Helping baby sleep at night

Tips to get your baby sleep throughout the night

Most parents with babies face one common challenge when it comes to baby’s sleep at night. Babies need to be fed every few hours or so as they have small tummies that need filling often. Newborns sleep around the clock as they cannot make out the difference between day and night. As babies grow, parents expect them to get sleep at night, but many babies cannot sleep at night. This leaves parents tired and exhausted in the daytime.

Why babies don’t sleep at night?

Like adults, babies need to learn how to sleep. Sleep regression is common in babies at 4 months. But it can happen at any time of their growth. Reasons for them not to sleep could be any of the following:

  • Baby is overstimulated by surroundings that are causing excitement and cannot keep calm.
  • Baby could be overtired and becomes fussy rather than drifting to sleep.
  • There is no set routine for feeding, bathing or to play with toys
  • Babies bed is not comfortable or there may be physical discomfort
  • As the baby grows, food habit needs to be changed. Improper nutrition affects a baby’s sleep
  • Baby’s room exposed to too much hot or cold settings

How to get baby to sleep throughout the night?

  1. Establish a routine to sleep: Setting up a bedtime routine will help the baby. It is never too early for setting up a routine. Soothing and calming activities and rituals for which baby responds will help to put the baby to sleep. For example, summertime taking a small stroll in the evening with baby during dawn will help. Singing lullaby is another way to put them in sleep. Turning on soft music every day before bedtime or nap time gives comfort and baby will know it is sleep time.
  2. Weaning the nighttime feeding: Depends on baby’s age weaning night feeding will help. Talk to your doctor and slowly reduce nighttime feeding. Slowly reduce the number of times of feeding over a few days or weeks at night.
  3. Daytime sleep: Baby’s will sleep in the daytime too. It helps them to grow. They just sleep around the clock when they are newly born. As they grow older the long stretch of sleep should be nighttime. If the baby sleeps long hours in daytime, then it disturbs or reduces their sleep at night. Up to three months babies might sleep longer hours in daytime. At 4-6 months sleeping patterns could change with probably 2 naps per day.
  4. Learn to be patient: During baby’s growth sleep regression can happen anytime and it will go back to normalcy after a few days. Parents must focus on baby’s sleep with the fact that sleep regression won’t last long.
  5. Learn baby’s sleep pattern: There are times at night baby’s will be in deep sleep and any sounds will not wake them. If you observe them you will notice when they enter deep sleep or what time they sleep light. To prevent waking them up during light sleep you might need to cautious not to disturb the baby.
  6. Create a calming ambiance: Make sure the room stays dark, the right temperature and add some soft sound to make them feel comfortable. Soothing sounds will make them fall asleep. Other noises that can cause excitement in the baby should be avoided or hidden or reduced.
  7. Bath, eating, and pooping schedule: These three daytime schedules of baby will make a difference at nighttime sleep schedule. Engaging baby in activities, slowing down activities, and putting them to sleep – all should be a routine in a baby’s life. These routines could change every few months with a baby’s growth.
  8. Notice the smallest things associated with baby’s sleep: Does baby needs burping after feeding. Whether room temperature is perfect, did diaper is soiled, does baby startle, is there any sound that disturbs baby, is there any creek sound in floor? – These are a few examples of small details that will help parents to put the baby to sleep.

In case the baby is not sleeping at all and crying most time, then you must consult your pediatrician to see whether the baby has any health issues. Generally, parents should know that baby’s sleeping cycle changes as they grow. Understanding baby’s needs and creating ambiance atmosphere in the room will help the baby to sleep.

Image credit: Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels (Free for commercial use)


Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: August 10, 2020

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