There’s so much conflicting advice out there about sleeping babies. Plus, suffering from lack of sleep on top of that makes it difficult for most new parents to think clearly about the topic. Rest easy, because we’ve got great tips for you that will help you to right any wrongs and get on track.
- Over-exciting the baby before bedtime
Even for newborns, you need to watch what you do before you put your baby down for the night. Lights should be dimmed and sounds should be at a minimum. Activities should be calming, like bath time, story time or even a gentle massage. Now is not the time to start belting out your favorite show tunes or to dance around the room.
- Lack of consistency
Your baby will learn to understand the cues for going to bed if you keep to the same routine every night. Try to do things in the very same order too. These cues will begin to make your baby sleepy all on her own.
- Not enough noise
It might sound strange, but babies like noise when they sleep. Not like loud drums, fireworks and your old punk rock albums blasting from the speakers of your stereo though. But the right kind of noise is soothing to them. Inside your womb, your baby was surrounded by the loud whooshing sounds of your other organs. Now in her quiet nursery, it’s very unsettling. For some babies, a steady stream of lullabies does the trick. For others though, white noise will put them out in seconds flat.
- Keeping baby up too late
Another rather contradictory thing about babies is that they will not sleep better if you keep them up past their normal bedtime. If you’re hoping this will exhaust them AND give you a chance to catch up playing with them after your work day, that plan will only backfire. You’ll wind up with an even more tired and cranky baby who will be that much harder to put to sleep.
- Having overly high expectations
Everyone knows someone whose baby started sleeping through the night after just a couple of months. What most parents don’t realize is that situation isn’t very common. What’s more normal is for your baby to wake during the night, especially breastfeeding babies. Just because something is normal for one mother and baby doesn’t mean it is normal for you and your baby. Stop comparing and go with what feels right. Your baby will not wake up in the middle of the night forever and this is the only time in her life she will need you as much as she does now.