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15 Tips to Better Baby Sleep
One of the most rewarding things as a new parent is hearing the sweet sounds of silence; ie, your baby sleeps peacefully! Every baby is unique in their sleep habits and it can be difficult for parents to navigate.
To help you achieve better baby sleep, consider these 15 tips to improve your baby’s sleep sessions.
1. Consistency is key
A bedtime routine can help a child wind down before bed, and it can also help prepare them mentally and physically for the end of the day. Bedtime activities can include a bottle, a bedtime story, and pajamas.
When these things appear, children will know what is expected of them and that playtime is over. Try to keep the room a little quieter when this routine begins.
2. Make bedtime enjoyable
Sleep should never be seen as a bad thing in the eyes of a child. Make bedtime a soothing and relaxing experience for them by including a soothing night light, some nature music and their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. The night should be a comforting experience for them.
As an extension of this, bedtime does not always have to be a punishment for children. This makes sleep, by association, something children will want to avoid. If they are in trouble, a break may be more helpful.
3. Stuff your baby
Especially in their early years, babies will still prefer a warm, protective space similar to what the womb provided. Pajamas and diapers are great for keeping baby warm and snuggled up in a comfortable position.
Pads can stop babies waking up with sudden movements and swings, and can even stop jumpy babies from kicking or scratching themselves.
4. Give children time to fall asleep
The key to a good night’s sleep is to put your baby down while they are still awake. In this way, they associate their bed with what makes them cozy and sleepy.
While it’s fun for your baby to sleep in your arms, it can teach him bad sleep habits as he gets older. Having them sleep in their crib will help them become more independent sleepers and it will be much easier for you.
5. Give the children a moment
It’s hard to hear a baby’s cries and not tend to them – but that’s exactly what you have to do! If you hear your baby crying in the crib, stop and wait a few minutes. You don’t necessarily need to help them; they may already be in the habit of crying just because they don’t want to go to bed yet.
Instead, wait a bit. If the kids need a change or have lost their drink, you can come in. However, he or she may be able to go back to sleep after a few minutes, which is a big win.
6. Do not make eye contact
If your baby makes eye contact with you during bedtime, he may think it’s time to wake up. If you need to go into the room for some reason, try to calm them down without looking at them afterwards and put them back without too much interaction.
Calm them down, but don’t talk to them. Keep the room dark so it’s clear it’s not time to be awake.
7. Refuse entertainment
Kids can easily turn off their tired mode and go back to playtime. As a parent, it’s crucial to try to stay calm and collected when it’s bedtime.
The kids will try to lure you into having a giggle party, but now is not the time. Even if you feel guilty not playing with them, it will make both of your mornings much more manageable!
8. Avoid or prepare for diaper changes
Even if you know there will be a mess in the morning, it is helpful to skip the diaper change. These movements can trick your baby into thinking it’s time to wake up and play.
If unavoidable, keep all the necessary changing items you need in a place outside the bedroom. This practice will help you not to spend a lot of time in the room looking for things, and you will not have to turn on the light to find anything.
9. Create a soothing environment
Soothing music can help drown out other sounds around the house and help put babies to sleep more quickly. Choose a music player that has several different sound options so you can find out what your child likes best.
It can be white noise, water sounds, or even a lullaby. Once they’ve found something they like, listen to that noise in their bedroom before they go to bed.
10. Block the Light
A dark room is the best way to tell your baby it’s time to sleep. Besides, if they happen to wake up in the middle of the night, they will know from the darkness that it is not yet time to get up.
Find some blackout curtains that will block out the light. As they grow, you can slowly open these curtains so they don’t get too used to complete darkness.
This will help them stay asleep when they are in new environments that don’t have the same light-cancelling curtains.
11. Know a tired child
If you see any signs that your baby is feeling tired, whether it’s a yawn or pink cheeks, take action right away. Timing is critical when it comes to baby’s sleep, and if you miss the window, chances are you’re in for a rough night.
These little signs indicate that the body is ready for sleep, and taking action immediately will improve the chances that they will fall asleep easily. Waiting too long will make your baby overtired and the awakening hormones will kick in.
At this point, it may be too late for your baby to fall asleep without a fight. You will quickly recognize your baby’s signs; just make sure both parents know the signs.
12. Lower the temperature
People of all ages tend to rest better when they sleep in cooler temperatures. The thermostat should be between 68 and 72 Fahrenheit so that your child can experience his most comfortable rest.
Not sure if they are too cold? Many parents tend to feel their baby’s fingers or toes when checking their temperature. In most cases, these parts of the body will feel cold, but this does not mean that your baby is cold.
Check your child’s chest temperature instead. This part of the body is the area that will tell you if they are comfortable or not.
13. Have the necessities ready
A full diaper can mean a massive mess in your child’s bed, but turning on the lights and trying to do a total sheet change is game over for a good night’s sleep. Instead, be prepared with the essentials always at the ready. To do this, you might consider putting extra sheets and diapers in a cabinet outside the bedroom.
You may also consider adding a waterproof pad between the two sheets. If a mess happens, you can remove the sheet and pad and still have a dry layer waiting underneath. Preparation will make changing sheets a quick and easy process and your baby will be back in bed in no time.
14. Tag team
Partners who can get 5 hours of sound sleep each night are critical to their overall health and their performance as parents. To do this, the partners must work as a team every night, even though nursing is a one-person show.
Partners can wait their turn, changing or soothing the baby, or whatever else is needed. Depending on your work schedule, you can have different “night shifts” so that everyone still feels rested in the morning.
15. Take the children to pacifiers
Many babies wake up during the night simply because they can’t find their pacifier. You can fix this problem by teaching your baby to learn where to find the pacifier on his own!
Simply place the pacifiers in each corner of the bed, then spend each night reaching your baby’s arm to get the pacifier in each corner. This practice will ensure that no matter how they twist and turn, they will be able to find an edge of the crib.
After about a week, they should be able to grasp the corners and find the pacifier on their own. This will alleviate the need for parents to enter the bedroom at all.
Better sleep for everyone
By following these tips, not only will the child get a better night’s sleep, but so will her parents! Consider incorporating these suggestions so that everyone goes to bed on time and wakes up feeling happy and refreshed.
Not every tip will work with your child, but it’s all about patience and consistency. Work toward an agreed-upon routine and sleep schedule that works for everyone in the family.
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