One of the greatest challenges for any new parent is getting their child to sleep throughout the night. This is very difficult at first, as the child has to make a transition from sleeping with his mother to sleeping on his own. Like anything else in life, this isn’t something that happens instantly – it takes time for your child to learn how to do this. There are some things you can do, however, that will create a better environment for your baby to fall asleep in. While you ultimately can’t control when or how your baby sleeps, you can, in many ways, stack the deck in your favor. In terms of baby sleep tips, a good one is making sure that your baby spends his daytime hours in a relaxed and peaceful state.
Going from a state of being awake to one of sleep is a big transition, and one that requires some time. Most of us are probably familiar with the fact that the more “awake” you are when you try to go to bed the longer it will take to fall asleep – that is, the wider the gap in the transition between being awake and asleep, the longer it will take to achieve sleep. The same is true, of course, for your baby.
It is important, therefore, to encourage restful and peaceful days for your child. Particularly in the time leading up to bed, you want create an extremely relaxed and stress-free environment for your baby. By doing so you will be helping to create a situation for your baby where the transition from wakefulness to sleep is as easy as possible. If your baby spends much of his day being held and rocked and kept otherwise peaceful, it’s likely that this will carry though into the night, and he will fall asleep easily. If, on the other hand, your baby spends his day in stressful situations – if he is on his own a lot, for example, and has to cry for a while to be tended to – it’s likely that this will carry over into the night as well, making it difficult for him to fall asleep. Although it may seem a little strange, babies are like adults in that a stressful day will make it difficult for them to sleep – just keep in mind that your baby’s stresses are very different than yours, though no less valid in terms of a good night’s rest.
Another thing that sometimes helps to keep your baby in a restful state is the use of a baby sling. Babies who spend a large part of their day being carried in a sling often sleep better then those who don’t. Whether you use a sling or not, the general rule you should be trying to employ is to be with your baby throughout the day. Babies that spend a lot of time in the arms of their mothers are generally more relaxed and sleep better. Remember that when your baby is left on his own in his crib, it is often very stressful for him, and babies that spend their days like this often don’t sleep well.