No one expects having a baby to be easy, but it can sometimes be surprising just how hard it is to get them to sleep through an entire night. Babies are restless creatures by nature, but you can help tame their tossing and turning with a few simple changes to your bedtime regime.
Create a Healthy Sleep Schedule
While older children and adults are usually sleepy enough to go to bed easily by the end of the day, this is because they’ve had to get up at a particular time for work or school. Babies don’t have any external pressures like that, so it’s up to you to keep them going to bed at regular hours instead. Put your baby down to sleep early in the evening every single day, making no exception for weekends or holidays. Once they’re used to the schedule, they’ll go to sleep with far less fuss.
Reinforce Sleep Rhythms
If your baby can’t sleep at night, it might be tempting to make them hold off on sleeping during the day to make up for it so they’ll sleep more later on. Unfortunately, things rarely work out that way. Babies have very short sleep cycles(those of newborns are only one-fifth the length of those of adults!) so they’ll be awake soon one way or another, but they’ll be just as cranky as you would be if they’re woken up prematurely. Don’t ever wake your baby up if you can help it; even if they’re sleeping in the middle of the day, they will probably fall asleep just fine later on as well.
Set a Short and Simple Bedtime Routine
Children thrive on routine, so use that propensity to your advantage. Establish a sequence of events that you’ll carry out every night before baby goes to bed. Start with a quick bath, then change them into their pyjamas for bed. After that, you might read your baby an age-appropriate bedtime story before leaving them so they can go to sleep. This set of activities primes babies for sleep and can be used to keep things consistent well into their later childhood years.
If Your Baby Is Over Six Months Old, Give Them a Security Object
It’s no secret that babies like comfort and familiarity. A security object can give them that in physical form and help them to relax enough to sleep soundly. Be careful what you choose, though: some common parts on stuffed animals, such as plastic noses or eyes, can pose a threat to your baby. You can find many options with embroidered features instead, and you should opt for those if at all possible. If you really want to be safe, however, you can also just give your child a soft personal blanket.
Make the Cot as Comfortable As It Gets With a Mattress Topper
Babies need to be comfortable just as much as the rest of us, and cot mattresses aren’t always very soft! You can add additional comfort to whatever bedding you already have by purchasing a soft, squishy mattress topper. If you’re not sure where to start looking, The Dozy Owloffers an excellent selection of baby-sized mattress toppers that might suit your needs.
Adequate sleep is a fundamental part of child development and is essential to getting your baby off to a good start in life. While some infants may still resist sleep despite their parents’ every effort, these tips should succeed in changing your baby’s sleep patterns for the better, and that’s something every parent can be happy about.