your baby the best.