Babies often get cranky and either refuse to sleep altogether or wake up during the night and start crying. This is where parenting seems to come to a halt.
Most people are terrified whenever their babies break the cycle of sleep and don’t seem to be that eager to quiet down. As a parent, it is crucial to know how to put your baby to sleep.
Research shows that no matter how hard a parent tries to correct the sleep behavior of the infant, there will be no results right away. It takes some time to bring the sleep of your baby back in order.
BeddingPal proudly presents this guide that talks about: Part 1: Quick and easy baby sleep methods. Part 2: How to deal with a less-known issue: sleep regression.
To put a baby to sleep, you first need to understand what it takes to accomplish this task successfully. At this point, you are a coach trying to teach a student the skills that he or she needs, you’ll be teaching sleep.
Here are some general guidelines on how to put them to sleep – and make sure they stay that way. Followed in this order, your baby will fall fast asleep in no time.
To get your baby to sleep, you first need to understand his/her sleep rhythm. Each kid needs a different amount of sleep depending on their age (a one-year-old will have different needs than a 3-month-old, for instance).
It may be very tempting to force your baby to only sleep at certain hours, but most of all, you need to learn how to go with the flow by reading your baby's sleep pattern. Look for the obvious signs like yawning, rubbing eyes, fussing, looking away etc. Shift their sleeping schedule according to when they seem to sleep most soundly.
Babies, especially newborns, don’t have a distinct sleep pattern; actually, they can go through seven separate cycles every day. To make sure they will fall asleep, try to keep the nap times short; if not, you’ll just end up waking up in the middle of the night because a certain someone just won’t stop crying.
Once you know the sleeping needs of your angel, create a pre-sleep routine. Do the same for the daytime naps. This bedtime routine will make them so accustomed to the cues that they won’t even try to fight them anymore.
The sleep routine could be any light activity. Some examples of this routine could be a bath, some soft music, a story and some dim lighting. Your baby’s body and psyche will recognize these elements, and will automatically enter into the “sleep mode.”
Make sure that the environment is also calm and quiet. You won’t be able to put them to sleep if your other kids are playing around in the same room. Also, you won’t need the room to be pitch dark; a night light would actually be helpful for making them fall asleep faster.
Check that the mattress of crib or bed of your baby is comfortable and that the room is at a good temperature. If the baby feels too hot or too cold, you won’t be able to make them sleep anytime soon.
Remember that feeling of sleepiness that we get once we’ve had a good meal? Well, babies are the same – ten times that. So to make sure they go to sleep soundly, you may want to stretch their last meal. No matter how hard you try , a hungry baby won't go to sleep.
Babies need to be fed every 2-3 hours, but a shift like this will surely help you a great deal. It will make them feel drowsy, and they will fall asleep right away – and stay that way.
Babies have different soothing preferences; some like being rocked or bounced to sleep while others are jolted awake by that movement. What worked like a charm for your friend’s baby may not work for yours, so you may want to experiment.
If he/she likes strong movements, try rocking him/her in your arms around the room. If not, try gently moving them around the room as you soothe their back. Discover the movement to which they respond best.
We get it, you love staring into those big, innocent eyes as they are falling asleep; however, this will only engage them and make them believe it’s playtime – and you can kiss their (and your) sleep goodbye.
To make sure the baby is not distracted, avoid looking straight into his eyes, talking excitedly with him, or humming out his favorite song. Instead, look at their bellies and soothe their backs to sleep while using a quiet voice.
There’s a common belief that babies will fall asleep easier if the room is pitch dark; however, installing lamps with dim lights may actually help the baby sleep even better than sleeping in a dark room.
Many babies that wake up during the night start crying because they are afraid of the dark; however, installing a night light will bring them a sense of security that will make them think “I’m protected.”
At the same time, a night light can become a cue for putting the baby to sleep. The moment they see the lights dim out, they will get that “It’s time to sleep” feeling.
As parents, our first instinct would be to put them down when they are already asleep. However, it’s more efficient to put them down when they are in that half-asleep state. This way, they’ll learn to fall asleep by themselves, and next time they won’t be as likely to get upset and confused.
If a baby wake up during the night, he doesn't have the cognitive abilities that are interconnected with going back to sleep on their own. This is the primary reason why they wake up and start crying like there’s no tomorrow. Some researchers claimed that this sleep regression could re-occur for up to one year.
You have to realize that sleep regression is a natural phenomenon and absolutely every baby will experience it. There is no need to be irritated. Now let’s see how to deal with it effectively.
In the first three months of his/her life, your baby starts to get accustomed to the natural/normal way of getting sleep. It is also when sleep regression begins to rear its head and incidentally ruin your own sleep cycle since you have to wake up more often than not and take care of your upset baby.
It has been proven that certain neurotransmitters account for the regulation of sleep. It goes without saying that these neurotransmitters are not developed in infants. Of course, as one may expect, they develop during the sleep regression period. Here are some guidelines on how to help your baby sleep properly when he/she is 1 to 3 months old:
Fortunately, babies tend to overcome sleep regression when they hit the 4-month mark. Their bodies are accustomed to tending for themselves, and they are now able to wake up, look around and fall asleep immediately afterward.
A study that has surfaced in the AAP News & Journals has found that when babies are 4 or more months old, they sleep better in their own rooms than those who sleep with their parents. At this age, most babies have to sleep up to 15 hours out of 24. Here are the steps you must follow in putting your baby to sleep when he/she is between 4 and 7 months old.
Your baby is getting closer to his first birthday, and this has tremendous implications. As Michelle Lampl and her colleague, Michael L. Johnson found in their study, the growth itself is correlated with a change in the sleeping patterns.
To put it briefly: the more your baby grows, the more settled his sleep behavior will be. Now, at 8 to 12 months, the child has already developed his habits in regards to getting rest. He does not cry as much anymore, and neither does he wake up a couple of times per night. There are fewer practices that you need to follow now:
The hassle is almost over, and things have gotten easier than ever. Now the baby sleeps safe and sound on his own, doesn’t wake you up at 2 AM screaming for you, and all in all, everything’s better for everybody. The steps are easier, too:
Putting your baby to sleep may be very difficult in the first few months – and you may not get a lot of sleep yourself because of it. However, with the right routines and hacks, you may be able to get your first good night’s sleep sooner than you thought.
Also, sleep regression in infants takes a huge toll on parents. The most important thing is to keep your calm.
Babies are difficult until they develop their cognitive functions. Each and every one of us has been a child, and our behavior was not different at all.
You don’t have to worry excessively or try to force things/speed them up. Babies will follow the natural course of events, and before you know it, they will be able to sleep on their own.
I am a big advocate that having great sleep is something everyone deserves. With over 10 years of experience in this field, I would love to use this platform as a means to help you achieve a good night's sleep.
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