Babies experience a lot of growth in their first years of life. Sleep is crucial for their development. On average, newborns sleep up to 9 hours in the daytime and 8 hours at night. Most babies don’t begin sleeping throughout the night until after they reach 3 months.
As any new parent can attest, getting a baby to sleep can be a challenge. There are a lot of factors that can impact a baby’s sleep, including hunger, discomfort, and the environment they’re sleeping in. Let’s take a look at some top tips on how to put a baby to sleep and improving your baby’s sleep.
Create a calm sleep environment
A calm sleep environment is important for helping your baby feel safe and comfortable. Keep the nursery dark and quiet. You can also use a comfortable, supportive crib mattress and soft, breathable baby sleep sack to create a cozy sleeping space.
Set up a consistent baby sleep routine
Babies thrive on routine. Try to establish a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Before putting your baby to sleep, opt for calming activities like a bath, story, lullaby or baby sleep music.
Be mindful of your baby’s sleep cues
Every baby has their own unique sleep cues, which can include yawning, rubbing their eyes, or fussing. Put your baby to sleep when you notice any sleep cues. Waiting too long can result in an overtired and cranky baby, making it even harder for them to fall asleep.
Follow safe sleep guidelines
It’s important to follow safe sleep guidelines to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). These guidelines include placing a baby on their back to sleep, using a firm, flat sleep surface, and avoiding loose baby blankets and other objects they can choke on. If you’re concerned about your baby being cold or how to dress your baby for sleep, a high-quality sleep sack is ideal to regulate their body temperature throughout the night.
Start using baby sleep sacks right away
A sleep sack can be a great alternative to traditional blankets, which can be a suffocation risk for babies. A sleep sack for babies is a wearable blanket that keeps a baby warm and cozy without the risk of loose bedding. Sleep sacks are available in a variety of sizes and styles. However, it is important you start your baby off with a baby sleep sack right away when they are born. It is yet another routine your baby will love!
Pay attention to your baby’s feeding schedule
A baby’s feeding schedule can have a big impact on their sleep. If a baby is hungry or uncomfortable, they’re less likely to sleep well. Pay attention to your baby’s feeding times, and make sure they’re getting enough to eat throughout the day. If you’re breastfeeding, try to avoid feeding your baby right before bedtime, as this can create a dependency on breastfeeding to fall asleep. To incite your baby to fall asleep faster, it is all about finding ways to optimize baby sleep training!
Be patient and flexible
Getting a baby to sleep can be a challenge, and it’s important to be patient. Some babies are better sleepers than others; it can take time to establish a consistent sleep routine. Babies are unpredictable, and there will be times when you need to adjust your sleep routine to accommodate their needs. For example, if your baby is sick, they may need more comfort and attention at night.
Ask for help
Taking care of a newborn and growing baby is a big job. It is okay to ask for help when you need it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, reach out to family or friends for support. You can also talk to your pediatrician for advice on improving your baby’s sleep.
And don’t neglect your needs in the process! Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking time for yourself. A well-rested and healthy parent is better equipped to take care of a baby’s constant needs.
Looks for the signs of poor sleep
While some babies are naturally better sleepers than others, there are some telltale signs that can indicate when your baby does not have a good night's sleep. Here are some telltale signs that your baby is tired:
- Irritable, groggy or disoriented
- Trouble settling into a routine the following day
- Difficult staying awake during feedings, meals or playtime
- Changes in appetite
- Circles under the eyes or a red and puffy face
Sleep is very important for babies as it plays a crucial role in their physical and mental development. In addition, restful sleep promotes their immune system health, which can help mitigate infections, stress and inflammation. When your baby sleeps properly, they tend to be more joyful, alert and playful.
By establishing healthy sleep routines and creating the right environment for a safe and comfortable sleep, your baby will be getting their ZZZs in no time flat!