How Can You Get Your Baby's Sleep Cycle Right?
Words would never be enough to define how it feels to be a mother. Motherhood is an incomparable feeling which is both mysterious and magical. On one hand, where sleepless nights and mood swings disturb you, on the other, your baby’s smile, play, and giggle vanish all your stress and discomfort. Every moment with your new-born is a new experience. One such enigma for a mother is a baby waking up in the night. Sleepless nights make you feel constantly tired and less functional. Not all babies have the same sleep patterns; neither there is a surety of a single way of working with your child. Babies are so unpredictable that you have to keep trying with them some of the other means.
So here is a guide to help you make your baby sleep over the night.
Possible Reasons Why Baby Does Not Sleep Through the Night?
- Their tiny tummies can’t hold much. They need to be fed every three hours. An empty stomach might be a reason for them to awake.
- Teething is a painful process for little ones. At times they find it hard to settle down and have a good sleep.
- Babies often refuse to sleep in a new place. So, if you have changed their place, be prepared they might take time to settle.
- Room temperature also plays a major role in a baby’s sleep. Too hot or too cold will possibly disturb the baby’s sleep.
- Comfortable clothing is quintessential for babies. Too tight or too loose tend to irritate them. Some babies are very sensitive to heavy diapers. Make sure to timely keep a check on this. As the babies get older, they get distracted by wall designs, photos, paintings, prints on blankets and bedsheets, etc.
- These distractions can be a reason for sleep disorders.
Healthy Sleep Habits for Babies
Believe it or not, unlike feeding, crawling, walking, sleeping is also a learned skill. There is no such thing that your baby cannot learn. Few simple steps and you and your baby can easily sleep through the night.
- Teach Them The Difference Between Day And Night – Make sure your baby spends enough time in daylight. Keeping things bright and active by opening curtains, some noise, and enough playtime will gradually help them recognize it’s daytime. To differentiate night dim lights, keep things quiet and give soothing cuddles to your baby. They will slowly set up the body clock and will know the difference between day and night.
- Bedtime Routine – Set up a routine at your convenience. It can be giving them a massage and a warm bath. Making sure you can follow it regularly, the smallest change in their sleep routine can make them feel off. You can even keep it as simple as dimming the lights, swaddling, singing lullabies, or playing some soft music. It helps in creating a positive sleep association for your baby. You can introduce them to a sleep routine when they are three months.
- Self-Soothing Tricks – It means trying your best to soothe them less. It's very important to check when the baby is awake or cries at night. And it is equally important to make it clear that it is still the sleeping time. Gently put your hand on their chest and try to calm them. When babies feel sleepy, feed them and give them a chance to sleep on their own. Place a pillow near to make them feel you are still there.
- A Calm Ambiance – Ambiance for sleep includes light, noise, temperature. Keep the unnecessary noise away from the baby, as they quickly get distracted. The light must be dim to give them a night feel. Do check the temperature as it may create discomfort for the baby.
- Weaning The Night Feeds – Feeding becomes a sleep association as every time the baby wakes, we feed them. When the doctor approves to reduce the number of feeds, start from the night feeds. As you start weaning the night feeds, they will slowly start sleeping for longer periods. But this needs time; it's not a day process. Initially when you wean, feeding the baby might not be comfortable but gradually this will become habitual.
- Follow A Schedule – Young babies sleep 16-18 hours a day. But as they grow, they sleep less but their sleeping duration increases. The longest sleeping period is at night. There needs to be a proper schedule to sleep day and night. If they sleep too much at that time they will sleep less at night. Even the time at which they sleep in the day must be fixed so that they have enough playtimes between two periods of sleep. To ensure a good sleep at night, babies need to have a scheduled day nap and eliminate random sleep.
- Stick To The Bedtime – Making a schedule is easy. What is important is that you stick to the schedule. Follow the bedtime routine regularly without any flaw. Stick to baby’s sleeping time. Making them sleep late thinking they might wake up late, is going to disturb the baby and will discomfort you also. So religiously follow the same routine and stick to it until the baby adopts it nicely.
- Physical Comfort – Make sure the baby is feeling well. If he has been vaccinated, ill, teething, skin irritation, or feeling hungry, too much should not be expected from them. All they need your cuddles and kisses.
Don’t Try To Be the Best Mommy, Be the Happy One
Even the small steps and little effort can be that magical key to improve the sleep quality of your baby. But before this utmost important thing is patience. Babies take their own time to learn. All you can do is follow these basic steps to ensure your babies' healthy and deep sleep. There will be days when babies will sleep all through the night and will be some when they don’t wink their eyes for a second. Keep calm and enjoy the moment of putting the baby to sleep regardless of how long it takes. As they don’t demand the best mom, all they want is a happy one.
Dr. Sonam Jain is a Doctorate in Management Studies. She has altogether working experience of 5 years with IIM Indore and SFRI Jabalpur. She has also worked with two academic publication houses from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. In December 2019 she embraced motherhood. To relish her motherhood and use her Research Skills; now by profession she is a Freelance Content Creator and Blogger.
Read her at https://www.sonamkeshabd.com/
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.