An Expert's Tip On How To Make Your Baby Sleep
Are you looking for ways to get your baby to sleep, here are 6 expert tips!
Caring for a newborn is quite demanding for new mums, who sometimes can't wait for the baby to fall asleep so that they can grab some much-needed rest. Unfortunately, babies are unpredictable. Which means that new mums will sometimes find themselves in a position where they've done their best to put their baby to sleep but it just isn't working. Find out how to make baby sleep.
How to make a baby sleep in minutes
It is very true that you can't force a child to sleep anytime you just feel like it, but there's a lot you can actually do to help them along and to find their sleep rhythm. Below are some of those things you can do to help your baby sleep:
- Use light decisively
You could use light and darkness as a strategy to induce sleep in your baby, the same way the adult body begins to wake itself at first light and associates darkness with sleep. According to Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution, "Lights push your child's biological 'go' button." While darkness causes the brain to release melatonin, a sleep hormone. So keep your child's day bright and nights dark to help him sleep.
- Put your baby to bed when she shows signs
Put your baby to bed when she begins to show signs of sleeping such as drowsiness and not when she's already asleep. This isn't especially easy to do for mums who are breastfeeding. But things will get easier for both parties if you master the timing. The advantage of doing this is that your baby will master the act of drifting off to sleep by herself. So whenever you notice that she's getting quiet and drowsy, put her to bed and let her go the rest of the way.
- Avoid going to your baby immediately
Your baby will sometimes wake up in mid-sleep and this is only natural. However, avoid jumping up and going to her every time you hear the baby monitor. Instead, give her some time to settle back down and go back to sleep on her own. But if that doesn't happen after a few minutes, you have to try and get to her quickly before the situation escalates into full-blown crying. The reason you should master this timing is that always getting to her too quickly would teach her to wake up more often, while leaving it too late might make it hard for her to go back to sleep.
- Avoid meeting the baby's eye
Babies get stimulated when they meet another's eye, which is some sort of signal to play. According to Claire Lerner, senior parenting adviser at Zero to Three, parents who make eye contact with sleepy babies inadvertently encourage them to snap out of their sleep zone. "The more interaction that takes place between you and your baby during the night, the more motivation she has to get up," she said. So when you go to your baby at night, try not to make eye contact, talk excitedly or sing a song.
- Slow down on diaper changes
You may always feel the need to change your baby's diaper every time he wakes up, but try and resist such urges. The baby doesn't always need it and you may end up shaking the baby awake. Instead, sniff first to be certain the baby needs a change and then use warm wipes to avoid jolting the baby out of sleep.
- Feed the baby well
A late-night feed can help your baby sleep for a longer stretch of time. The best time to do that would be between 10 PM and midnight. To do this, gently lift the baby, then settle him down and nudge him a bit if he's not awake enough to feed. Sometimes you may be lucky to find that the baby is already awake enough to feed without nudging him. When you're done, put the baby back in his crib but don't burp him.
There may come a time when the baby might start waking up in the night, and this shouldn't make you panic. This is normal with toddlers, especially when there's a change in routine, travel, or illness. The remedy for this is to go back to basics and stick to your normal routine the way it was from the beginning.