Getting a little baby to sleep can be quite troublesome on most days. Sleep is however an essential part of their growth and babies need a lot of it, 11 hours or more. You therefore have to make sure that your baby sleeps early enough and gets enough sleep so as to keep them from getting cranky and irritable during the day.
1. Maintain a regular bedtime routine
Babies may seem a little difficult to train but once they get used to a certain schedule it becomes easier for you to follow through. Doing the same things at the same time every day will help your child associate the various activities with sleep and it sets them in the mood. Ideally this routine should be composed of activities that will not excite the child. The time you put thebaby to bed should also be regular, ideally between 6.30 and 7pm. This time changes a bit when they grow older so don’t get tempted to keep your baby awake for longer.
2. Reduce eye contact
At this stage your baby can’t speak yet so your mode of communication is the eyes. Staring at your baby for long can excite her and keep her from sleeping in the shortest time possible. Try and avert your eyes when handling the baby as you prepare them for sleep.
3. Low key bath
A baby’s bath time in the evening should have minimal activity. Limit the amount of play and keep the toys away while focus on washing your baby with gentle regular strokes that assist in soothing them and calming them down. The combination of light strokes and warm water can easily send anyone to bed.
Sharing a bed with your baby, or at least sleeping very close to them, sends the baby directly to sleep without you having to sing or rock them. Babies that share a bed with their parents at night have also been found to have better sleep patterns.
If you are worried about rolling over onto your baby you can use a co-sleeper and place it next to the bed. That way, you will be able to be close to your baby at night without worrying about sleeping on them.
Co-sleeping has been linked to better behavioral patterns and a higher sense of confidence and self-esteem as a child grows up so you will continue to enjoy the benefits even after you stop the practice when your baby is older.
5. Physical contact
Touching and holding your baby as you change, bath or even cuddle creates a sense of security around the child. A child that feels safe and protected will not have a difficult time falling asleep.
6. Dress them appropriately
Warm soft breathable fabrics like cotton make for great sleep aids if used in pajamas. Dress your child in comfortable clothes at night and this will help them drift off into dreamland much faster. These should ideally be natural fabrics as opposed to synthetic ones.
7. Darken things a little
When a room has a lot of light coming into it, a baby can find it difficult to sleep. You can change this by dimming the lights or switching them off altogether. This will help them realize that it is time to sleep and they will fall asleep much faster. You can alter this tactic during the day by closing the curtains thus bringing darkness into a room.
8. Encourage a nap
Letting your child not sleep in the afternoon with hopes of making up for it at night is a bad idea. Your child needs all the sleep they can get and taking a nap in the afternoon will help them sleep better at night because they will be less tired.