The 1st year: 4 tips to TRY and help your baby to sleep through the night
Baby keeping you up at night?
We know that feeling all to well. But the good news is that the old saying is true – this too shall pass.
In the meantime, there are some tricks you can try to make your baby snooze that little bit longer at night.
Most babies will start sleeping for longer streches during the night once they reach the six month mark (or so).
However, even before that, many babies can begin to learn how to fall asleep (and stay asleep) for a decent stretch of time.
Or, at least, to an extent.
Here are four tips to help you out.
Put together a bedtime routine
Melatonin, the sleep hormone, isn’t fully produced by infants until at least nine to 12 weeks - which means they don’t have a “schedule” until then.
During the newborn stage, expose your baby to plenty of light during the day and wake him up for a feed if he has slept for three hours or more during naptime.
Afterwards, begin to introduce an evening ritual: a bath, story time, soft music and dim lighting are all successful methods parents have used.
Put your little one down while they are drowsy
Paediatrician Peter Nieman told Today's Parent:
“Instead of waiting until she’s out, put her down when she’s almost asleep."
Letting your little one fall asleep on their own is incredibly important to help them snooze for longer stretches.
Especially since if they wake and notice things aren't the same as when they dozed off, like that they are no longer being rocked in your arms, they may get confused and upset.
Keep the lights off
Babies need to learn the difference between night and day - so if they wake during the night for a feed or they need to be changed, keep the lights dim or opt to nurse in bed.
Try a dream feed
If you wake your baby for a feed before you go to sleep yourself, you will fill your baby’s tummy and everyone in the family may get a bit more sleep.
If you want to give it a go, try it for three days and see if your baby sleeps longer at night.