Yet, our little ones are so unpredictable. The thing that one day made them happy may just as well turn out to be their biggest annoyance the next day. This especially goes for when their sleep schedule. Babies get up a lot during the first three months. For every parent out there it’s important to have realistic expectations.
So far, you’ve learned all about the usual tips for making those 3 a.m. wake-up calls more bearable: so what else can you do?
Here are the best sleep tips for your baby. Start now.
Avoid gazing into your baby’s eyes late at night. Each time your baby locks eyes with you, it’s almost like she’s just had an espresso – her blood pressure rises, her heart rate speeds up and before you know it she is more awake than ever. Contrary to her sleep time, make plenty of eye contact during the day. This way your baby will know it’s time to be awake. On top of that, it boosts bonding and brain development.
Regulate the temp
We all sleep a bit better when the room is a bit cooler, and this goes your baby too. During the day, your baby’s room should be warmer but as the night approaches, cool it off a bit. The optimal temperature for infant sleep is between 65 and 70F. You can get to this temperature by leaving the window slightly open or using a fan at night. Make it your priority to put your baby far away from windows and fans. Also, make sure the room never gets too hot or too cold.
The way to regulate babies’ (and adults’) circadian rhythm – the body’s internal clock is definitely through the amount of light they are exposed to. When you have a baby, dimmers are your best option. If you’ve got dimmers already installed at home, that’s great. But if you don’t, plug your lamps into dimmer units (you can buy these at hardware stores). Once the sun goes down, lower the lights–even if your baby isn’t going right to bed.
A tip: always keep your home bright during the day even if the baby is napping – this way you will reinforce the day-night sleep rhythm.
Make some noise
Here’s a data that will blow your mind – the sounds babies are exposed to 24/7 in the uterus are about twice as loud as a vacuum cleaner! Can you believe it? So, babies love and need strong rhythmic noise which is exactly why you should give it to them. Let them sleep with the beat of music, sound of the dishwasher, a radio tuned to transmit static…
Swing it, baby!
If the beats don’t help to keep your baby sound asleep, it’s time you added the swing to the mi. A reclined seat may just be a solution (don’t forget to buckle her in). Fewer than 5 percent of babies need the swing technique but as long as it’s there and can help, use it. When she’s better able to soothe herself, you can gradually stop using it.
Another great option is swaddle bags. Babies absolutely adore them and they are similar to baby sleeping bags. They “simulate the womb, so the baby can freely move their arms and legs, yet still stay warm and covered all night.”
A spa treatment for a happy baby
Newborns who have a bedtime massage tend to fall asleep faster than those who don’t. Further, they sleep more soundly and peacefully. Before bed, give your child a 15-minute massage using moderate pressure, slow strokes and a baby-safe oil.
While growing up, babies tend to copy their parents, that is follow their rhythm and apply it unconsciously to their own.
To calm your baby down, slow your breathing. The baby will receive a signal that says “it’s down time”. If you personally have a problem with calming down, listen to a ballad song (basically, anything with fewer than 70 beats per minute), then breathe to the rhythm.
For a baby, quality sleep is a thing they simply can’t go without. As we grow older we learn to deal with the lack of sleep due to all the things we have to do during the day. But, for a baby – sleep is crucial. Hopefully, our advice helped!