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Getting your baby to sleep can be a real minefield for parents. Get your baby into good sleeping habits with these 7 tips on how to get your baby to sleep:
1) Consistent Lighting Patterns
Keep your baby’s days bright and his nights dark and he’ll quickly figure out when it’s time to sleep. During the day, allow plenty of sunlight into the house or take him outside.
For daytime naps keep your baby in a well-lit room (unless he has trouble falling asleep at nap time).
To induce nighttime sleepiness, consider installing dimmers* on the lights in your baby’s room. You can also do the same in other rooms where you both spend lots of time. Lower the lights in the evening (up to two hours before bedtime) to set the mood.dimmers on the lights in your baby’s room. You can also do the same in other rooms where you both spend lots of time. Lower the lights in the evening (up to two hours before bedtime) to set the mood.
It’s fine to use a night-light in his room, but choose a small, dim one with a bluish tone that’s cool to the touch. If your child wakes up during the night, don’t turn on the lights or carry him into a brightly lit room.
2) Don’t miss the sleep wagon!
When you notice your baby is tired, drowsy or sleepy, put him down on his back in his cot to see if he will fall asleep of his own accord. If you miss the sleeping wagon, you will have to wait until the next one and it might take a while. Here are some signs that your baby’s drowsy:
- eye rubbing
- ear tugging or pulling
- fussing, whining and crying
- staring quietly and blankly into space
- turning away from the light, toys or people
- burying or rubbing his face in your chest
- yawning and stretching
3) Baby Wakes Up, Wait a Moment Before Going to Your Baby
If you jump at every squeak heard over the baby monitor, you’re only teaching your baby to wake up more often. Wait a few minutes to give him time to settle back to sleep on his own. If he doesn’t, and it sounds like he’s waking up, try to reach him before he escalates into a full-blown howl. Stepping in before a meltdown means you’ll catch him before he’s too worked up to fall back asleep.
Either way, it’s okay to turn down the sensitivity on your baby monitor. Set the volume so you’ll be alerted when he’s distressed but won’t hear every gurgle.
4) Give Your Baby a “Dream Feed”
If your baby has trouble sleeping, waking him up for a late-night feeding (between 10 p.m. and midnight, for example) may help him sleep for longer stretches.
Keep the lights dim and gently lift your sleeping baby out of his crib. Settle him down to nurse or take a bottle. He may wake just enough to start feeding, but if he doesn’t, gently nudge his lips with the nipple until he latches on. After he’s done, put him back to bed without burping him.
5) Try Not to Look Your Baby in the Eye
Many babies are easily stimulated. Just meeting your baby’s gaze can engage his attention and signal its playtime. If you go to your baby at night, don’t make eye contact, talk excitedly, or belt out his favorite song. Keep your gaze on his belly and soothe his back to sleep with a quiet voice and gentle touch.
6) Make Sure Your Baby’s Entire Team Knows the Drill
It’s quite important to tell everyone who helps out with your baby – grandparents, daycare teachers, sitters the ways to get your baby to sleep. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and heartache.
7) Consult if Prolonged Sleeplessness
Be aware that sometimes sleeplessness is a sign of teething or a medical problem.
Finally, be patient when getting your baby to sleep, trust your instincts and let things work out naturally, you’ll finally get through it!