Putting a baby to sleep is a common challenge amongst parents, especially when you are running low on sleep yourselves. Sleepless nights are rites of passage that you cannot avoid when you have a baby. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help the baby sleep. Read on to know more.
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How Much Do Babies Sleep?
Babies, on average, sleep 10-18 hours a day. However, they don’t have a sense of day and night. This means they will sleep and wake up pretty much whenever they want, no matter what time the clock shows. They may sleep 3 to 4 hours at a stretch, but it varies for all babies. Some may sleep at a stretch for a longer duration, while some may wake up every 2 hours.
The good news is that you can help them sleep faster, better and longer. Here’s how.
5 Expert-Approved Sleep Tips for Babies
1. Follow Calming Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine will help a baby settle down. A warm bath, quiet music, or reading, followed by some cuddling, can calm the baby. Avoid overstimulation after evenings and be consistent with it. Start the bedtime routine at the same time or when the baby starts looking drowsy.
2. Swaddle ‘Em Up
A swaddled baby is generally a calmer baby who tends to be more sleep-ready. It works great in the first few months. The baby may resist it initially, especially if the swaddle is loose but continue swaddling.
Try a newborn swaddle that fits snugly and keeps her cozy. You can swaddle the baby till she can roll over on her own. Keep practicing it if required.
3. Cool it Down
It’s instinctual for parents to keep their babies warm, but it can work against you when putting the baby to sleep. Humans of all ages, including babies, sleep the best in a cool room. The ideal temperature for a baby to sleep is between 18 degrees to 23 degrees Celsius.
Ensure the baby isn’t in the direct path of the window or air condition’s draft. Wrap the baby in a baby swaddle, and she’ll be comfortable in cooler temperatures.
4. Magic of Sound
Many make the mistake of maintaining complete silence when the baby is about to sleep or is sleeping. Total silence makes it a lot easier for the baby to hear accidental noises and wake up. Instead, use sound to your advantage and opt for a white-noise machine or use white-noise apps.
It will muffle many noises at home without disturbing the sleep. You are also relieved of the stress of having to maintain total silence for most of the day.
5. Control the Sleep Environment
Babies are susceptible to various factors when it comes to sleeping. If the room is too hot or too cold, they will be uncomfortable sleeping; if you turn on the light or if it’s too loud, the baby will wake up and may not want to sleep again, uncomfortable clothes and strong scents also interrupt their sleep.
Therefore, it’s up to you to control the baby’s sleep environment. Block out loud noises at home using white noise, keep the lights dim or use dark curtains during the day, put them in soft clothes, and maintain optimum room temperature.
Catching the ZZZZ’s
A well-rested baby is a happy baby. It may take a while to figure out what works the best for your baby and what doesn’t. The reality is that babies will wake up frequently throughout the day but remember this phase doesn’t last long. Be patient, keep realistic expectations, share the workload, and ensure you get enough sleep yourself.