Watching your baby sleep must be one of the most heavenly feelings ever. Your heart swells with love seeing their cute and innocent faces. But parents hardly experience such pleasure with babies staying up all night long. To make it all the more difficult, this cycle takes an extended period to end. Two reasons add up to the issue.
During the first two months, a baby's need to be fed overshadows their need to sleep. They tend to be hungry every two hours or less, depending on the feeding source: breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
Plus, while babies sleep anywhere between 10 to 8 hours, they don't know the difference between day and night. So, they can choose to complete their sleep cycle any time, leaving you rushing for them in the middle of the night.
Luckily, the unplanned pattern can be avoided if you have a proper sleep schedule in place. As a caring parent, it is your calling to help them understand and implement a consistent process.
Set up a schedule
In a study, it has been observed that infants who follow a bedtime routine can go to sleep easier than others. They even cry out erratically less often. Thus some parents start setting a bedtime routine as early as 8 weeks old. To get success with a proper bedtime routine:
- Allow your kid to get tired during the day so they can be lulled into sleep right before bedtime.
- Keep all the activities in the same order every night. It helps them associate better and get into the routine.
- At the end of the day, ensure that all the activities are calm and peaceful.
- Try giving your baby a nighttime bath. It often relaxes them.
- Organize your baby's favourite activity in the bed. It makes them look forward to bedtime.
- Ensure that the nighttime schedule and the room conditions are consistent. There must not be any variations in the light or sound when they fall asleep.
- If you have to feed the baby at night, keep the talking to a minimum and ensure low lighting. Too much stimulation makes it hard for babies to settle.
How can you put your baby to bed?
Start the routine when your baby is 6 to 12 weeks old. There are many additional options for vitamins, supplements and Over The Counter (OTC) medicines that can be bought to help your child in their early years, allowing them to grow up to be a healthy adult.
Some commonly used medicines for infants and children for various conditions are:
- Nurofen Plus
- CALPOL Infant Suspension
- Anbesol Liquid
- Gaviscon Infant
- Daktarin Sugar-Free 2% Oral Gel
- Saline Nasal Drops
You can learn more about the medicines for infants and children at our online store.
When you see them getting tired, start soothing them until they are drowsy. Later, just put them down and let them drift off by themselves. It would be best not to wait until they are fully asleep in your arms since it can lead to future behavioural problems that will be a struggle to get rid of later in life. In essence, the routine teaches the babies to soothe themselves to sleep. You can also stop rocking or cuddling them every time they wake up during the night.
If you still observe that your baby has trouble settling down, then move the bedtime to a bit earlier. Remember to not postpone it to a later time as being overtired is also ineffective.
Above everything else, you must keep in mind that you should not just let your baby cry it out. While many believe it to be a prudent method, the cry-out technique has shown long-term downfalls in a kid's psychology. To engage with your baby, give them the time they require, feed them their food and medicines and follow a consistent sleep routine.
That's all you need to go back to a good night's sleep yourself.