Many parents have the erroneous belief that if they don’t use the latest technique to get their baby asleep, it won’t work. Unfortunately, complicated or latest doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Here are 3 better choices for getting your baby asleep.
Where Your Baby Goes To Sleep
It is quite normal for parents, and in particular first-time parents to allow their baby to fall asleep wherever they want to. Sometimes of course, it may seem like a godsend if they fall asleep at all and you would be happy for them to just sleep anywhere!
However, allowing your baby to fall asleep while breast-feeding, in your arms, or even in a pushchair in your living room could be what is causing their sleep problems.
You may well be asking how this could possibly cause sleep problems?
Well, quite naturally, when your baby goes to sleep somewhere that is not his or her bedroom, you will then move them to their crib or cot so they can continue sleeping peacefully.
But when your little one then wakes during the night, as most babies do, they will suddenly find themselves in different surroundings to what they expected… and this can be very unnerving and scary for them.
So, your best bet on location is for your child to fall asleep in the same place as he or she will spend the night. All children wake briefly many times during the night… this is perfectly normal.
If they wake in the same crib, in the same room, with the same lighting, and the same sounds, as when they fall asleep, they will slip back into sleep much more easily.
Develop a Proper Bedtime Routine
Going to sleep is a habit. And a consistent bedtime routine helps your child develop this habit.
Typically, a good Pre-Toddler’s Sleep Routine will go something like this: Take a bath, have a bottle or breastfeed, burp and cuddle a bit until tired, lay in bed while still awake… and sleep.
If your child is a newborn, washing his or her face and hands may replace a full bath.
For a toddler, the routine may be a little different. The need for a pre-bedtime feeding is gone. Toddlers also need more mental stimulation, so stories or lullabies are often a good bet.
Whatever you decide to include in your baby’s bedtime routine is entirely up to you. A bath is a good starting signal for the routine, some element of relaxed cuddling is helpful, and most of the rest is based on what you need to get done for your child.
But, the most important thing is that when you’ve developed a sleep routine for your child it is very important to keep the routine consistent and to follow it night after night after night.
This consistent routine will help your child to quickly develop a regular sleep pattern.
Naps are under appreciated tools in the quest for an easy bedtime. While they obviously don’t happen at bedtime, they can significantly help or hinder your bedtime experience.
The three main points to keep in mind with naps are: how many naps, how long the naps are, and when they occur.
Naptime should occur at roughly the same time of day. If a nap is too late in the day, your child will have problems falling asleep because he or she is not tired.
Try to encourage naps in their own crib if possible. If not, use the same place every day.
Lastly, naptime can serve as a good starting place for building nighttime sleep patterns. If your child is at home in the daytime, you can start to implement the right sleep habits at naptime before trying them at bedtime.
Babies (just like adults) really are creatures of habit and quickly learns that their bedtime routine means it is time to sleep. The best chance of quickly and easily getting your baby asleep is then to develop and stick to a such simple bedtime routine.