Most parents, especially Moms always ask themselves the question, “How can I get my baby to sleep through the night?” Most of our little ones seem to be nocturnal and we all just want that good night sleep through the night so that we’re more energized during the day taking care of them. A recent study in the American Journal of Pediatrics showed that 38 percent of typically developing 6-month-olds and 28 percent of 1-year-olds were not yet sleeping at least six consecutive hours at night. So how can we get to practice them to do sleep training in such a young age?
Tips to encourage good sleep habits
Know that your baby is an individual
Sleep tricks might work for others, but might not work for your little one, and that’s totally fine. Every baby is different and we should know that. Like all other individuals who are different from each other, our babies are too.
Have a routine
It’s important to establish a routine and do the same thing at the same time every day before bed. A routine would be something that our babies would remember immediately especially if it’s practiced every single day—like reading a book before bedtime or singing him/her a lullaby. Try to set the mood for sleep an hour before bedtime.
What’s a good bedtime routien for babies?
Lower the lights
Lighting is important in establishing the sleep/wake cycle. You should let your baby understand that if it’s already dark, it’s time to go to sleep. Dim the lights an hour before bed, and get blackout curtains to make it as dark as possible in the room while they sleep. These can also help for naps too, since they can block out the bright mid-day sun. Plus, doctors say if it’s totally dark when the babies are sleeping it helps more on their growth hormones.
Sit in a rocking chair with baby before bed
They say rocking your child is a great soothing technique. This is also a wonderful time to read books together. Besides the fact that it’s great for language development, your voice is calming to your baby. During this sweet cuddle session, it’s also important to remember your goal is to get them sleepy—not asleep. It’s important to put them down groggy so they learn to fall asleep on their own and not be dependent on you.
Consider using a calming scented lotion
Lavender is a popular scent for baby lotions because it’s so relaxing. Giving your baby a little massage with a calming scent could be a nice addition to the bedtime routine. As with all products you use on your baby, be sure to watch out for allergic reactions too.
Nowadays though there are also soothing lavender essential oils that you can massage on your baby or rather diffuse on a humidifier to make your baby calm and eventually sleep through the night.
What’s the best sleep environment for a baby?
Make sure the room is ideal for sleeping
As mentioned above, blackout curtains will make the room darker and more conducive for sleep. Also, make sure the temperature of the room should be comfortable too. Anywhere between 68 to 72 degrees is usually a good range.
Drown out noises
White noise machines are really helpful to blunt outside noises. Not only do they help prevent babies from waking up with things like sirens, television noises, and voices outside of the room, they also provide a soothing sound, which can calm a baby. But of course again, completely remember that it doesn’t work for all babies.
What should your baby sleep with?
Use a swaddling blanket for newborns
If your baby isn’t rolling over yet, you can try a swaddling blanket. Newborns, who are used to being curled up in the womb, love the soothing closeness a swaddling creates. However, be cautious because sometimes babies can break out of the swaddle, which could risk a baby’s safety.
You can give your baby a pacifier at bedtime
The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses a pacifier in bed because they’ve been proven to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Your child can be soothed by sucking on one.
A lovey is safe for 1-year-olds
After your kid is 12 months old, they can sleep with a lovey, a soft cloth toy, or maybe a soft blankie since the risk of suffocation drops significantly already. It can provide reassurance and security to a baby too.
And soon, you’ll notice that they’ll grow to love that soft toy or soft blankie that he or she will usually ask for it even when going out-of-town.
READ: How to get baby to sleep fast: A miraculous mom hack!