Learn Effective Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep
Newborns sleep a lot, the problem is that it might not be during the night when everyone else in the family wants to sleep. New parents in particular can have a lot of trouble getting their new babies to sleep, which can result in sleep deprivation that places increased stress, strain and pressure on parents, their relationship and mental well-being. It is important to be positive, patient and ensure a variety of approaches are made to helping your baby establish a healthy sleep cycle.
Your baby should naturally move into a healthy sleep cycle by the age of 6 months of age, but this doesn’t always happen, requiring parents to despair of ever having a good night’s sleep again.
Here are some helpful sleep training tips to assist your baby settle and sleep throughout the night.
Create a sleeping ritual for your baby
A bedtime ritual is a good way to help your baby realise that it is sleep time. If possible, always put your baby to sleep in the same room, as this way they will automatically associate that room with sleep time.
Your baby’s sleep routine can include a warm, relaxing bath followed by a relaxing baby massage or just a massage if you don’t bathe your baby every day. This will help to make your baby sleepy, so when you place them in their cot they are ready to drift off to a peaceful sleep.
Dim the lights in the nursery and maybe even have soft calming music playing gently in the background as well. You can also sit in a rocking chair, cuddling them as they fall asleep, because the rocking motion can help them to relax further.
Once you have placed your baby in their cot, always be ready to respond to them if they wake and are upset and check on them regularly.
Night feeds and nappy changes
When your baby wakes for a feed during the night, it is a good idea to keep the lights dim. A good tip is to check their nappy just before you end the feed, because as you know – this will wake them up. By changing their nappy and completing the feed, this will help settle your baby back to sleep.
Do sleep routines really work?
Yes, usually once you have established a bedtime routine and as long as they are well and not sick, they will settle and sleep well between night time feeds. Sometimes however, these routines do not work as effectively for younger babies. It is best to start sleep training when your baby is around 3 months of age and it can take a few weeks before they are established.
If your baby is not yet 3 months of age, keep with up with your bedtime ritual and as your baby matures, they should respond much better and settle down to sleep at night.
If you have tried everything possible and your baby still won’t sleep throughout the night, then it might be best to talk to your local midwife or general practitioner for further advice.