When I gave birth to my adorable little one, I was unaware that the nights might not be all that endearing. I secretly craved for a Harry Potter wand that I could use to say Baby-ium Sleep-iosa and cast a sleeping spell on my baby. I wish!
When I didn’t know whether to wind a watch or bark at the moon, I decided to speak to Elizabeth Day, a parenting consultant. She suggested the following bulletproof tips to lull my angel to sleep within minutes.
Sleeping tips for babies
Establish a routine
Newborn babies till the age of 6 months have not fully developed their circadian rhythm, which means they do not have a sleep schedule. Expose them to adequate sunlight during the day, regularize mealtimes and indulge in some mild noisy daytime activities.
Identify a soothing method
Babies like to be soothed either by rocking, swaddling or white noise. OK, I hear your argument about habit formation but let me tell you that until the age of 3 months, it is fine to hold or feed your baby to sleep.
Try the Dream feed
Dream feeding is the practice of filling your baby’s tummy right before bed-time so that everyone in the family can catch some extra zzzzs. Breastmilk is known to soften stress and anxiety in babies as hormones that encourage satiety moods are secreted during feedings.
Invest in overnight diapers
Wet diapers and frequent changes can be cumbersome. With the evolution of diapers, the market is filled with super-absorbent overnight diapers. Use these nappies for the night along with the application of a diaper rash cream to protect their skin.
Avoid eye contact
If your baby wakes up in the night, avoid making an eye-contact with him/her. Prolonged eye contact stimulates your little one and excites them out of the sleep. When you rock your baby, look in some other direction or simply shut your eyes because, more often than not, kids do imitate us.
Consider a pacifier
Some of my friends think otherwise, but a pacifier is a true blessing in disguise. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving the baby a pacifier during night-time sleeping. Several studies have found a lower risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in kids who use the binky.
Massage away to sleep
Who does not enjoy a gentle massage before bed, eh? Grab that baby oil and gently massage your baby using soothing strokes and a little pressure. Your touch, the massage, and subsequent relaxation will put your baby to sleep for a longer time.
Let your baby take naps during the day. Some experts have concluded that ‘sleep beget sleep’ in babies. If they get adequate rest during the day, they will easily retire to bed in the night. An exhausted baby will be crankier, and trust me that is the least you want after the whole day of grogginess.
Look for cues
Babies are evolved humans being who send out signals for everything they want. Look for cues when they are sleepy. They will either rub their eyes, suddenly become fussy or will simply yawn! Make sure you keep the ‘place of sleep’ consistent for a restful night.
Sleep training your baby is a difficult task that takes a toll on you. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself during the process. Move away from the staycation, catch up on some fresh air, indulge in mild exercising and eat healthy food. Take help from your partner in turns to lull your angel to bed.
Oh look, I can hear silence because my baby is sleeping. Let me enjoy this period while you try some of these tips to see what fits you well.
You will get through this. Good night folks!