The joy of being a parent comes along with many responsibilities that may prove quite demanding. One such task is getting the baby to sleep soundly. There are a couple of things you need to understand so you can succeed in this task. Here are some dos and don’ts.
(1) Identify His or Her Signs of Sleepiness
If the baby yawns, rubs eyes, cries or becomes fussy it could indicate that he or she wants to sleep. Babies who are tired after playing or staying awake for long tend to have more trouble getting to sleep. So be watchful for clues that could indicate that the baby is overtired so that you can lull them to sleep according to those cues. Also note that older babies tend to be a bit hyperactive, clingy or clumsy as a sign of sleepiness.
(2) Always Let The Baby Finish Sleeping
Babies can fall asleep anywhere and at any time. If your baby falls asleep say in the car seat don’t wake him up as you try to move him to a different place. Just let him nap in the car seat. Only make sure he is buckled up and keep an eye on him. Of course, a short nap is OK in the car, but don’t leave him to sleep in his seat for too long. For longer naps, make sure you place him on a comfortable mattress in a room that’s quiet and relatively dark.
(3) Don’t Disturb Them While They Sleep
Newborns tend to have sleeping patterns that may seem abnormal in most cases. For instance, your baby may sleep for about 16 hours a day, only waking up in between to feed and change. However, as they get older, you will notice that they need less sleep during the day as they sleep more during the night. By the time they hit 6 months old, they should be able to sleep throughout the night plus take at least 2 naps during the day. Note: Each baby is different, so don’t worry if he or she doesn’t follow the pattern we have suggested here.
(4) Don’t Rely Too Much On The Naps They Take as You Move Out and About
Sometimes due to modern day lifestyles we might be tempted to have the baby sleep on the go. For instance, you might find that the baby spends most of the time sleeping on the car seat. Well, while that may be understandable if done once in a while, it may not get him the rest he needs. Consider cutting back on your schedule so that you can spend more time at home. Alternatively, you can ask a friend to help out or use a sitter so that the baby gets thorough naps.
(5) Give them a break in between feeding time and sleep time
Don’t let them go to sleep immediately after feeding. Ideally, try to engage them in some other activities so that they take a short break in between feeding and napping. For instance, you could play a bit with them or even change their diapers. Over time, they will get used to the system of taking a brief rest which is healthy to their body systems.
(6) Stick to a routine
Babies sleep best when they get used to a particular pattern of doing things. It is best to set strategic nap times each day. Don’t allow him to oversleep in afternoons or else you might spend the whole night awake as he will have trouble getting to sleep at night. Also, it is advisable to reserve the crib for night naps only so that he gets to sleep easily at that time more than any other hour of the day.
(7) Let Him Learn to Sleep On His Own
Don’t always cuddle him to sleep. Sometimes when you see he is sleepy; leave him alone in a comfortable and quiet place. This way you will teach him that it is not a must for him to be held or rocked in order to get to sleep. Most importantly, this can help him learn to sleep on his own if he wakes up in the middle of the night.
Persistence is key to success. You may find it a bit difficult to follow these dos and don’ts initially, but if you persist, he or she will gradually learn to sleep without your intervention.
Derek Fraser is an Online Blogger for Nanny Poppinz which provides Nanny Service, Childcare Service, Newborn Specialist, Emergency Nanny Service, After School Nanny, Live in Nanny Services, Part-Full Time Nanny Service etc. You can Follow Him On @derekfraser84.