It may be one of the most daunting tasks as a parent of a newborn: getting your baby to sleep. You know before ever even getting pregnant that having a newborn equates to sleepless nights.
While the first parts of your baby’s life, it may feel like it is a never-ending cycle of random naps and up-all-nights. As the month’s pass, there are ways to help your baby sleep so you can, too!
Establish a routine
While it may take some time for your newborn to understand the concept of bedtime, establishing a routine is always a positive. They will grow to learn the routine as they develop, which will make your life a lot easier.
Do the same thing in the same order every night in a way that best suits your schedule.
Make a game of it
Tickle their tootsies, sing a lullaby. No matter what you choose to do, make a ‘thing’ of it. Something fun that they look forward to but also something that they will eventually register as nearing bedtime.
If you sing, “You are my sunshine” every night before you put them down, they will equate the song to sleeping.
Make sure they have a full belly
One extra feeding before bed will only help them sleep longer. When they are changed and dry, fed and full—the likelihood they will have extended sleep schedules is pretty good.
A bottle or breast before bed may help them doze off as well.
Don’t overuse soothing tactics
Babies really enjoy being coddled to sleep. Rocking didn’t become a traditional custom without good reason. But as babies age, they need to be bounced or rocked to sleep lessens. Eventually, they learn to fall asleep on their own without the extra assistance.
If you over-soothe extending 5 months, you may actually be hindering their capability of falling asleep alone.
Schedule day time naps
Having a routine nap schedule can help as well. If you don’t let your baby nap after a certain time each day, it can help them fall asleep at approximately the same time each night. If you limit the length of naps, this can be helpful as well.
They will grow accustomed to the length and time of the naps, creating a much likelier probability of sleeping longer during night hours.
Wind down together
Each night, you can make a practice out of slowly winding down with your baby. Quiet the noise around you earlier. Start adding calming elements like low light and white noise. That will help alleviate any heightened stimuli, creating a peaceful atmosphere to fall asleep in—and stay asleep.
Getting your little one to sleep may prove difficult, especially during the first year. But just remember that the more consistent your method, the quicker you will see results. Get on a routine that works best for you and follow through with it every day. You will be seeing outcomes in no time!