Babies are a bundle of joy, but their erratic sleep patterns can be a source of frustration for parents. If you find yourself struggling with a baby who has trouble falling asleep at night, rest assured that you are not alone. Many parents struggle with the same challenge.
According to SleepFoundation.org, infants and toddlers need 12-15 hours of sleep every day. Some of these hours are covered by naps, while most of them have to be covered at night. This, of course, is easier said than done. Getting your baby to stay asleep can be painstakingly difficult.
The good news is that there are several effective strategies you can try to help your baby establish a healthy sleep routine. In this article, we will explore some of the most practical tips that can assist in getting your little one to fall asleep peacefully and enjoy a restful night.
Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is one of the most crucial aspects of helping your child fall asleep at night. Babies tend to thrive on predictability. That means maintaining routines for various activities can help them get used to it and follow it consistently. The same goes for your child’s sleep routine.
A set routine signals your baby’s body that it’s time to wind down and get ready for sleep. For that, you need to plan a set of calming activities that can create a soothing environment for sleeping.
These can include things like a warm bath, gentle massage, reading them a bedtime story, and so on. Repeating the exact routine, or one with minimal changes, at the exact time every day will help you easily establish a consistent bedtime routine for your baby.
Keep Digital Screens Away
Don’t get your baby hooked to screens like TVs or mobile phones. CNN reports that children exposed to screens can develop impaired emotional well-being later in their lives. Besides, such early exposure to screens can also hamper their sleep routine and quality of sleep.
SleepFoundation.org states that blue light coming from screens can suppress melatonin production in children. Melatonin is one kind of hormone that promotes feelings of sleepiness. As its production is hampered, children will feel less sleepy, and eventually it will mess up their sleep routine.
Thus, whatever you do, don’t expose your baby to screens from an early age. It will only worsen the problem of your child not falling asleep at night.
Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
The sleep environment plays a vital role in helping your baby fall asleep. Ensure that the nursery or room your baby sleeps in is conducive to a peaceful slumber. Keep it dimly lit and free from distractions. Use blackout curtains to block out excess light, and consider using a white noise machine to drown out any external disturbances.
Pay attention to the temperature, ensuring it’s neither too hot nor too cold, and dress your baby in comfortable sleepwear. You should also use a firm and safe crib mattress to create a sense of security and comfort.
Talk to a Child Sleep Consultant
According to Kath Garwood, a sleep consultant in Bristol, sleep training can help develop healthy sleep habits in babies. For that, you have to reach out to the right child sleep consultants and work with them to work out the reasons for your child’s poor sleep quality and how you can work on it.
As explained by Sleep Easy, sleep training can introduce your child to a healthy and consistent sleep routine. Working with a child sleep consultant, you will get access to various tools and knowledge that will help you overcome any issues related to your child’s sleep problems. As you tackle those challenges head-on, you can get your child to sleep on time at night and also enhance their overall quality of life.
Implement a Daytime Routine
Babies’ sleep patterns are interconnected, and daytime routines can significantly impact nighttime sleep. Ensure that your baby is receiving adequate daytime sleep to prevent overtiredness. Establish consistent nap times throughout the day, maintaining an appropriate balance between awake time and sleep.
An overtired baby may find it difficult to settle down at night. Be mindful of your baby’s individual sleep needs and adjust the daytime routine accordingly.
Implement Gradual Changes If Necessary
Remember that change takes time, and it’s best to implement modifications gradually. If your baby is accustomed to a specific sleep routine, sudden changes may cause resistance and make it harder for them to fall asleep. Instead, make small adjustments to their routine over time.
For example, gradually shift bedtime earlier or adjust the duration of nap times. Taking a gradual approach will allow you to help your baby adapt to the changes without causing unnecessary disruptions.
As a parent, getting your child to sleep at night can be a challenging task. However, as you can tell from the points discussed above, if you follow the right procedures, this task doesn’t have to be challenging at all. If you can ensure what you’ve learned so far from this post, rest assured that you can get your baby to fall asleep at night without any sort of struggle.