It may seem easy, but once you are in front of a baby, you may feel that you are rather clueless on how you can take care of your first born. How can you hold a baby or how should you change the diaper? And every parent’s nightmare: how do you put a baby to sleep at night?
Sleep is important for your little one’s health and well-being. Newborns need at least 18 hours of sleep a day while one-year-olds requires up to 14 hours.
If you are having troubles getting your baby to sleep, create a routine that you can stick to or adopt different methods that suit you, your baby and your family. Here are some tips and trips that you can try.
Make a Sleep Schedule
A nightly routine can help the baby adapt to going to sleep at the same time every evening, making it easier to get her to sleep. Create a routine that works for you. Include things such as bath time, wearing comfortable bedtime clothes, final feeding, story time, massage, and anything that helps your little one wind down before bed.
Give a Gentle Massage
Before going to bed, try a short massage of 10 to 15 minutes. Use slow, long strokes with moderate pressure to massage your baby’s arms, legs, hands, feet, tummy, and back.
Have a Relaxing Bath Time
A warm bath is relaxing for adults, and so is for the baby. Having a relaxing bath time is a nice addition to your nighttime routine.
Use Light Strategically
Newborns have a hard time distinguishing the difference between day and night, which explains why they have short bursts of sleep around the clock. Use light strategically by turning off the lights in the room. Darkness triggers the brain in releasing melatonin, the sleep hormone. Keep your baby’s days bright and his or her nights dark and he will quickly figure out when it is time to sleep.
During the day, allow plenty of sunlight into the house or take the baby outside. Put your baby down for some daytime naps in a well-lit room. To induce nighttime sleepiness, install dimmers on the lights in the room as well as in the rooms you both spend lots of time.
It is fine to use night-light in the bedroom, but choose a smaller, dimmer one that stays cool to the touch. If your baby wakes up during the night, do not turn on the lights or carry him or her in a brightly lit room. The shift from dark to light will just tell his brain it is go time. Instead, soothe the baby’s back for him to go back to sleep.
Put The Baby to Bed When He is Drowsy, Not Asleep
Master the time that both you and the baby will rest earlier. Try to put your little one to bed as he is quieting down, just before he totally nods off.
Do Not Look At Your Baby in the Eye
A lot of babies are easily stimulated. Just looking at the eyes will signal them that it is playtime. Parents who make eye contact with sleepy babies can encourage them to snap out of the sleep zone and give them more motivation to get up.
Give Your Baby Some Dream Food
If your baby has trouble sleeping, wake him up for a late night feeding between 10 at night until the midnight to help him sleep longer.
When feeding, keep the lights dim and carefully lift your baby out of the crib. Settle him down to nurse. He may wake up just enough to start feeding. Once he’s done, put him back to bed without burping.