Your baby is keeping you up at night. The dark circles around your eyes, the tired posture, and the zoned out look is evidence that your baby is not a sleeper. Helping your baby sleep at night is the only way to end your sleepless nights.
If you have a job and a baby who refuses to sleep at night, we do not need to say anything further as you are already living that work and no sleep life. In some cases, you can spiral into postpartum depression for which we recommend counseling. Also, we can provide you with tips on how to help your baby sleep at night.
1. Create a Bedtime Routine
It is never too early or too late to create a bedtime routine. A bedroom routine can help you put your baby to sleep at night. Babies are learners and explorers. Once you establish a bedtime routine, enforcing it strictly, they will adapt to it.
Having a calming and soothing bedtime routine is good for your baby because it helps them relax and doze off into a deep slumber. For instance, giving them a massage and swaddling them before bed is way to relax them and promote sleep.
For it to work, be consistent and predictable with your bedtime routine, putting them to sleep at the same time each day. With a bedtime routine, your baby is not the only relaxing, you are too. Instead of dealing with a crying baby, you will spend quiet time with them.
Another advantage of a bedtime routine is that they assist in transitional periods. Most babies, around four to six weeks, may become colic, which may disrupt their sleep pattern. If you maintain a bedtime routine from the start, you can help your baby push through the transitional period.
2. Wean Your Baby Off Night Feedings
Once your doctor gives you the green light to wean your baby off night feedings, start doing it. Gradually begin to reduce night feedings. Most babies associate night feedings with sleep, waking up to be fed. Even though they no longer require feedings, they still want it as they have become used to them. To wean them off, try dream feed. Dream feed means feeding your baby less and less frequently over the week.
3. Keep Your Baby’s Room Comfortable
Sleeping in an uncomfortable environment is difficult for adults and babies are no different. If your baby continues to wake up in the middle of the night or takes a long time to sleep, inspect their environment to determine if it is comfortable enough for them to sleep.
Adjust the room’s temperature, ensure the room is dark, and add white noise in the room. If your baby is a light sleeper, the softest sound will wake them up and white noise will provide a constant and calming soothing sound to help your baby sleep at night.
4. Teach Your Baby the Art of Self-Soothing
Self-soothing means trying your best to soothe, calm, and relax them. When you hear your baby cry in the middle of the night, check on them, but limit your interaction with them. Clearly tell your baby through words, expressions, or actions that it is still bedtime, not time to eat or play.
Place your hand on your baby’s chest for a few seconds to soothe them and then exit the room. To make your baby feel you are still with them, try the Zen Sack or Zen Swaddle. In doing so, it can ease the separation anxiety, sever the connection to be held to sleep, and help them learn to self soothe.
5. Put Your Baby to Sleep When They Are Drowsy, But Awake
Put your baby to bed when they are not completely sleepy and slightly awake. Doing so will help your baby associate bedtime with the process of sleeping. Place your baby on their back or and ensure there is nothing in the crib, such as soft toys.
Once in bed, give them time to settle down. Your baby may cry or make a fuss before they can find a comfortable position to sleep. If your baby continues to cry, enter the room and then say some comforting words and then leave. Knowing you are not far away will reassure your baby and help them fall asleep at night.
About the Author
Mind Wellness Counseling provides people with the support and guidance they need to get their life on track through evidence-based therapy. Serving the greater Detroit area, they provide couples and individual counseling, mindfulness coaching, emotional freedom technique, mental fitness training, and EMDR therapy. Counseling is given by a trained, experienced, and certified counselor.