New Moms and Dads (and even experienced ones) often find that their newborn infant is not able to sleep well. So they start looking for a preferable solution for their children’s sleeping problems. So, what are the aspects and how can we monitor our baby’s sleeping routine and habits.
Everyone talks of contented babies and what the key to a successful nights sleep is, but I can assure you it’s not as easy as it sounds. Here are a few tried and tested methods, which I really hope, work for you.
Make sure from day one you have a planned routine, whether this is the feeding times or the resting times, allow your baby to develop from day one into your routine, there is a bit of giving and taking initiative as babies do control us far more initially, but its perseverance that counts.
Even if from day one it seems your ‘routine’ is pointless, I can assure you this will develop into a pattern your child will grow in to. The bedtime routine is a prime example; remember the 4 B’s! Bath, Bottle, Book, Bed! But its really important that when the bedtime routine starts, there are no distractions, you are in between the bathroom then the bedroom, dim the lights, or have a nursery light on, comfort your baby after their bath and then quietly and gently make it the routine to go to bed with their bottle and a book. If you do start taking your child downstairs after their bath it can interfere and make them ready to play and become wide awake again.
Feeding your baby their bedtime bottle will enable them to have the comfort of you there and then its time to read a book, they will love to hear your voice, even if it’s just telling them what you have done today, they will become much more peaceful if you are there at bedtime. Make sure you initiate this from day one, as it’s much easier to be your routine of a bedtime book than leave it till they respond more, I believe the importance of a book at bedtime will affect the peacefulness of your child.
Your child needs to be left in their cot awake if they haven’t already fallen asleep, when they are babies they do tend to fall asleep quicker, I know now with a 20-month-old, he takes a good hour after his bedtime routine, but he knows it’s his time in his cot to settle. Your child is more likely to refer you to rock or cuddle them to sleep, but this is a big mistake a lot of us make, just to keep the peace, it will be hard but leave them to cry, even for a little while and then re-enter and assure them its bedtime and time to sleep. This can sometimes go on for ages but it’s you ruling them, not the other way round. Remember you and your partner still need time and this is usually the only time you do get, so set a routine, it will work.
The above will not mean they will necessarily go through the night, sometimes they wake up because of hunger so you should measure their activities or easily monitor with video, once you can, try and add a rusk (no added sugar of course), to their bedtime bottle, just to fill them up a bit, that has been the key with our son. Also if they do wake at different intervals, I know how easy it is to get them out of bed and cuddle them or take them to your bed to settle them, but they have to be left, you can reassure them but leave them to fall back to sleep themselves. It’s agony sometimes listening to them crying, but you will realize it only takes a couple of times for them to acquire that you’re not going to return straight away and pick them up! Like I said at the start its perseverance and it is hard work, no one said it would be easy, but eventually we all get there and they will sleep through the night and you will be the one trying to wake them up for school when they oversleep in the morning!