For most nursing mothers, a peaceful baby is one that sleeps soundly all night long. However this is not always the case. Thankfully, here are 7 sure ways to keep your baby asleep at night
Start a routine: Infants get their days and nights mixed up and that’s why most of them sleep during the day and wake up late at night. Latest research shows that infants can be taught on how to differentiate between day and night. Wake your baby early and also get into the mundane of rising together. Position him or her close to a window to near you, keep the blinds up and ensure early morning sunrays gets into his or her room. Wake him or her up in the morning and he or she will understand it’s time to get up. Also, understanding that he or she needs to get up during the day helps him sleep at night. Setting a sleep time routine can also help make your baby sleep at night.
Continue with the practice: You’ve decided not to let you boy sleep long hours during the day and stay awake late at night. Now you need to be consistent with your approach as regards making him understand the difference between day and night. Just in case your son requires nighttime feeding, that can be a good time to accentuate the difference between day and night, says Robert Ballard, M.D., director of the Sleep Health Center at National Jewish Medical Center, in Denver. Ballard says; Keep night feedings very relaxing, with the lights low. Do everything you can to avoid stimulating your baby,” he says. “And during the day, make feedings a time of high activity, when you tickle her feet or sing songs, so she begins to perceive the difference.” It is also important to study what smooth’s your baby during the day and at night.
Crying Begins: At this point you are trying to put your baby to sleep when he’s still awake and it can be very challenging. Dr. Schaefer. “If he falls asleep at your breast during his bedtime feeding, for example, arouse him enough that his eyes are open when you place him in the crib.” Of course, a little — or a lot of — crying may ensue. But rest assured, it would be tougher on you than on your baby. Parents naturally find crying agonizing to listen to, but just keep reminding yourself that the end result — sleep! — Will be good for the whole family. “Get over the worry that ignoring your baby while he cries will do psychological harm,” emphasizes Dr. Schaefer. If you’ve been meeting his every need in other ways, this situation certainly won’t lessen his sense of security.
- Tough it out: Once your baby understands that crying doesn’t produce results, he’ll definitely yield to your approach. When he protests, increase your response time for every ten minutes and irrespective of what happens after this, don’t give up. This night you want improvement, you won’t let his cry get to you or you’ll have to start all over again. “If you’re inconsistent, the baby learns to hold out — she’ll just up the ante and cry twice as long tomorrow night,” says Deborah Givan, M.D., director of the Children’s Sleep Disorders Center at Riley Hospital for Children, in Indianapolis.
- Let your baby settle in: Most babies according to research get with it in five days, so tonight could be your lucky night. If your child isn’t getting the message correctly, or probably slow to the reaction, then you need to increase your response time to another 15 minutes. “Checking on the baby is really for the parents’ benefit,” says Dr. High. “If you notice that you’re fueling your child’s reaction every time you go in and you can tolerate staying away, it’s fine to do so. Just peek at him through a crack in the door instead so he doesn’t actually see you.” At this point another issue can be night-feeding, you need to ensure you feed your baby the right amount of food. Heavy food will make them have wet diapers and keep them awake during the night.
- Baby sleeps through: At this point, baby sleeps through but then don’t worry about checking up on him every minute. Ensure you dress him in warm Pjs so you don’t have to use over clothes that can be kicked off. A baby monitor can also be used to check up on him just in case he’s in distress.
- You sleep through too: At this stage, you’ve achieved making your baby sleep well at night. Good sleep is a very good habit not only for toddlers but also for adults. Just in case an unforeseen circumstance takes place such as illness, or another baby. Fall back to your blueprint and based on the fact that your baby has experienced a taste of the drill. He won’t be that difficult to curb.