words Al Woods
Many new parents feel their schedule, and sleep schedule, in particular, fall by the wayside after having kids. This can be a huge problem because inadequate rest and erratic schedules can lead to stress and tension that makes parenting even harder than it already is! It is important for new parents to find a way to carve out time for themselves so they can adequately care for their children.
1. Find out what your little one likes
One good way of finding what works for your baby involves discovering what sounds, smells, and tastes they respond to best when falling asleep. It may not take much at all either- many babies are perfectly happy being placed in their crib drowsy but awake so that they can look around at their environment. Some babies will respond well to a pacifier or a Snoo while others will find it more comforting to be held with a favorite toy or blanket. If your baby liked both a Snoo and a blanket, rent a Snoo blanket instead of buying one. It is more cost-efficient, as babies change sleeping habits and may outgrow their sleep favorites soon. Try different methods out for an appropriate amount of time and see what works best for both you and your little one. Getting your baby to sleep easily means you can catch up on your sleep as well, so it’s a win-win for the baby and you.
2. Avoid rocking the baby to sleep
Do not rock your little one back and forth for hours on end before bedtime in order to help them fall asleep; it is time-consuming and exhausting for both parties involved. Your little one may love the physical contact and the time spent with you, but it can become draining. The baby will eventually need to learn how to fall asleep on their own if they are going to be spending time in a crib or other place where there will not be an adult present. You can massage your baby while holding him. This works great for some people and helps the child feel loved and secure while sleeping well through the night.
3. Do not bribe them to sleep
Some parents think that it’s okay to bribe their children into sleeping by giving them a bottle or a toy as soon as they go to bed. It can seem like an effective way of getting your little one off to sleep quickly and easily, but what happens when the novelty wears off? You’ll need to move onto bribery number 2, which is never the best bet.
4. Experiment with the sleep-wake cycle
You may have heard that some babies do not want anything to do with napping during the day. If this is the case for you as a parent, try doing some experimenting around bedtime as well as nap time to see if changes need to be made. It may mean that your baby needs more sleep at night rather than during the day, or vice versa depending on your schedule. With experimentation, you can find what works best for both parties.
5. Put them to bed early
Newborns mess with our sleep schedules something awful, but we can turn the tables on them by putting them down early and keeping the house quiet before bedtime. It will be hard at first: mom and dad may not go to bed until 11 pm or midnight and that’s okay because your baby won’t know any different. But she WILL be used to coming to bed earlier and earlier as time goes on. Also, remember not to let them stay up all day. Sleep begets sleep and lack sleep can lead to a lifetime of problems for both you and your little one. Just like adults, babies need their rest and if they miss out on it, chances are they’ll be crabby the next day (and will cry more). Make sure that they get up early enough every morning so they don’t stay up past their bedtime!
6. Offer plenty of physical contact
If you find that your baby definitely needs to be rocked or held in order to fall asleep, then do not be afraid to do it! Cuddling with the infant is essential for both mental and emotional development. It can also help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because the heart rate and body temperature are kept at healthy levels throughout the night. Also, physical contact between the baby and you can give a soothing and calming effect, which can help you both to sleep soundly.
If you struggle with getting your baby to sleep through the night, try these simple tips to help them nod off as quickly as possible. Once your child is no longer an infant they will likely self-soothe which means you won’t have to keep such a close eye on them when they’re in bed. It will be easier than you think to get them into good sleeping habits and very soon, getting enough sleep will come naturally.