Are you wondering why it’s so difficult to get your baby to go to sleep? Once your baby is sleeping does she seem to wake right after you put her down?
I definitely know the struggle. It can be pretty hard to get the baby to settle and then after all the hard work, it seems like their little heads pop right back up after 30 minutes, or even less. It can feel like a never-ending cycle.
If you’re hoping to get your baby on the right track and set up for sleep success, it’s important to make sure all of the proper foundations of sleep are in place so your baby can get great sleep!
Here are five ways you can help your baby with better sleep:
#1 – Provide a healthy sleep environment.
It’s important to provide your baby with a sleep space where there are no distractions from light or color and it should be a space designated for long-stretches of sleep.
#2 – Follow a schedule that is appropriate for your child’s age.
It happens quite often that babies are not following age appropriate schedules, not napping when they should, or the awake times that they are following are not developmentally appropriate. There are times where the number of naps that taken throughout the day aren’t enough which can result in an overtired baby. I’ll tell you a little secret, overtired babies often do just the opposite of what you think. You’d think if a baby was crazy tired, they’d sleep well during the night, but oftentimes, it’s just the opposite. An overtired baby sometimes will wake often during the night.
#3 – Put the baby down awake.
When babies are put down already asleep, they often wake up confused about how they got where they are. If a baby is used to being put to sleep by a parent or caregiver, they’ll begin to expect that when they wake between sleep cycles. Oftentimes we hope that our babies will learn to self-soothe, but if we help to get them to sleep, its likely that it’ll become a cycle, so that’s why it’s important that we put the baby down awake.
#4 – Use white noise.
A white noise machine can help your baby sleep well by drowning out other household noise. White noise is also great for providing similar sounds to the womb which can bring your baby comfort.
#5 – Learn what soothing methods work best and work through them.
Oftentimes a baby will get used to one method to get to sleep when they wake, but then you have to worry about what to do if that one thing isn’t available. It’s important to learn several soothing methods that will work for your baby such as re-positioning the baby in the crib, rubbing baby’s head, shushing near baby’s ear, and/or swaddling if it’s still appropriate for your baby’s age.
It’s important that you not give in to the one thing your baby has always relied on so you don’t create a sleep crutch or habit that will make it more difficult for your baby down the road.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to navigate your baby’s sleep. It’s important to remember that all babies respond differently and it’ll take some time to see progress.
Hang in there and do your best to have these five things in place:
- A healthy sleep environment;
- An age appropriate schedule;
- The baby is put down awake, not asleep;
- White noise is turned on;
- Soothing methods that work well for your baby.
We all wish for a miracle with our babies and sleep, but it takes time, patience and consistency. Take a moment to focus on the end goal – getting your baby on track to healthier sleep so you can get the sleep you need.