I often get questions from moms about their baby’s inability to stay asleep, mostly the questions involve the baby refusing to go to sleep at bedtime. I have noticed that these children have there bedtimes, pushed past the recommended sleep time i.e 7:00 pm/8:00 pm to as late as 10:00 pm or midnight. This is the most common problem and there is an easy fix for it, you just need to establish an early bedtime routine for your baby.
Many parents are fearful of the old saying ‘early to bed, early to rise’ and hence push there baby’s bedtime routine to late at night. The later you put your baby to bed, the more you run the risk of night wake-ups and early morning rises. The main way of this situation is a strict sleep schedule and to stick on to the same schedule everyday, so that your baby knows her sleep routine and is comfortable adapting to it.
So, here are some tips to help you put your baby to bed early.
SET A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Most people need time to relax before bed time, and babies are no different. A bedtime routine will help your little one get into relaxation mode as well as serves as a wonderful bonding experience for both of you. One hour prior to your baby’s sleep time (recommended time 7 to 8 pm), begin your routine. Close the curtains, dim the lights, and prepare their bottle. In addition to this, a warm bath can also help soothe your baby and then take him/her straight to the room and dress them up in a darkened room with lullaby. Feed them in your arms and settle him/her into a sleepy state and then put them down to bed awake, but drowsy.
WATCH YOUR BABY’S SLEEP CUES
Babies and toddlers send out signals that they’re tired and need to go to sleep. Some of the things your baby does include rubbing their eyes, yawning, whining, and fussing, slowed activity, and loss of interest in play and people. If you miss your child’s sleep window (which is their natural time to sleep), then it will overstimulate your baby making it difficult to put them to bed.
So, it is essential to keep an eye on your little bundle of joy throughout the day and chances are you will see a pattern when they need to nap and to go to bed each night. If you can’t see those signals, I suggest you take your baby to a quiet, dimly lit room and nod the baby to sleep.
TAKE A LOOK AT AFTERNOON NAPS
Baby naps are a restful time for your little one. However, prolonged naps, especially late afternoon naps make it difficult to put your baby to sleep earlier at night. Some parents swear by hard and fast rules like no sleep after 5:00 pm while others believe that ‘sleep begets sleep’. Well each baby is different and you have to see which routine works for your baby. If it is hard for your baby to sleep at night after a long nap in the late afternoon or early evening, you might need to skip the afternoon and evening naps for a better night sleep schedule.
So, these are a few tips that helped me put my baby to sleep earlier and I hope they help you too with some ME TIME, when your baby sleeps peacefully.
DISCLAIMER: The above blog and the suggestions in it are personal experiences and are not medical or professional advice of any kind.