What happens 250 times every minute? Babies!
Every 60 seconds that go by, 250 babies are born across the globe. That means every year over 130 million adorable new faces come into this world.
The parents of these snuggly newborns, often find themselves facing new challenges, throughout their child’s development. Learning how to get a baby to sleep tends to be one of the biggest, and most emotional challenges, parents have to overcome.
Waking up 10 times every night, or not even going to bed in the first place, can make even the most confident of parents feel helpless. After all, nobody wants to watch their child struggle, and sleepless nights usually mean restless days.
Are you ready to start catching all of your z’s again? Read on to learn how to help your baby sleep through the night.
1. Bedtime Routine Tips
Do you have a consistent bedtime routine for your baby, or does it vary day by day? Oftentimes parents realize the secret of how to get a baby to sleep, is to create a routine.
Babies sometimes have a hard time falling asleep because they’re overstimulated. Having a predictable bedtime routine in place is a great way to let your baby’s brain know it’s time to rest.
Here are a few tips for creating a successful bedtime routine:
- Start with a bath or clean diaper
- Put pajamas on and swaddle
- Turn on ambient noise and lower lights
- Include calming activities
As you experiment with different bedtime routines, you’ll be able to find one that works perfectly for you and your baby. Your goal should be to create a sleep routine that’s both predictable and consistent.
Bathtime and Diaper Changes
Instead of waiting until your baby’s drowsy to give them a bath, do it while they’re still alert. Have bathtime be about an hour before bedtime. This would also be a good time to change their diaper and apply any lotions you want your baby to have on before bed.
2. Make a Soothing Atmosphere
About 30 minutes before sleep time, start creating a soothing atmosphere. Put your baby is comfortable pajamas, swaddle them, and dim the lights in the house.
Next, put on some ambient noises to help promote a soothing atmosphere. Choosing ambient noises like rainfall sounds, or baby lullaby songs, can calm your baby down.
You’ll also benefit from the relaxing atmosphere, soothing your nerves as well. Since babies are so in tune with their parents, your calm state of relaxation will help soothe your baby even more.
3. Timing Matters
A large part of how to get a baby to sleep depends on timing. Ideally, you should begin your baby’s bedtime routine at least an hour before you want them to go to sleep.
Yet, sometimes you’ll need more than an hour to successfully lull your little one to sleep. Here are some of the factors that can affect your sleep timeline:
- New visitors
- Baby’s temperament
- Your temperament
- Types of activities
- Amount of playtime
Your sleep timeline will greatly rely on your baby’s current temperament and the type of day they just had. A baby who’s been enjoying hours of playtime right before bed will take longer to unwind. Whereas a baby who’s spent the day snuggling with mom will be much easier to coerce into sleepy land.
4. Alleviate Stress
Your temperament will also go a long way towards helping or hindering your baby’s bedtime routine. Baby’s are incredibly perceptive and can sense when their parents are calm and peaceful.
If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, try to find a way to unwind before starting the bedtime routine. Spending a few minutes mindfully meditating, or walking around the block, can help alleviate the stress that builds up during the day.
5. How to Get a Baby to Sleep in a Crib
Sometimes restless nights are a sign that your baby’s ready to graduate to sleeping in a crib. Here are a few factors to take into account to determine if your baby’s crib ready:
Moving your baby over to a crib at the right time is a great first step towards long restful nights. Yet, graduating a newborn to a crib before their ready can be dangerous, and make bedtime even more difficult than it already may be. Instead of guessing if your baby’s ready, make sure by taking every factor into account.
6. Consider Your Baby’s Age
Typically baby’s between the ages of 4-8 months old are ready to sleep in a crib. After your baby’s in a crib, you should still consider sleeping in the same room as them or co-sleeping. Certain studies suggest that parents co-sleep with their newborn for at least the first 6 months and if possible up to a year.
7. Size and Weight
Is your baby outgrowing their bassinet? If so, they’re probably experiencing some discomfort while they’re trying to sleep. Once your baby isn’t able to comfortably fit in the bassinet, it’s probably time to have them sleep in a crib.
Notice Increased Mobility
How mobile is your baby? Are they already on the move, rolling over, and setting themselves up? Babies that have a high range of mobility are most likely moving around more often at night time.
Sturdy cribs are a safer alternative to bassinets that could tip over with all of the movement. The moment you start seeing your baby’s new abilities to move around, you should start the transition from bassinet to crib.
Handling Middle of the Night Wakeups
So far we’ve been discussing how to get a baby to sleep, in the evening before bedtime. Yet, what about all of those times your little one decides to wake up in the middle of the night? Should you have a routine for that as well?
When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, it’s usually a sign that they haven’t adjusted to their bedtime routine yet. Once your baby establishes a sleeping pattern, they’ll have an easier time sleeping through the night.
For the time being, you can help shorten the amount of time it takes your baby to fall back asleep by minimizing eye contact. If you ever find that your baby’s come awake in the middle of the night, try to avoid making eye contact.
Finally, if your baby keeps waking up in the middle of the night, make sure you’re doing what’s necessary to get the rest you need. Ready to find more ways to be a super parent and still have energy? Check out our parenting section right now!