In the first few weeks of the infant’s arrival, parents struggle big time to understand the baby’s sleep pattern. Making sure that the baby is sleeping safely is yet another task. There is so much to take care of! You sacrifice your sleep to wake the baby up every few hours and feed the baby. As the first few months pass by, it becomes essential to establish a proper sleep schedule for the baby. It’s not only necessary for you but also for the baby’s healthy sleep now and for the years to come.
Here are some recommendations for some common concerns which parents have when it comes to developing a positive sleep routine for your baby :
When should you start developing the baby’s sleep routine?
After two months of the baby’s birth, you would be able to predict their internal clock, and you could think of establishing your baby’s sleep schedule.
From the third month, their naptime, bedtime, and wakeup time would have a pattern. They would sleep and wake up at around the same time each day. You could choose to rock your baby to rest from the third month or train them to sleep on their own only after the baby is 4 – 6 months old.
What is a positive bedtime routine?
A positive bedtime routine is bringing the baby to sleep in a calm and composed manner such that the baby goes through a few soothing activities for about 20 minutes before getting drowsy or falling asleep. The idea is to create an environment that is relaxing and reassuring for the baby. It is possible that the baby’s sleep time is later than how you would like. In such a case, start with the routine a little earlier for some days and then move to your preferred time.
Some suggested activities for your baby could be :
- Bathing the baby
- Reciting a story or humming a song to the baby
- Letting the baby play with a simple toy.
- Playing some baby sleep music on a few days of the week.
Activities like these would calm the baby as they get ready to sleep. You can then lovingly cuddle them, whisper good night and make them fall asleep without a lot of hassle. If a moment arrives where the baby resists sleeping, you have to be a little stern. This practice would help your baby to develop good sleep habits for the future. Without establishing a favorable bedtime routine, it could become hard for the baby to be able to settle well and fall asleep.
How to establish a bedtime routine?
- Start with choosing a bedtime.
As you plan to establish a bedtime routine for your baby, you might also have the desired time in mind, which suits your schedule as well. However, directly establishing a time that is very different from the baby’s natural body clock should be avoided. Every baby has a different natural sleep time, so a one-fits-all time can’t work when it comes to deciding the sleep time. It is recommended to start with choosing a bedtime that is close to their natural sleep time. This increases the baby’s chance to get used to the routine that you are trying to set up for the baby.
- Move the bay’s bedtime towards your desired bedtime.
Once the baby gets used to a routine, you can then try to introduce a new bedtime to the baby. The baby might gradually adapt to your desired habit. You can start by preponing the bedtime by fifteen to twenty minutes each week until you achieve the preferred routine.
By way of example, your child has been falling asleep at 9 pm, but you need an 8 pm pregnancy. Here’s what to do:
- Start by putting your child to bed at 8.45 pm.
- Do this for two nights.
- Continue this gradual ‘evaporating’ process until your kid is going to bed at the moment you desire.
- Calm the baby with pre-routine activities
- Settle the baby until they fall asleep
- Gentle patting on the back might help some babies settle to sleep.
- In addition, there are other hands-on settling techniques you can try.
- For your baby’s safety, continuously roll her on her back to sleep. And do not pat if you’re upset.
Rhythmic, gentle tapping is a hands-on technique that can help settle infants into sleep. Here’s how to do it:
- Face your infant away from you, lying on his side.
- Place your hand softly on your baby’s shoulder.
- Cup flip side and pat your baby gently and slowly over the bottom or thigh.
- Create the patting as abbreviated as you can — for example, about precisely the exact same rate as your heartbeat.
- Sing a quiet, soothing tune to help you to find a rhythm. If you think singing might disturb your baby, sing or rely on your head. Or try saying ‘shhh.’
- Sleeping on her spine is the safest position for your infant. After settling, always gently roll your baby onto her back until you leave the space.
Other hands-on Possibilities for settling infant
There are a couple of other hands-on settling alternatives that you can try if patting does not seem to work together with your baby. These options all start with your baby in his cot:
- Put one hand firmly but softly on your baby’s hip, the other on her shoulder. Roll her onto her back as you feel that your baby relax and leave the room.
- Hold your baby firmly at hip and shoulder, and gently rock him back and forth.
- Gently stroke your baby’s forehead.
- Pat the mattress together with your baby.
- It’s still possible to try patting if your baby is crying. Babies will seem to reach a crying ‘peak’ before eventually settling off to sleep. It is OK to stop and give him a cuddle if your infant is quite upset.
Experiment and see what works for your infant. But after settling, always make sure your infant is lying on her back for sleep.
Sleeping in unfamiliar places: hints
It is usual for children to be unsettled when they’re sleeping in places while traveling. Here are
- Practice your usual bedtime patterns — for instance, brush teeth, read a story, have a cuddle and say good night.
- Dress your child in pajamas he’s used to.
- Maintain a low light on so your kid can work out where she is when she wakes in the evening.
- Make sure your child knows that you’re nearby. Show him before he goes to bed where you’re sleeping.
- If your child sleeps in a home in your home, check beforehand about hiring one at your accommodation. Otherwise, you may have to make your own travel cot.