When your baby is constantly awake during the night or finding it difficult to sleep, or even crying at nighttime, it is undoubtedly a source of concern for parents, as you really want to have a good rest after catering for your newborn during the day. But it just seems it’s that time your baby wants to stay awake. Newborns sometimes get a little fussy and that may disrupt their sleep pattern, particularly at night.
As newborns, they really do not know the difference between day and night, so you find them sleeping at whatever time they choose to. This is one of the reasons you find them sleeping more during the day and staying wide awake at night. Also, a newborn’s need to eat overrides their need to sleep.
There are other reasons why your newborn may not be having enough sleep at night and these include; Changing nap routines, Late-night feeding, Waking early, Teething pain, Disruption in sleep routine, Going through a developmental milestone, Too many day-sleep, Noisy environment, or they probably don’t know how to fall asleep independently for naps and bedtime.
But did you know there are tips to helping your baby sleep better at night? Yes! So, if your baby is experiencing a difficulty in sleeping well at night, follow these tips to improving your baby sleeping pattern;
Build a Consistent Bedtime Pattern
Building a consistent bedtime pattern or routine can help your baby know when to sleep. As babies, they are oblivious of the difference between day and night, so when you help them build a consistent nighttime routine, they are able to know that night is a really good time for them to sleep so mummy and daddy can rest as well from the day’s stress.
This can also be made possible by ensuring that your baby is not overly exposed to a noisy environment, both during the day and night, so it doesn’t cause a distortion in their sleep pattern, nor lead to unsettled behaviours. Also, observe what calms your baby to sleep. A lot of babies prefer a good bath just before they go to bed, so know what works for your baby and try to stick with it.
Reduce Late-night Feeding
Late-night feedings can distort your baby’s seeping pattern. Although babies typically fall asleep while eating, however, making them get too used to this can project the feeling that food is a prerequisite for sleeping, which is not good. So, try to feed them earlier and then calm them to sleep.
Give Your Baby Ample Time to Settle Down
Babies often find it difficult to settle down to sleep, so parents should sometimes let them be. Give them enough time to find a sleeping balance, the right sleep position and they will eventually fall asleep.
Allow your baby to self-soothe, that way they can get used to soothing themselves, which gives you time to relax. When your baby self-soothes, you as a parent get to soothe them less and your baby is able to fall asleep by him/herself.
Use a Pacifier
Sucking on a pacifier at bedtime can help your baby fall asleep and also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Observe Your Baby’s Sleep Preference(s)
A baby’s sleep preference may differ from another. So, mums and dads should carefully observe their baby’s sleep preference(s) and just learn to follow through. For example, your baby might prefer you singing or/and rocking him to bed, some might just love sleeping, some others might fall asleep while eating, others immediately after bathing. So, just observe and stick with their sleep preference(s). Also, your newborn should be allowed to sleep in your room, not on your bed, but in their crib close to you. Doing so not only helps them sleep better at night, it also reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Subtle Nighttime Care
It’s important not to do too much when caring for your baby at night. Just keep it subtle. It’s about keeping them clean and preparing them to sleep at night, so do not over do things when it comes to caring for them at night as it may distort their sleep pattern and make them restless at night.
Ensure the Environment is Calm and Quiet
A noisy environment can prevent your baby from sleeping. So, it is crucial to ensure the environment is not noisy and try to speak in low tones when your baby falls asleep so you don’t end up waking him/her.
I totally understand the stress of catering for your newborn. You deserve a good, sound sleep at night. So, follow these tips to having your baby sleep better at night as that will help you sleep better as well.
Go mums, you got this!