The joy of becoming a parent is one of the most beautiful emotions you’ll ever feel. And while the feeling of fulfillment keeps growing as you’re getting more connected with your baby, you’ll soon see the other side of the medal – parenting requires a lot of sacrifices. One of the first checkpoints of how ready you really are to make this sacrifice is the issue of sleep. Some babies are tight sleepers, others have a light sleep, but most babies wake up a few times during the night. Here’s what you can do to increase the chances that your baby sleeps longer and tighter.
Pre-sleep and night meals
No matter if you’re breastfeeding or you’re feeding formula to your baby, it’s important to cater to his or her pre-sleep and night need for food.
You’ll often hear that newborns need to eat every three hours. While this could be true for some babies, it doesn’t mean that you should force your baby to eat when he or she isn’t hungry. As opposed to that, if you see the signs that your baby could eat, don’t hesitate to give her food.
In line with that, you should feed your baby before sleep and check if she’s hungry every 3-4 hours during the night. When babies are full, they don’t wake up that much. Well, they don’t wake up due to hunger but they could keep waking up for other reasons.
Burping for stomach relief
Some babies have to burp after each and every meal and others can sleep well without burping.
While this is an individual thing, parents are advised to make their baby burp whenever it’s possible. When a baby burps, she relieves the tension in her stomach.
As a result, she won’t feel as tense and nervous as she could if there’s no burp.
Because of that, parents should tap the baby on the back after each meal, until they get the burp.
Since some babies can’t belch the air that easily, it’s necessary to learn some additional techniques for an easy burp. It might take some time to practice those options but you’ll feel proud when you master them and make things easier for your baby.
What’s more, many babies have trouble with colic. In order to help your baby ease up these issues, you can give her a belly massage and prepare some caraway tea. While these two remedies can improve the situation with colic, they can last for months, so get equipped with enough patience if your baby can’t sleep because of the colic.
Also, if you want to hire a nanny or a governess, share these techniques with them and insist that they do the same when they’re alone with your baby. That will ensure a certain routine when it comes to sleeping and babies love routines.
Changing the diapers
Your baby will keep waking and crying if her diaper is wet. While this is a logical thing to do, parents could forget to check the diaper, especially if they haven’t slept well several nights in a row.
During the first few months, changing the diaper before putting the baby to sleep and then again in the morning should be enough. They don’t produce that much diaper content in this initial stage of their lives.
However, as they become older and start eating solid food, you can start changing the diaper during the night, as well.
Make sure that you always apply baby lotions and creams to the diaper area, to avoid rash and other skin issues.
All these elements should soothe your baby and make her sleep for a longer period of time.
Playing relaxing music
Babies are sensitive beings, especially when it comes to the volume of sounds and music.
Because of that, you should avoid playing loud music when your baby is getting ready for bed.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t play relaxing and soothing music. As a matter of fact, it’s recommended to expose babies to such music numbers before they go to sleep.
Some parents even play such music when their baby is sleeping. Similar to white noise, it can have a tranquilizing effect on babies and extend their time of sleep.
Still, the views of this topic are opposed. Some scientists and parents claim that it’s better for young babies to sleep without music because that way, they’ll develop their sleeping habits more naturally.
Either way, you can play some relaxing music before bedtime and see how your baby reacts to it.
Stay relaxed and calm
Babies can feel their parents’ tension and anxiety. For instance, if you’ve been trying to put your baby to sleep for an hour or so without much success, it’s time to ask for a substitution. In other words, partners should take turns when they’re putting their baby to bed. Some babies simply need more time to calm down and relax. But when you’ve been carrying your baby around for a longer period of time, it’s natural that you start feeling nervous and agitated.
What can happen is that your baby falls asleep in a few minutes when she’s taken by someone else.
In order to stay relaxed and calm, it’s important to move aside and have some rest from time to time. This refers to both parents, as well as grandparents and nannies. It’s even better if your baby gets accustomed to being put to sleep by different people.
Another important tip is that you shouldn’t react to each and every sound your baby produces during the night. Let her cry or stay awake for a few seconds and wait to see if she can put herself back to sleep. If you teach your baby to do that, you’ll spare yourself some sleepless nights when your baby becomes a toddler.
Of course, some babies aren’t capable of putting themselves back to sleep. If your baby just keeps crying, take her from the cradle, soothe her, and she’ll fall asleep again.
The lack of sleep is a serious problem for parents. If you don’t sleep well for months or even years, your marriage could suffer. To top it all off, babies are easily irritated if they don’t sleep well.
Because of that, it’s important to try and help your baby develop some sleeping routines. Again, it’s an individual thing but we should make an effort to follow some guidelines and establish some rules. We hope that the tips from this article will help you improve your baby’s sleeping habits.
Author Bio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children’s welfare, as well as visiting sports events.