When you become a parent, it’s a given that you will be a tad sleep deprived. Sadly, for some, things can start to tip you over the edge. A good night’s sleep for your baby means a good night’s sleep for you, and even though it can feel impossible, you won’t want to give up just yet.
Just when you think that nothing will work, here are some sleeping tips for parents who’ve tried everything.
Add Some White Noise
While you don’t want anything too loud near your baby, you must remember that they spent nine months in the womb sleeping despite all the noise around them. White noise apps are great for playing soothing sounds, as well as normal everyday sounds, that babies are used to sleeping through. Failing that, a ceiling fan can also make a good white noise generator to help your baby sleep easier at night.
Give Swaddling A Try
You know that feeling you get where you’re falling during a dream and you wake yourself up? Babies get it too. It’s easy for babies to wake themselves up with a startle, but swaddling can change that. Swaddling helps babies to get to sleep and help them stay asleep for longer. There are special blankets available now that make swaddling easy, helping to keep your baby snug throughout the night.
Don’t Be Afraid To Start Over
If your baby is having trouble sleeping during the day and throughout the night, it might be worth going back to square one to help them get back into a sleep routine. Focus on establishing a good sleep pattern, and be sure to sleep when they’re sleeping too. It might mean adjusting your own routine for a couple of weeks, but it will be worth it to get your baby back to a normal sleeping pattern.
Tackle Teething Troubles
Teething can be a miserable time for babies, making it a miserable time for you too. If you suspect that your baby is showing teething signs and symptoms, then you should try to ease their pain to help them sleep better at night. There are over the counter treatments you can try to ease discomfort, or you could give them teething aids to help with the soreness. A cold washcloth to gnaw on is something else that you could give your baby to help alleviate their symptoms.
Get Some Blackout Curtains
Like adults, babies need the right environment to help them sleep, especially as they get older. Blackout curtains are a worthwhile investment, as they’ll block out the light while eliminating any drafts too. Try them to see if they help your baby to sleep longer, especially in the summer when the sun rises earlier.
“Focus on establishing a good sleep pattern, and be sure to sleep when they’re sleeping too.”
Try A Sleep Dance
Some babies need a bit of extra comforting to help them sleep at night. Why not dance slowly with your baby in the dark to help calm the baby down, and ease the baby to sleep? You could even opt for some slow, soft music to help get them into a new sleep time routine.
Cut Down On Naps
The number of naps that babies need changes as they get older. If your baby is struggling to sleep through the night, then you might want to try reducing their naps during the day. Take a look at a guide to naps at different ages to help you work out where you should be. Try reducing naptime by half-an-hour to see if it makes a difference with the nighttime sleep routine. But know that the amount of sleep they will need will vary and some days they will need a longer period of time for their nap.
Take Them Out
Some babies fall asleep easily when out and about. Going for a drive, a walk in the stroller or strapping them to your chest can also help your little one to fall asleep. If you manage this successfully, you’ll be able to run errands while making sure your baby gets some sleep at the same time.
Establish A Routine And Stick To It
Babies can respond well to a routine, but it’s important that you keep at it to help the routine stick. Try doing the same thing at the same time before each nap and each night before you put them to sleep. Keeping your baby’s bedtime routine consistent, even between different family members who might look after your baby, will help them recognize when it’s time to sleep and get them into some good habits. Nail the bedtime routine and you’ll get the chance to put your feet up and relax too!
Sleep In Shifts
With waking at all hours of the night, your baby’s sleep pattern can be out of your control. If you can, try sleeping in shifts with your partner to allow one of you to get some uninterrupted rest for a while. It’s not always the most welcome solution, but the important thing to remember is that it’s not forever – things will normalize eventually.
Try Baby Massage
Some parents swear by baby massage to help them get to sleep at night. It helps the two of you to bond, while also helping the baby to relax before bedtime. A gentle massage might even help provide relief for things like constipation, colic or teething and help them to pass wind too. This is something that dad can get involved with as well to help improve bonding through skin-to-skin contact.
A lack of sleep for you and your baby is one of the worries you might face as a new mother. However, sleep problems are completely normal, and most parents find it a challenge to get their babies into a good sleep pattern. Persevere and things will soon normalize. If you’re particularly concerned, contact your doctor to rule out any underlying causes of sleep troubles. Good luck and remember, it does get better!