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15 Tips to Better Baby Sleep
One of the most rewarding things as a new parent is hearing the sweet sounds of silence; it means your baby is sleeping soundly! Every baby is unique in their sleep habits and it can be difficult for parents to navigate.
To help you achieve better baby sleep, consider these 15 tips to improve your baby’s nap sessions.
1. Consistency is key
A bedtime routine can help a child relax before bed and can also help prepare them mentally and physically for the end of the day. Bedtime activities may include a bottle, a bedtime story, and pajamas.
When these things appear, the children will know what is expected of them and that playtime is over. Try to keep the room a little quieter when this routine begins.
2. Make bedtime enjoyable
Sleep should never be seen as something bad in the eyes of a child. Make bedtime a soothing, relaxing experience for them by turning on a soothing night light, some nature music, and their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. The night should be a comforting experience for them.
As an extension of this, bedtime doesn’t always have to be a punishment for children. This makes sleep, by association, something children will want to avoid. If they are in trouble, a timeout may be more helpful.
3. Swaddle your baby
Especially in the first few years, children will still prefer a warm, protective space similar to that provided by the womb. Pajamas and swaddles are great for keeping baby warm and wrapped in a comfortable position.
Swaddling can also prevent babies from waking up with sudden movements and jolts, and can even prevent fussy babies from hitting or scratching themselves.
4. Give the children time to sleep
The key to good sleep is to put your baby to bed while they are still awake. In this way, they associate their bed with the thing that makes them cozy and sleepy.
While it’s nice to have your child fall asleep in your arms, it can teach them bad sleeping habits as they get older. Getting them to sleep in their crib will help them become more independent sleepers and make it a lot easier for you.
5. Give the kids a moment
It’s hard to hear a baby cry and not take care of it, but that’s exactly what you have to do! If you hear your baby crying in the crib, stop and wait a few minutes. You don’t have to help them; they may already be in the habit of crying just because they don’t want to go to bed yet.
Instead, wait a while. If the kids need a change or have lost their pacifier, you can come in. However, he or she may be able to fall asleep after a few minutes, which is a huge win.
6. Do not make eye contact
If your child looks into your eyes during sleep, they may think it’s time to wake up. If you have to enter the room for some reason, try to calm them down without looking at them and put them back without much interaction.
Reassure them, but don’t talk to them. Keep the room dark so it’s clear it’s not the time to be awake.
7. Give up fun
Kids can easily turn off their fatigue mode and go back to playtime. As a parent, it’s important to try to stay calm and collected when bedtime approaches.
The kids will try to get you to throw a giggle party, but now is not the time. Even if you feel guilty not playing with them, it will make both of your mornings much more manageable!
8. Avoid or prepare for diaper changes
Even if you know there’s going to be a mess in the morning, it’s helpful to skip diaper changes. These movements can trick your baby into thinking it’s time to wake up and play.
If unavoidable, have all necessary changing items available outside the bedroom. This practice will help you avoid spending too much time in the room looking for the items and you won’t have to turn on the light to find something.
9. Create a soothing environment
Soothing music can help drown out other sounds in the house and helps babies fall asleep faster. Choose a music player that has several different sound options so you can find out what your child likes best.
It could be white noise, water sounds or even a lullaby. Once they find something they like, play that noise in their bedroom before they go to bed.
10. Block out the light
A dark room is the best way to tell your baby it’s time to sleep. Also, if they happen to wake up in the middle of the night, they’ll know by the darkness that it’s not time to get up yet.
Find some light curtains that will block the light. As they get older, you can slowly open these curtains so they don’t get too used to total darkness.
This will help them sleep when they are in new environments that don’t have the same light-neutralizing curtains.
11. Recognize a tired baby
If you see any sign that your baby is feeling tired, whether it’s yawning or rosy cheeks, take action right away. Timing is of the essence when it comes to baby’s sleep, and if you miss your window, there’s a good chance you’re in for a busy night.
These little signs indicate that the body is ready for sleep, and taking immediate action will improve the chances that they will easily drift off to sleep. Waiting too long will make your baby overtired and the awakening hormones will start to kick in.
At this point, it may be too late for your baby to fall asleep without a fuss. You will quickly know your baby’s signs; just make sure both parents know the signs.
12. Reduce the temperature
People of all ages tend to rest better when they sleep in cooler temperatures. The thermostat should be between 68 and 72 Fahrenheit for your child to experience their most comfortable vacation.
Not sure if they are too cold? Many parents tend to feel their baby’s fingers or toes when taking their temperature. In most cases, these parts of the body will feel cold, but this does not mean that your baby is cold.
Check your baby’s chest temperature instead. This part of the body is the area that will tell you if they are comfortable or not.
13. Prepare the necessary things
A full diaper can mean a huge mess in your baby’s crib, but turning on the lights and trying to completely change the sheet is game over for a good night’s sleep. Instead, be prepared with essentials that are always at the ready. To do this, you can put extra sheets and diapers in a closet outside the bedroom.
You can also consider adding a waterproof backing between two sheets. If it gets messy, you can peel off the sheet and pad and still have a dry layer underneath. Preparation will make changing the sheet a quick and easy process and your baby will be back in bed in no time.
14. Label Team
Partners who can provide a solid 5 hours of sleep each night are critical to their overall health and performance as parents. To do this, the partners must work as a team every night, even though nursing is a one-man show.
Partners can wait their turn, changing or soothing the baby or whatever else is needed. Depending on work schedules, you can have a variety of “night shifts” so that everyone feels rested in the morning.
15. Lead the children to the pacifier
Many babies wake up at night simply because they can’t find their pacifiers. You can solve this problem by teaching your child to learn where he can find a pacifier by himself!
Simply place pacifiers in each corner of the crib, then spend each night guiding your baby’s hand to reach for the pacifiers in each corner. This practice will ensure that no matter how they twist and turn, they will be able to find the edge of the crib.
After about a week, they should know how to reach into the corners and find the pacifier on their own. This will alleviate the need for parents to enter the bedroom at all.
Better sleep for everyone
By following these tips, not only will the baby sleep better, but so will her parents! Consider incorporating these suggestions so everyone goes to bed on time and wakes up happy and refreshed.
Not every tip will work with your child, but it all boils down to patience and consistency. Work on an agreed upon routine and sleep schedule that works for everyone in the family.
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