One of the biggest struggles that all parents, both new and old, experience when they have a baby in the house is the significant lack of sleep. Since the baby is adjusting its sleeping schedule all the time, it can often wake up in the middle of the night. Therefore, a lot of parents would want to prepare for ways how to avoid this.
If this is something you want to avoid, try applying these seven parenting tips to help your baby sleep well.
Create a Calming Bedtime Routine
Even when your baby is still small, you should start creating a calming bedtime routine, which would give them positive associations with going to sleep. Your calming bedtime routine should be all about quieting things down, slow movements, and anything that would be relaxing. You don’t need to make them fall asleep immediately.
The bedtime routine should have steps all about slowing things down and are the steps leading up to the sleep time and not the actual sleeping time.
Creating a routine will make it easier for your baby to realize when it’s time to fall asleep. You should avoid making too many changes with the method, or it will make it harder for your baby to sleep through the night consistently.
If your baby has trouble sleeping at night or a little fussy, you might want to consider giving them a pacifier. Some parents have concerns about leaving a pacifier to get their babies through the night. However, giving your baby a pacifier when they sleep has significant benefits outside of letting them fall asleep.
The most significant advantage of letting your baby use a pacifier when sleeping is that it helps reduce their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Aside from that, it prevents them from rolling too far to their side.
Before you get your baby too dependent on the pacifier, you should make sure that you have a nursing routine already safe. Wait at least four weeks or so, but each baby is different, so base it on your personal experience.
Don’t Give Up on Swaddling.
Sometimes, your baby can wake up because of their startle-reflex or random jerks throughout the night. To avoid this, you should consider practicing your swaddling techniques. Even if your baby might not like it the first few times, you should still try things out. After all, their preferences can change quickly, especially as you get better with your swaddling techniques.
It would help if you also used other swaddling techniques to change things up. The benefit of a good swaddle is that it keeps your babies feeling secure, and they won’t get startled by their startle-reflex in the middle of the night.
Limit the Length of Daytime Naps
Sometimes, the daytime naps that your baby is taking might be making them too alert in the evenings. If it’s not making them too awake, they might be waking up in the middle of the night because they’re hungry. Therefore, you should limit how long your babies get to nap during the daytime.
At most, you should stick to two-hour intervals of sleep. If they’re exhausted, you can stretch it to two and a half hours. However, once the time is up, you should wake them up gently, entertain them for a bit, or even feed them.
Change Your Baby’s Diaper Strategically
When you change your baby’s Pampers or diapers, you should be strategic with the timing. Otherwise, you risk making your baby more alert and awake than they should be. Since changing their diaper requires you to move them around a lot, it’s going to wake them up, which is why thinking about when to change their diapers is crucial.
The best time to change your baby’s diapers during the evenings would be right before giving them their feeding in the middle of the night. When they wake up in the middle of the night hungry, you should first change their diapers before you feed them again.
Since they’re full again from their night feeding, they’re going to feel sleepier. If you move them around to change their diapers after they feed, it’s like you’re shaking them awake. That’s why you should do it before they feed.
Offer One Last Feeding
When it’s time for you to sleep, you should feed your baby before you go to sleep. Wake them up gently and give them one last feeding and then put them back to sleep, so that they’re less likely to wake up again anytime soon.
Since hunger can often wake them up in the middle of the night, doing a pre-emptive feeding might help avoid them waking up because of that. Keep Things Dark and Quiet at Night
When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you shouldn’t come into their room loudly, run to them, and turn on the lights. All of these steps will startle them more. Instead, use slow and gentle steps and hush them down and gently. If you want some form of light, night lights are a great option.
Keep your baby’s room quiet and dark. Some parents invest in a white noise maker, so their babies don’t wake up from every noise.
By applying these seven tips, you avoid the most significant challenge that homes with babies have, which is their babies waking up in the middle of the night. When your baby can sleep well through the night, it will also enable you to sleep well. As a parent, you want to be able to handle your baby and yourself, and sleep is crucial.
Therefore, being proactive in taking care of your sleep as well as your baby’s is essential.