Getting your baby to sleep through the night is something every parent looks forward to.
Even though newborns sleep 16 to 17 hours a day, they don’t stay asleep for more than two to four hours at a time, day or night, during the initial few weeks.
However, when babies reach 6 to 8 weeks of age, they start sleeping for shorter periods during the day and longer periods at night.
With a few minor adjustments and a little help from your end, your bundle of joy can easily learn to sleep through the night.
Expect your baby to protest in the beginning, but soon he or she will get used to the change. Sleep will then improve for everyone.
Here are the top 10 ways to get your baby to sleep all night.
1. Play White Noise Sounds
If any slight sound like clicking off a lamp or the sound of closing the door wakes your baby, then it’s time to play some white noise.
White noise is one of the most effective, easiest to implement, inexpensive sleep aids for babies. It helps mothers settle difficult babies within a few minutes.
It is similar to the sounds your baby heard 24/7 in the uterus. The familiar strong, rhythmic noise helps babies sleep longer and even reduces stress.
White noise masks other sounds and this helps your baby sleep through the night.
The sound of a fan can create a gentle hum, which works great as white noise. There are also free apps for white noise as well as white-noise machines in the market.
2. Feed Your Baby on Time
For many babies, the bedtime routine includes a proper feeding. This ensures that the baby goes to bed full and does not wake up due to hunger.
However, you must try to feed your baby at least 30 minutes before the scheduled bedtime at night. If your baby has started taking solid food, keep it light and healthy. Avoid anything that can cause gas or bloating.
If your baby is younger than 6 months old, make sure to burp your baby after feeding. Any trapped air in the stomach will make your baby uncomfortable and may lead to frequent crying at night.
Keep nighttime feeding quiet and calm, and daytime feeding more social and lively. This will help your baby learn the difference between day and night.
If your little one wakes up crying, wait for 10 minutes before offering the breast or bottle.
3. Follow a Bedtime Ritual
Small babies learn easily and following a consistent bedtime ritual will help your baby sleep longer.
Babies like predictability and a consistent bedtime routine provides them the right signal that it’s time to sleep. When a baby knows what is coming, he or she is more likely to accept it and settle down quickly.
Keep the bedtime routine simple. Start with a light massage, then a warm bath followed by clean clothes and a clean diaper. Play some soft music and give some warm hugs and cuddles to help your baby settle down. Soon your baby will associate these activities with sleep.
4. Keep the Lights Off
Just like you cannot sleep in a brightly lit room, your baby cannot either. Bright lights can be very distracting for your infant.
Keep the lights in your baby’s room on in the morning and during daytime naps, and don’t leave a light on at night.
Keeping the lights off or dimmed at night will help your baby learn the difference between daytime and night. This will also help regulate your baby’s circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock.
You can also use opaque shades to block outdoor light.
Even if you need to tackle a dirty diaper at night, do it with the lights dimmed, and with as little talking and interaction as possible.
5. Regulate the Room Temperature
As you cannot enjoy a sound sleep in a room that is too hot or too cold, you cannot expect anything different from your bundle of joy.
Try to create the right bedroom temperature and humidity to help your baby sleep soundly. A consistent bedroom temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of around 50 percent are considered ideal for babies.
Plus, if your baby looks sweaty, shed a layer of blankets or clothing. If your baby is feeling cold, make him or her comfortable by adding a layer.
Do not make the mistake of putting your warm baby in a cold bed. Babies do not like the instant change in temperature and it can make them irritated.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure the room where your baby is sleeping never gets too hot or too cold.
6. Put Your Baby Down Drowsy but Awake
Many parents make the mistake of rocking or nursing their babies to sleep and then quietly sneaking them into their cribs. This causes the babies to wake frequently at night, as they have no idea of how to fall back asleep on their own.
If you want your baby to sleep all night, put your baby down on the bed or crib when he or she is drowsy. This may sound silly, but it helps babies learn the skill of falling asleep on their own.
Drowsy but awake means the baby is calm, relaxed and frequently closing their eyes. When you lay your baby down, the eyes may flutter for a few seconds and soon he or she will drift off into peaceful sleep.
This trick is very helpful, but it may take a week for your baby to learn.
Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back, and clear the crib or bassinet of blankets and other soft items.