People who use common phrases like ‘I’ve slept like a baby’ clearly don’t have any. Or never had babies like mine who constantly fought sleep. Nonetheless there are some methods which have worked for us to make bedtime a little easier. Your baby’s sleep determines your sleep. This is why it is important that your baby adapts to a healthy sleeping routine. But how can you teach this to your baby?
During the first few weeks of a baby’s life the day and night rhythm aren’t in sync. So a newborn won’t be ready to sleep through the night. All babies are different and some only learn to sleep through the night after they turn one.
We have listed a few ideas below in the hope of helping out a few sleep deprived parents 🙂
Daytime is for Naps and Nighttime is for Long Sleep
If your child naps during the day, it’s important for the room to have enough natural light. Babies will learn that light means daytime and won’t take excessively long naps. Keep curtains open and put on some white noise in the background. At night, blackout curtains will help keep the light out. Babies will begin to learn that dark is equivalent to night and longer sleep.
Leave Fun Activities for Daytime
Although you may think that small babies don’t do much, they actually do! The world is new to them and they are absorbing everything and learning to react to their environment. Try not to over-stimulate the baby when it’s near bedtime.
Look out for Sleep Cues
Log your child’s naps. My kids napped every 3/4 hours after waking up. Timing naps will ensure that your child doesn’t become overtired. If your baby becomes fussy, rubs his eyes or cries a lot it may be a sign that they need to sleep. Even if it takes awhile before they fall asleep. An overtired child tends to take longer to sleep.
Set up an Evening Routine
No matter the age, evening routines are essential for better sleep. Avoid tablets or television at least an hour before bed. Our night time routine involves a bath which relaxes the children. Choose products with natural and soothing ingredients. Next is putting on pyjamas (a sleeping bag or a light swaddle for babies and younger kids), drinking their milk and reading a book. Once those are done, give your little one a kiss goodnight and walk out of the room.
In an ideal world, babies learn to fall asleep independently. However, this isn’t so straightforward. Our eldest got the hang of independent sleep quite quickly but our little one struggled. They both wake up sometimes. My eldest sometimes has nightmares (our anti-monster spray took care of that!) and the little one doesn’t talk yet so it’s still a guessing game. However, we try to wait two minutes before going to their room. Sometimes they fall back to sleep and other times they need a little comfort ❤️