Baby Sleeping Tips: 10 Ways to Improve Your Newborn’s Sleep
Baby sleeping tips are some of the most sought after treasures a new parent seeks.This is especially true for parents with babies younger than 3 months, but sleep can be difficult in older babies as well. This is because babies spend a lot more time in rapid eye movement sleep, also known as REM sleep. REM sleep is a very light sleep so babies easily wake up at during this stage.
Below you will find 10 tips that include proven methods to help your baby to sleep better.
1. Develop a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Babies sleep better if you develop a peaceful bedtime routine and then stick to that routine as consistently as possible. Keep every part of this routine quiet and calm. Talk in a soft sweet voice. Try things like rocking, cuddling, reading a story, singing a song, play a music box, playing a favorite soft song, showing them a favorite stuffed animal or toy, letting them pet the dog or cat, soft kisses, gentle massage, walking around with them in your arms, or any other calm activity that your baby enjoys and relaxes him.
2. Keep the Baby Actively Stimulated During the Day
A baby that has been fully stimulated during the day will sleep better at night. Make sure that you engage your baby as much as possible during the day to keep her mentally alert. Objects hanging over the bed such as mobiles and spinning objects can fascinate babies and get them to actively respond. Many babies are also drawn to animals so a household pet like a cat or dog can be quite entertaining. Some babies love to watch fish in an aquarium.
3. Stimulate the Baby to Laugh More
A happy baby will sleep better at night. Laughter is a great activity that will make your baby happy. You want to stimulate him to laugh during the day, but not right before bedtime. Tickle and play with him to induce laughter. Make funny faces. Happy music and videos made for kids can often stimulate babies to laugh. Clap your hands, smile, laugh, and sing along. Babies will often join in by laughing and moving around, especially if they see you doing so.
4. Get the Baby Out of the House
Give your baby something new to dream about and she will sleep better at night. Babies are stimulated when they experience new sights, new sounds, new smells, new people, and new places. Bundle up your baby and get her out of the house more. A stroll through the park, a visit with a friend, or just an ordinary shopping trip can all add extra stimulation for your baby. This additional stimulation will help your baby sleep better at night.
5. Put the Baby to Bed Before They Fall Asleep
Many parents make the mistake of holding the baby until she falls asleep and then trying to quietly put her in the crib. Invariably, babies wake up as you are transferring them into their bed. What seems to work better is to hold the baby until she is very sleepy, but put her into bed before she actually falls completely asleep. Then let her drift off to sleep while you are still standing by.
6. Keep the Room Atmosphere Constant
Babies naturally wake up a lot at night, and often they will fall right back to sleep. However, if things seem different in the room when they wake, they may be startled and won't go back to sleep. This is why it is important to keep the atmosphere in baby's room as consistent as possible. If you use a dim light, make sure you use the same type of bulb if you change it and don't let light from other parts of the house change the lighting in your baby's room. Keep the noise level and the temperature constant as well. It is also a good idea to keep the blanket textures the same.
7. Soothing Sounds
Some parents have found their babies sleep better if they play soft soothing sounds in their room. Sounds such as soft ocean waves, a gentle rain, a babbling brook, or even white noise played softly in the background can help to sooth your baby to sleep.
8. Don't Always Pick Up the Baby
It is a natural instinct to want to pick up your baby he cries out at night. Try to resist this urge however, as this can make it much harder for him to fall back asleep. It is better to just stand by the crib and talk softly. If need be, lightly touch the baby to let them know you are there. Most of the time he will fall right back to sleep this way. If you pick the baby up it may wake him up more, making it harder to drift off again.
9. Use a Pacifier
Some babies fall asleep easier if they have a pacifier. Be sure to test more than one because babies do have their preferences. Pacifiers have also been shown to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS.
10. Use an Organic Baby Mattress
A good mattress can really make a difference to how well your baby sleeps. Many conventional mattresses contain polyurethane foam made from petroleum, formaldehyde, and other chemicals that can irritate the skin and respiratory system as your baby tries to sleep. Investing in a nice organic baby mattress can help your baby sleep better.
Photos 1 and 2 from flickr. This article is written by Alisha Webb. Alisha is a British writer and content developer for NaturalMat.co.uk. She holds an MA in Creative Writing. Her poetry and short-fiction have been published extensively across the world. She is a keen traveler, reader, and moviegoer.
Do you have a favorite tip that helps your baby sleep?