It is a very common problem when babies have a hard time falling asleep and sleeping through the night. Hopefully, this article will help new parents to find a solution to this serious problem that affects whole families.
As a mother of three adorable kids (one of them is still a toddler), I know how hard it is for new parents to deal with sleep problems. All of my children, as babies, had a hard time falling asleep and sleeping through the night. After many sleepless nights me and my husband were depressed, exhausted and had a constant sleep deprivation. Babies of our friends had been sleeping through the night already, but not my firstborn daughter. Trying to find solution I read many books, looking for answers. I found many proven attitudes and time tested techniques which worked good with my babies. Here are some of them:
- You shouldn’t force a baby into sleep. Sleeping should be a pleasant state to enter and secure enough to stay in. Parent’s goal should be to help baby develop a healthy attitude about the sleep.
- Try to avoid advices that recommend letting your baby to “cry it out”, especially in the first six months. It can harm in developing sense of trust between baby and parent.
- Stay flexible, because none technique works all the time for all babies. If specific techniques aren’t working for your family, skip them. Every baby has different nighttime temperament. What doesn’t work one week may work the next. That is why it’s so important to follow your heart. Eventually you will find the best solution.
- Breastfed babies need to eat more frequently than bottle fed infants, usually every two to three hours. That prevents them from sleeping smoothly through the night until they are between three to seven months.
You can try the following sleep enhancers that worked for my children:
- Keep right bedroom temperature and humidity. Best are around 69 F and 50% of humidity. Dry air can cause stuffy nose and lead to increase incidents of allergies among the babies. All this can disturb baby’s sleep.
- When you put baby to sleep create darkness in a bedroom. Try not to turn on lights or TV while you are feeding her.
- It is very important to recreate a cozy, snugly environment similar to that in uterus where baby has spent nine months. So, if your baby seems to be uncomfortable in the crib, try to use a bassinet, a cradle, or a stroller to provide a snugger fit. Swaddling or wrapping your infant can make him feel more comfortable, secure and prevent from jerky movements which can wake him up. It is also helpful in calming some colicky babies.
- Try rocking your baby to sleep in a rocking chair. Walking with infant and massaging or patting her back while singing lullabies can be very soothing.
- Sometimes sleeping without background noise can be difficult, because during nine months babies are used to mother’s uterine sounds. So help your baby to fall asleep by turning on a fan, an air conditioning, a vacuum cleaner or a musical mobile that imitates uterine sounds like white-noise machine.
- Swinging can be helpful, especially with high-maintenance babies. A monotonous motion may be more sleep inducing then familiar routine.
- Another good alternative is driving in a car until baby falls asleep. Cold night air and constant motions help baby to calm down.
- For some babies it is helpful to put them into sling or carrier and wear around house. Rocking will help your infant to settle down.
- It is very important to create consistent bedtime’s routines. With familiar rituals babies go to sleep easier and sleep longer. For example, bedtime rituals of warm bath, massaging, rocking, feeding, singing and etc. can teach him anticipation and help to fall asleep.
Pay close attention to medical causes of sleeplessness. If you are tried all these techniques and nothing work for you be aware of different medical conditions that can interfere with sleep, such as Gastro Esophageal Reflux (GER), respiratory problems or various allergies. Discuss this with your pediatrician to find right solution. In the conclusion, all above techniques will not only help to get your baby asleep but also create a healthy, positive attitude toward sleep that lasts for lifetime. The baby will learn that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and secure state to remain. The right sleeping habits will make happy not only the baby but also the parents.