Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better
Helping your baby sleep through the night will contribute to a better sleep hygiene and health for the whole family.
If you’re too worried about your baby during the night and you can’t get a good night’s sleep… welcome to your initiation rite for first-time parents! The good news is that you’re not alone, because this is a very common consultation at the pediatrician. And, the better news is that you can help your baby sleep better. Do you want to know how? Pay attention to the following tips.
Interference between the baby’s hunger and sleepiness
According to research, newborn babies can sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day. But, they don’t do it all at once. They sleep for periods of 3 to 4 hours, since they don’t have regular sleep cycles like adults.
Bear in mind that babies can’t tell the difference between day and night. Besides, they don’t have room in their stomach to store enough milk to go through the night. That’s why they wake up hungry. And, some pediatricians don’t recommend that babies spend too many hours feeling hungry. This is because, during their first weeks of life, their need for food is more important than their need for sleep.
As months pass by, the baby will start sleeping for longer periods of time. However, every baby is unique and may have different sleep cycles. Usually, during the first year, babies get to sleep for 10 hours in a row.
Play during the day, calm down at night
When you have to change their diaper or feed them during the night, try not to wake them up. To do this, avoid picking them up, playing or talking out loud.
It’ll be better that you keep them calm by whispering. In addition, you can use soft lights, a calm voice and gentle movements. As a result, they’ll understand that it’s bed time instead of play time. This will also help them differentiate day from night.
During the day, do the opposite. Play with them and stimulate them in a good way so they stay awake for longer periods of time. Consequently, they’ll be more tired at night and they’ll sleep better.
Rock them only until they’re sleepy
If your baby falls asleep in your arms, it might be counter-productive. It’ll be better to rock them until they’re sleepy and put them to bed before they’re completely asleep. As a result, they’ll learn to sleep on their own and to fall back to sleep in case they wake at night.
Sleeping in the same room
In developed countries, the leading cause of death in babies is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This may occur between the first month and the first year of life.
Breastfeeding is a preventive factor. However, in order to prevent it, you could sleep in the same room as them. Co-sleeping beds are a good option, since they make it easier for you to feed your baby before they start crying.
Good atmosphere to help your baby sleep better
As in the case of adults, babies need a good environment to sleep well. Lights, noise and temperature are factors that affect our sleep. And, the same happens to babies.
If you want your baby to sleep well and rest, before they fall sleep, try to create a relaxing atmosphere. You can use a soft light, a massage, or relaxing music.
Likewise, make sure it’s not too cold or too hot and that the temperature is appropriate. Put them to bed on their back, as specialists recommend. And, make sure there aren’t any blankets or soft objects in bed with them. Now, they’re ready to get to sleep!
The way your baby sleeps doesn’t reflect the way you raise them
Don’t lose perspective. The way your baby sleeps doesn’t make you a good or bad parent. Furthermore, understanding your children’s habits may take you a while. So, don’t lose hope. Try to understand their signs and adapt yourself to their cycles. Your baby might be an early bird!
Finally, remember that if you have questions, you can count on your baby’s pediatrician. They can help you by giving you more tips for your baby to sleep well.