If you’re a first-time parent, you’re likely to be sleep deprived because your little bundle of joy keeps you up at night with their irregular sleeping schedule. Babies will need some time to adjust to 24-hour days and develop circadian rhythms adults have which will allow them to stay awake during the day and deep in sleep during the night. Until that happens on its own, you can certainly contribute a little to speed up the process and offer yourself a bit more shut-eye.
One of the biggest difficulties is trying to get your baby to sleep at the same time you do. They often tend to start crying and fussing just as you’ve drifted off to sleep, soon causing sleep deprivation. To prevent that from happening in the future, start dreamfeeding. Feed the baby right before you go to bed and both of you will sleep like a rock. Your little one will sleep longer than usual, allowing you to finally get some good night’s sleep. Many parents say that you won’t have to use this longer than 4 months, which is the time when your baby will adapt to the regimen.
Use white noise
You’ve probably seen many parents walking on eggshells to avoid waking up their baby. If you’re one of those parents, you need to switch your routine immediately. Your baby needs to be able to fall asleep anytime anywhere, without you having to whisper or mute the TV or radio. White noise is one of the best ways to introduce pleasant noises to your baby’s life and allow them to fall asleep even if MTV is playing in the background while you’re lulling them to sleep. Turning on a fan and putting it far away so the baby could hear it and yet be safe from feeling cold is just one of the examples. YouTube is filled with white noise playlists featuring rain, waterfalls, wind, and similar sounds that you can play in the background while your bundle of joy is sleeping tight.
Make them feel safe before bedtime
If your baby is anxious or irritated in any way, both of you will be up all night. That’s why it’s very important that your baby is calm, comfortable and at ease before bedtime. Uncomfortable clothes, wet diapers or even disturbing surroundings can upset the little one and prevent them from falling asleep. That’s why you should only get them comfortable baby clothes that will allow them to move without constriction and make them feel good while they sleep. Make your baby feel safe, secure, happy, and loved by following a bedtime routine and making sure your emotional state is good. Respond soothingly to your child’s emotions in order to offer your baby calmness and a sense of security.
Avoid long afternoon naps
All babies do is eat, sleep, poop and sometimes fuss a little. Sleep takes up the majority of the day, when that should be the case with nighttime. That’s why you should not fear to wake your baby up in the middle of the day if you notice that they’ve been napping longer than necessary. A two-hour-long nap is all your baby needs to feel rested and ready for daily activities. Anything longer than that won’t make them tired enough at night, which will prevent you from getting enough sleep too. Another thing you could do is try to stretch out the time that your baby spends awake during their last active period of the day. Soon, your babies won’t need too much lulling, and they’ll fall asleep in time and on their own.
Don’t jump on the first noise they make
Babies dream too, and sometimes they will only appear to be awake if they make a sudden noise. Don’t let that startle you and make you jump out of bed to hold them and try putting them back to sleep. Chances are they were not even fully awake but only experiencing momentary wakefulness. You grabbing them will just interrupt their sleep and will require a bit of cuddling and swaddling until they’re back asleep.
As your baby grows, so will you as a parent. That means you’ll learn together, but in case you need some extra help in advance, feel free to use some of the aforementioned tips and help your baby sleep better. Not only will they sleep through the night, but you’ll get the ever-needed shut-eye as well, ensuring you’re a happy family.