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How to help your baby sleep better!

"Sleep while your baby sleeps." Every new mother gets to hear this advice very often. This is because, after childbirth, a new mother's body needs to rest, recover and prepare for the sleepless nights, all at the same time. 

But despite all the advice you received and your intent to sleep well, you are not alone if you cannot have a night of uninterrupted sleep. Sleepless nights come as a free gift for all new parents. As big as it may seem, this is not a problem that is not solvable. 

This article will help you explore some tried and tested tips on how to make a baby sleep.    

 

Developing a rhythm 

For the first few weeks, a baby might sleep for upto 16 hours a day, waking up just for feeds, burping, and diaper changes. But as the baby outgrows the newborn stage, the baby sleep patterns and timings will change. In addition, keeping the baby active and engaged for longer hours might disturb their sleep schedules and irritate them. This will further disturb their sleeping pattern and cycle for a few naps or a night.

Thus, it is important to identify the patterns and rhythm of their sleep cycle, follow it, or even help them develop this rhythm in their sleeping cycles. 

 

Have your baby sleep in your room

For up to the age of one, it is advised to avoid co-sleeping with babies. It is safer for babies to sleep in their crib, bassinet, or a bed designed especially for infants. If babies co-sleep on an adult's bed, chances of someone rolling over them in their sleep or babies getting trapped between spaces like headboards, bed frames, etc., are high, which can cause severe harm to the baby.

Nonetheless, having the baby's crib, bassinet, or bed in the parents' room can help the newborn baby sleep better. Having parents around gives them a sense of security and helps them sleep better and peacefully. 


 

How much sleep does my baby need?

Each child is unique, and so are their sleep patterns and durations. Thus it is not advised to go by any rule of the book regarding how many hours a baby might sleep. However, there is a broad range of hours that a child at a particular age might end up sleeping during the course of 24 hours. In case your baby is sleeping way more or less than this range, you might want to speak to your baby's pediatrician about the same. 

This chart might help you understand this range. 

Newborns (0 – 4 months)

Wakes up only for feeds and nappy change

Infants (4 – 12 months)

Sleeps 12 – 16 hours

Toddlers (1 – 2 years)

Sleeps 11 – 14 hours

Preschoolers (3 – 5 years)

Sleeps 10 – 13 hours

Children between 6 – 12 years

Sleeps 9 – 12 hours

Teenagers (13 – 18 years)

Sleeps 8 – 10 hours


 

Encourage good sleep habits in your baby for a good night sleep

Until your baby is still on breastmilk, getting up a few times at night demanding feed is going to be a regular thing. Nonetheless, it is never too early to adopt good sleep habits to help them find comfort in routine and become good sleepers. 


 

Here are some tips that can encourage good sleeping habits in your baby: 

  • A calming and consistent bedtime routine – An overtired baby might not be able to sleep easily and peacefully. Plus, a routine and consistency help babies find a sense of security from a very early age. So, create and follow a routine of peaceful and calm bedtime activities like dim lights, light music, lullabies, storybooks, etc., before bedtime. 
  • Settling down time before bedtime – Babies start to feel anxious if they are alone or don't see known faces around after a certain age. So it is good to be around them, lightly pat them or sing to them and help them settle comfortably in their crib before they sleep. 
  • Avoid playing, keep nighttime low-key – Any sudden movements, loud sounds, or harsh lights can startle a baby, and they might not be able to sleep easily after that. So keep an hour before bedtime low-key, do not overstimulate them with games and toys at bedtime. 
  • Cuddle up – If nothing works, a nice warm cuddle full of love will help your baby feel comfortable and help them sleep peacefully. 

 

How rocking and lullabies can work

The rocking motion replicates the movements the baby feels when it is inside the womb of the mother. And babies start to identify the voice of their mothers from when inside the womb. Thus rocking and singing to the baby by the mother or any other caregiver helps them feel secure and sleep better.

You can also give the following a try during the newborn baby sleeping time to help them sleep better – 

  • Swaddling for newborns and early infants. A comfortable and super soft swaddle made of 100% Mulmul cotton, such as SuperBottoms Swaddles , can keep the baby comfortable and snuggles up for sleep and nap time. 
  • Light massage before bedtime to help their muscles relax. 
  • Swaying or swinging in a swing creates movements like rocking and can work after the baby is a little bigger and difficult to hold for long hours in arms. 
  • Dimming the lights ensures that their senses are not overstimulated, and they calmly sleep. 
  • Dry cloth diapers will ensure that babies do not wake up again and again due to discomfort that a wet nappy or a full disposable diaper can create. A newborn cloth diaper such as SuperBottoms Newborn UNO is an ideal choice here.

3 things not to do

While all the tips and tricks mentioned in the article are good to do, there are a few things that one should absolutely avoid when it comes to how to make a baby sleep at night.


Here are those things one needs to avoid – 

  • Missing the nap time –  At times, parents assume that kids might sleep better and longer at night if they skip or gap nap times. But, on the contrary, if kids go longer without a nap, they might get overtired and overstimulated and end up cranky and uncomfortable, unable to sleep better at night. 
  • Giving a heavy snack at bedtime – A few parents have a misconception that giving a filling snack or cereal before bedtime might make the baby full and let them sleep longer. In such a situation, the baby might end up gassy and wake up in pain at night. 
  • Holding the baby while you fall asleep – It is very dangerous to fall asleep while holding the baby. This is because one might not realise if they roll over the baby or unknowingly end up hurting the baby in sleep. 

Following these known and parent-tested methods, tips and tricks might make the nights better for parents, as when the kids sleep peacefully, you can too!

 Happy Sleeping! 

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