Home Skin Baby & Mothers Sweet Dreams, Little One: 8 Tips for Ensuring Your Baby Sleeps Soundly!

Sweet Dreams, Little One: 8 Tips for Ensuring Your Baby Sleeps Soundly!

Sweet Dreams, Little One: 8 Tips for Ensuring Your Baby Sleeps Soundly!

While the birth of a baby can be exciting in many ways, it’s also filled with challenges. Raising small human beings is hard work. And it’s especially hard in the early days, when you’re exhausted and sleep-deprived. But don’t worry: this sleepless phase won’t last. This, of course, will pass, and thanks to the baby sleep tips we give you in this article from The Dermo Lab, you may even manage to get some Zzz’s in.

1. Establish a bedtime routine

Establishing a bedtime routine is a key step in helping your baby fall asleep. One of the ways a baby learns that it’s time to go to sleep is through cues in the environment. About 30 minutes before bedtime, reduce noise and dim the lights.

Good lighting is essential as it helps regulate the baby’s internal clock. The brain associates light and darkness with being awake or asleep. Dimming the lights at night and exposing your baby to bright light in the morning will facilitate this process.

Once you’ve reduced the stimuli, you can introduce other soothing rituals, such as a warm bath, nursery rhymes or lullabies, and stories told in a low voice. The night-time ritual should be introduced as soon as possible, ideally between 6 and 8 weeks. Be consistent – do the activities in the same order every night – so that your baby learns what to expect.

2. Don’t rely on soothing methods

Try putting your baby to bed asleep but awake. Why is this? If you put your baby in his crib when he’s already asleep and he wakes up during the night – which happens to all human beings – he won’t recognize his surroundings and will need your help to get back to sleep. By putting him to bed in a drowsy state, you’ll help him learn to calm down and, above all, to go back to sleep.

By 5 months of age, most babies can fall asleep on their own, and if you keep doing it for them, you’re keeping them from falling asleep. Start in the early months to practice putting your baby to sleep awake, at least once a day – usually the first nap is the most successful. 

3. If you need artificial lighting at night, use bulbs (or filters) that block blue wavelengths

If you eliminated all sources of electric and electronic light at night, you and your baby would probably find it easier to sleep. But for most of you, total blackout isn’t a realistic option. What can you do when you want to indulge in nocturnal activities, such as reading? What do you do when you need to change a diaper?

Fortunately, not all light wavelengths have the same effect on the internal clock. Yes, white light (emitted by fluorescent and incandescent bulbs) disrupts sleep, and young children are particularly sensitive to it. But it seems that one component of white light – the blue part of the spectrum – is responsible for a large proportion of the problems. If you can block out this part of the light spectrum, you could minimize the negative effects of night-time light exposure.

A low-wattage amber bulb can protect your baby from blue wavelengths while providing enough light for you to look after your child at night. Similarly, blue-light filters can reduce the sleep risks associated with night-time viewing of electronic screens. 

4. If your baby doesn’t seem sleepy at bedtime, don’t try to force him to fall asleep

Insistence doesn’t make babies sleepy. On the contrary, it makes them more excitable. And you don’t want your baby to associate bedtime with conflict. 

5. Stick to an early bedtime

When getting a baby to sleep, time is just as important as routine. After a few months, babies see their levels of melatonin rise, a sleep-inducing hormone that the body releases when it’s time to sleep, meaning they’re ready to go to bed early, along with the sun. If, on the other hand, you keep them up late, they’ll be overstimulated and harder to get to sleep.

Melatonin levels rise around sunset, but given that sunset can occur any time between 4:30 p.m. in winter and 8:30 p.m. in summer, stick to the clock and put your baby to bed between 7 and 8 p.m. for best results. If the sun is still out, close the blinds.

A good sign of sleepiness is when your baby becomes quiet – less active, bored, or simply staring off into the distance. Don’t mistake this behavior for joy at being awake. Seize the moment and start your bedtime routine. Baby’s internal clock tells him when to be awake and when to go to sleep, and you need to reinforce this process.

6. Eliminate daytime snacking

Sleep and nutrition go hand in hand. In the first eight weeks, a baby should be fed on demand every two to three hours. If he wants to eat every hour or so, he may not consume enough at each session. Keep a 24-hour record of how many ounces a bottle-fed baby takes and at what time. For a breastfed baby, record the number of minutes he feeds at each session.

If he eats for 20 minutes at night, but only five or ten minutes during the day, he’s just nibbling. And he’s not filling his belly enough to sleep through the night.

On the other hand, if your baby eats well during the day, he should be able to sleep for four to six hours at night at around 2.5 to 3 months of age. He’ll soon get used to sleeping longer at a time.

To help your baby eat more efficiently, try to space out his meals so that he’s really hungry each time. Don’t neglect burping either.

7. Take naps seriously

A well-rested child will sleep better than one who is too tired. It sounds counter-intuitive, but skipping a nap (or keeping a baby up late) in the hope that he’ll sleep longer at night simply doesn’t work. That’s why regular daytime naps are essential to help a baby sleep through the night.

At the age of 2 months, a baby’s optimal waking time is only about 90 minutes between sleeps, which goes by very quickly. He won’t have the tolerance to stay awake longer until he’s 4 or 5 months old. Keep an eye on the clock, as it’s not easy to detect your baby’s tired look.

8. Stop thinking too much about sleep

We get it: When you’re not getting enough sleep, all you can think about is a good night’s rest. But if possible, try to resist the urge to research “how to get a baby to sleep” every night. Information overload leads parents to try a million different things, which doesn’t promote consistency or confidence. Children thrive when they know what to expect.

Trust your instincts and give the techniques you choose a chance to work. It may take several tries (or days or weeks) for your baby to develop good sleep habits, but if you persevere, he’ll get there. Ultimately, we recommend that you give your baby the opportunity to practice falling asleep, and give him a little space to show off his abilities.

Last Updated on April 17, 2024

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