Getting enough sleep during the night is the secret to having a productive and happy day. Unsurprisingly enough, getting the proper amount of sleep is not only necessary for adults, but for babies too. Whether you have got a newborn that sleeps besides you or a full grown toddler in their own room, here are some tips and tricks to get your baby sleeping comfortably throughout the night.
Newborn Baby Sleeping Habits
Most newborn baby sleeping habits are different than what many new parents may anticipate. Newborn babies are very unique in that they will get tired very quickly and will need to sleep often throughout the night and day. Some babies will want to sleep through the day while other will be restless and wanting to play. Whatever your baby's sleeping schedule is like, you can ease them into comfortable sleep by waking them up every 2 to 3 hours from their nap for a feeding.
Distinguish Day And Night For Your Baby
To get your baby sleeping on a reasonable schedule, your first step is to distinguish night and day for him. Babies don’t know when the day starts and when the night starts. It is up to you to teach him when we sleep and when we play. During the daytime entertain your child and play with him, so that he knows that daytime is for playtime. Allow usual house noises like the dishwasher, the phone, and the TV to continue on. When your baby wakes up during the night time, you will want to feed him and put him back to bed.
Do not play with him, or turn on bright lights or show him things around the room. Keep this practice up, and your baby will soon recognize the difference between day and night. Although your little one may be able to distinguish between day and night, it is not until 4 to 6 months that you can expect your baby to be able to sleep through the night. Until then, get very familiar with waking up in the middle the night to feed your little one.
Start A Bedtime Routine With Your Newborn
Starting a bedtime routine with your new one is another excellent way to encourage your baby sleeping properly. Get your baby sleeping by having a simple and easy bedtime routine. You may want to bathe your newborn, sing him a lullaby, and leave him with a good night kiss. If you want your baby sleeping with good nighttime habits, then your routine can be as simple as that.
Start A Bedtime Routine With Your Toddler
Before you get your baby sleeping or your toddler to bed, you will want to wind the evening down. If you wind the evening down, your little one will be easier to handle when you are putting them to bed.
If you have got a toddler on your hands, then you will want to get your baby sleeping rather early. A toddler's bedtime routine will differ a little bit from a newborn’s bedtime routine because toddlers require a little more effort. For starters, your toddler can talk back to you and express his interest or dislike about wanting to go to sleep. For some parents, putting toddlers to bed can be a difficult task. However, follow the steps, and you should have it down in no time.
Start By Winding Down
If you want your baby sleeping at 8 PM, then you will want to start winding down at about 7 PM. Start by turning off all the TVs and electronics in the house. Instead of sitting around watching television with your family, wind down by having family conversation or family hang out time in your living room. You may even want to dim down the lights so that your child can get a feel for bedtime starting soon.
Brush Their Teeth
Once you have started winding down for the evening and have done that for about 30 to 40 minutes, it’s time to take the party upstairs. Take your little one to the bathroom and get him or her started on brushing their teeth. You want to establish good dental hygiene at an early age so be sure to include this in your baby's bedtime routine. Soon enough, brushing their teeth will also be an indication to your child that bedtime is getting closer. This is also the perfect time to get your child to use the bathroom. For tips and tricks of how to potty train your child, click here.
Give Your Child A Bubble Bath
Once they have brushed their teeth, you may want to give your child a bubble bath. Not only will giving your toddler a bath help wind them down, but giving your child a bath will have your baby sleeping comfortably and well throughout the night. Bath time can be a short process or lengthy process. If you want to include bath time as part of the winding down time, then you can have your child take their bath for a good 20 to 30 minutes.
Include playing with bubble bath toys. While your little one is taking their bath, drop a couple of hints that you are that much closer to bedtime. This will help mentally prepare them so they know what is to come next. And of course, as your little one takes a bath, be sure to always be with them to avoid any accidents or injuries.
Sing A Song Or Read A Book
Once your child has brushed their teeth and taken a bath, then it’s time to make your way to the bedroom. When your child is all dressed in their PJ's it is time to tuck them into bed. Wrap up the bedtime routine by singing them a lullaby or reading them a book. Get your baby sleeping with a soft melody that they can gently fall asleep too. If your child is a little older (toddler aged) then you will want to opt for a story unless they ask you otherwise. Pick short stories for your toddler that are comforting and relaxing as opposed to scary and adventurous. The older they get, the more you can ramp up the adventure. You want your bedtime story to be something that will relax them and put their mind at ease.
Keep in mind that you never want to fall asleep with your child in his or her bed because this will not establish good sleeping habits. You want to encourage your child to fall asleep on his or her own. By being in bed with him or her, you are enabling them from doing so.
Seal It With A Good Night Kiss
When you have finished the bedtime routine, give your little one a kiss and a hug and remind them how much you love them. Leave your child's bedroom with them feeling safe and secure even if you’re not there with them. Establishing a good bedtime routine with them will help them feel confident in going to bed on their own.
Consistency Is Key
The last thing you want to keep in mind is consistency. Consistency is critical to get your baby sleeping each and every single night comfortably. Of course, there will be times where getting them to bed on time will be impossible, but you will want to avoid this as much as you can. The more structure and consistency they have with their bedtime routine the more it will benefit them.
Remember that your baby sleeping throughout the night is entirely dependent on their age as well. With that being said, here are some additional tips to get your baby sleeping soundly and comfortably throughout the night.
Naps Are Your Child's Best Friend
Whether your baby is a newborn or a toddler in preschool, the key to establishing a good sleeping routine is by including plenty of naps. Naps are especially important for good baby sleeping habits because they will help rejuvenate and refresh your little one throughout the day. For newborns and babies younger than four months, they should be napping an average of every 2 to 4 hours. As they get older, their naps should decrease, but they should continue to take at least 1 to 2 naps a day.
By the time your child is a toddler, naps may start to decrease. You might find though, that as your child gets older say five or six, they may begin to want to stray away from naps. This is perfectly acceptable as long as it works for your child. Each child is different, and one child’s nap schedule may not work for another. Always be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician to figure out what the best fit for your child is. Click here for an in-depth review of how long your baby should be napping for.
Never Make Bedtime A Punishment
If you put your child to bed when they are misbehaving or being disruptive, they will always associate bedtime as a negative thing. Naptime and sleep time should never be displayed as options for punishment.
Be Mindful Of Your Schedule
Keep consistent with your child’s bedtime and nap routine by making room for it in your schedule. If your child is at a daycare or with the sitter during the daytime, be sure to express to his care provider what time his nap should be and what routine (if any) should be done before his nap time. It is not just important to get the nap in, it is important that the nap is done with his comfort in mind so it can be a beneficial nap.
Put Your Child To Bed With A Security Item
A great way to get your baby sleeping soundly throughout the night is by using a security item. Have your child pick out a security blanket or security toy they can put to bed with them. They can use their security item to cuddle with so that they feel safe and secure thought the night. This will especially help if they struggle going to be without you.
Getting your baby sleeping does not have to be a frustrating of difficult thing. Use these tips and tricks to get your baby sleeping soundly and comfortably in no time. Best of luck!