HOW TO MAKE YOUR BABY SLEEP BETTER: 8 TIPS
Looking for the best baby sleep tips? Well, read all about how to send your baby off to dreamland without any hassle.
Swaddling up your baby is a surefire way to get him or her to sleep. That is if you swaddle right. Most babies as young as four days may feel uncomfortable in a swaddle, but they will get used to it as they grow older. So don't give up just yet! As long as your baby cannot roll over, it's perfectly safe. Try different swaddles like the Miracle Bucket or the Swaddle Up. And try swaddling a little tighter while leaving one of your baby's hands sticking out (does the trick!).
KEEP THE NOISE DOWN
Create a sleep environment similar to where your baby slept for the first nine months of his or her life. You can do this by making your baby's nursery like your womb - dark and noiseless. Put up shades that keep out daylight and have some white noise playing in the background to drown out other noise from the house. Babies are light sleepers; 50% of their sleep is REM (rapid eye movement). That means that noise like your cell phone ringing or a dog's bark can wake them up. We recommend having a white-noise device that you can plug in and won't go off in the middle of the night like the Marpec Dohm. You should also test the volume - get someone to stand behind the door and talk. The white noise should hush up the person's voice.
GET THE TEMPERATURE RIGHT
Your baby's room should be as cool as possible. The temperature should be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Fix a thermometer somewhere in the room so you can keep tabs on the temperature. And don't worry about your baby getting cold. Put your hands on their chest, if he or she feels warm, then they are fine.
SEIZE THE MOMENT
Look out for cues like your baby rubbing his or her eyes, fidgeting, or feeling bored and act fast. These signals only tell you one thing - melatonin has kicked in and your baby is ready to hit the sack. If you delay, your baby's melatonin levels will begin to reduce. Instead, his or her body releases cortisol or adrenaline which rather keeps him or her awake.
TRY A NEW TIME ZONE
Sometimes lulling your baby to sleep is just as simple as making a few changes to his or her time zone. For instance, wake him or her up at 9 am instead of 6 am. That way, his or her lunchtime, afternoon nap and bath time is closer to bedtime and increases the chances of him or her falling asleep. However, you have to do this transition gradually - at least 15 minutes every day.
USE THE FOUR B's
The four B's routine can be your best bet as far as baby sleep tips are concerned. So what are they? BATH, BOTTLE, BOOK and BED. Once your baby has had a good bath (and some massage), heard a bedtime story, bottle-fed, trust us, he or she is more than ready to drop off.
Your baby doesn't always have to sleep in his or her crib. Yes, we know that is the safest place for them. But most babies (under 6 months) don't always sleep well there. If your baby snoozes well in a car seat, carrier, or stroller, then so be it, allow him or her to. Just make sure you keep a watchful eye on them. As a matter of fact, babies don't have a regular sleep pattern until they are about 5 or 6 months old so breathe easy. When they finally do, you can always get them to sleep in their crib.
A PACIFIER DOES THE TRICK
Not only do pacifiers help soothe colicky babies, but they also help them fall and stay asleep. And research has confirmed that pacifiers can help reduce a baby's risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) for many reasons. First off, pacifiers could make it difficult for your baby to roll over on his or her back. They also prevent your baby's face from getting too close to the mattress or pillow. When you lay your baby down to sleep (on their backs), pop one into his or her mouth. If it falls out, don't worry, stick it back in when they wake up. Because pacifiers help soothe babies back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night, it's best to teach them how to find a pacifier on their own when it falls out of their mouths. You can put a couple in the corner of the crib (not in the middle of it!) and teach him or her how to reach for one.
Always have diapers, wipes, burp cloths and fresh crib sheets on hand for a quick change when your baby pees or spits while sleeping. Don't rummage around drawers or switch on the lights, since you could wake your baby up. Another trick is to put a disposable waterproof pad under your crib sheet and put another crib sheet on top of the waterproof pad. That way, you can take off the top sheet and pad and leave the crib sheet, without waking up your baby. So prep up, prep up and prep up!
Now that you've learnt the tricks of the trade. Here's to sweet dreams for your bundle of joy!
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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