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The heart of a mother swells with joy to see her baby sleeping peacefully and calmly, likewise the father of the child. Sadly, the joy turns soar when you can’t get your baby to sleep at night, oftentimes, you begin to panic, wondering what could be wrong with your baby and how to get babies to sleep at night?
Sleep is a crucial component in the development of infants and could affect their mental health and general well-being. Moreover, it’s part of your parenting responsibility to ensure your baby gets enough sleep—this is linked to the fact that your baby’s sleep Influences the amount of sleep you get as a parent.
However, Infants within 0-3 months may sleep for 10-18 hours per day, although they also love to eat within this month range and may require feeding almost every 2 hours. Sometimes, they might sleep for 3—4 hours at a stretch. This routine begins to change as they get older and experience developmental changes within 3—6months and 6—9months.
Additionally, one intriguing fact about babies is that they can’t differentiate between night and day. Therefore, babies sleep at all times, unfortunately, your baby’s awake time might be between 12 am and 5 am, which can be stressful. But, you can combat this by learning how to get babies to sleep at night by following the steps outlined in this article.
How to Get Babies to Sleep at Night
1. Set Bedtime Routine
As earlier established infants can’t differentiate between daytime and nighttime. Therefore, you need to create a routine that teaches your baby that daytime is for play and nighttime is for sleep. How? By engaging your baby during the day. You should play with your baby for a few minutes after feeding during the day, instead of laying them down to sleep.
This helps them stay awake more during the day. Similarly, it’s also a way of enhancing the love bond between you and your baby. When your baby is engaged more during the day, they get tired at night and are ready to sleep off easily.
However, you should begin this routine as early as 6-8weeks old to make your baby adapt to this style. Most importantly, consistency is required to make your baby get used to the entire process. Although, you shouldn’t restrict your baby from taking a nap if they seem uninterested in your play or want to sleep.
2. Maintain a Calm Atmosphere at Night
Infants are very sensitive to their environment. Hence, babies tend to sleep longer when the room is calm—both light and sound should be kept calm.
How to get babies to sleep at night is achieved when you set the right atmosphere for your baby. During the daytime, ensure the room is light and bright, whereas in the evening cover the shade and dim the light.
The dimmed light makes your baby feel calm and ready to sleep. It sends a message that bright light is daytime while dimmed light is nighttime—a time for rest.
Additionally, infants are sensitive. The softest noise may become a disturbance to infants, but white noise provides a consistent soothing sound for them to fall asleep—it drowns out every other noise.
The calm atmosphere should be the same throughout the night even when you wake to feed or change your baby at night.
3. Utilize Relaxation Techniques
Oftentimes, babies don’t sleep at night because they aren’t comfortable and feel stressed. Therefore, utilize relaxation techniques that make your baby fall asleep easily and longer. This technique includes bathing your baby before bedtime, playing lullabies with your baby, or simply reading a story with a soft tone.
Moreover, babies sleep better and cry less at midnight when they are relaxed compared to when they are stressed. Also, avoid over bundling your baby with clothes that may lead to overheating causing discomfort. Similarly, check out for cords, ties, or ribbons that can wrap around your baby’s neck.
4. Apply the Soothing Method
Soothing your baby helps them sleep better at night. This could be done through rocking, bouncing, or using your hand to calm them down. However, you shouldn’t allow your baby to fall asleep in your hands while soothing them, rather lay them on their bed when they feel drowsy —allow them to fall asleep on their own accord.
As much as soothing Is helpful, avoid over rocking your baby until they fall asleep. This could make them addicted and wouldn’t sleep any other time of the day until the cradle or bassinet is rocked. Hence, once they feel drowsy, stop and allow them to fall asleep on their own.
5. Keep Off Hunger Pangs
It’s wrong to feed your baby to sleep just because the majority of babies fall asleep while eating or after eating. At the same time, you should keep the hunger pangs away from your baby if they must sleep longer. Oftentimes, babies don’t sleep at night because they are hungry as they need to eat to grow. Hence, feed your baby when they are hungry before bedtime.
Furthermore, late-night feeding might prevent your baby from waking up at midnight for food. For Instance, if your baby sleeps after a 7pm meal and wakes by 2am to eat again. Try feeding your baby again by 10—11 pm if they are awake.
Parents usually pat their babies to sleep if they wake up between 7 pm and 11 pm, assuming nothing is wrong. Surprisingly, it might be a sign that they need a refill since their tummies are small and can’t contain much—it reduces the midnight hunger cry.
6. A Pacifier is Just Perfect
It’s safe to insert a pacifier into your baby’s mouth at night as it helps them sleep. How to get babies to sleep at night isn’t a tedious task to accomplish, rather the application of little rules like the use of a pacifier works magic. Moreover, it’s a method of self-soothing, a proven way that makes babies fall asleep quickly. However, don’t force it on your baby if he/she rejects a pacifier. There are also other benefits of using a pacifier in addition to making a baby fall asleep.
7. Set Your Baby in a Healthy Sleeping Position
Sleeping position is a crucial factor in how to get babies to sleep at night. In other words, there are healthy sleeping positions you must place your baby in while they sleep. Anything less or below a comfortable sleeping position causes discomfort to your baby and keeps them awake crying. For a long-lasting sleep lie your baby on his or her back to sleep, not on their stomach or side. Likewise, use a comfortable bed with a firm/flat surface.
How to get babies to sleep at night is a practical process that requires trying possible options depending on which works for your baby. However, if sleepless nights persist in a baby don’t hesitate to consult a doctor as sleepless nights in babies can be a sign of bigger health problems.
Why can’t my baby sleep at night?
Sleepless nights in babies are often a result of an underlying illness, teething, developmental changes, and sudden switch in routine.
How long will my baby sleep?
Infants within 0-3 months may sleep for 10-18 hours per day, but the number of hours reduces as they grow older.
How should babies sleep?
In addition to the healthy sleeping position for babies, other sleep etiquette includes:
- Don’t put anything else in your baby bassinet—keep toys, pillow, blanket, and others out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Let your baby sleep in the same room with you but not in the same bed.
- Keep off sharp objects.
- Take out anything your baby could touch while sitting or in a standing position.
Does a pacifier make a baby sleep at night?
Yes, it works if your baby agrees to retain it in his/her mouth and suck. Sucking is a normal reflex in a newborn hence it’s completely safe to use it.
Is it okay to feed my baby to sleep?
No. The majority of infants fall asleep all the time while eating, this may seem like a good thing but it isn’t. Feeding your baby to sleep only makes them accustomed to sleeping after eating. In other words, they might not sleep under normal circumstances until they are fed.
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