Sleep is very important for babies. They need at least 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day. Sleep deprivation can cause all sorts of problems, both in the short term and long term. Of course, getting a baby to sleep can sometimes be a challenge, as any parent will tell you. There can also be all sorts of different problems that you may encounter, for instance your baby insists on sleeping face down on their front.
Fear not, we’re here to help! Here are 10 baby sleep tips that will help you to ensure that your baby gets the best possible sleep, and you do too!
1. Use a Swaddle
Swaddling is one of the most effective ways to get your baby to sleep. The reason why this works so well is because it helps to calm them down, and they feel safe when wrapped up like this.
2. Keep Naps Short
It’s really easy to let your baby nap for longer than they should but napping for more than an hour or two can actually make your baby sleepy during the night. Make sure that you keep your baby awake for no more than 2 hours in the day between meals.
3. Create a Bedtime Routine
Your baby needs to know what time bedtime is to help them to settle. This means that they need to have some sort of routine, such as reading them a book or giving them a bath before helping them to settle down for the night.
4. Don’t Force them to Sleep
If your baby isn’t falling asleep easily, don’t try to force them to sleep. It can often lead to them waking up even more tired than they were before. Instead, just give them a cuddle, sing them a song, and then tuck them into bed. They should eventually fall asleep after you have soothed them for a while.
5. Don’t Leave Them Alone in Their Crib Straight Away
This might seem obvious, but if you leave your young baby alone in their crib, they’ll inevitably wake up. They may feel abandoned if you leave the room. Not only that, but when your baby is really young it’s also better for them to be close to you. It’s worth trying to get them to sleep in the room with you for the first year of their life. It can even help to reduce the risks of SIDS.
6. Use White Noise
White noise is great for babies who are having trouble settling. It can help to mask other noises such as traffic outside. You can buy white noise machines from Amazon or eBay. Alternatively, you could use a fan, radio, or television. Just make sure that whatever you choose has low volume.
7. Observe the Eat, Wake, Sleep Cycle
The eat, wake, sleep cycle is something that many parents find helpful. If your baby wakes up hungry, feed them. When they go back to sleep, wait until they wake again before feeding them. This way, they won’t become dependent on food to fall asleep. This is ideal for maintaining a routine later in their lives with regards to food.
8. Don’t Rush To Your Baby As Soon As They Make a Sound
When your baby makes a sound, don’t rush over immediately. Give them at least 5 minutes to see if they will settle on their own. Some babies will just be vocal for a couple of minutes after waking and will immediately sleep again. Like adults, they can even babble to themselves while they are sleeping. If they continue to stir then check in to see what’s wrong, otherwise you may potentially end up waking them for no reason.
9. Speak To Your Pediatrician If You Have Any Concerns
If you’re not happy with how your child is sleeping, speak to your pediatrician about it. There are certain things that you can do to improve your baby’s sleep habits, and your doctor may suggest a reason as to why your baby may be struggling to settle to sleep. For instance, your baby could have colic. As the baby’s mom, trust your instincts – you know them better than anyone else.
10. Look After Yourself
You’ve probably heard this advice before, but it’s important to look after yourself too. Try to relax and unwind before going to bed. Avoid watching TV or using social media late at night. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol. These substances can keep you awake all night long if you aren’t careful! It’s difficult to get sleep when you have a new baby, but it’s important for your wellbeing that you get plenty of sleep, even if you need to ask a friend or a family member to help you out so you can get to sleep for a while. They’ll likely be more than happy to spend some time with your little one!