Help! How Can I Fix My Baby’s Sleep Schedule?
While babies are still in the womb, they tend to sleep mostly when the mother is awake because of the rocking movements that make it fall asleep. When you are sleeping at night, you have probably felt the baby begin to play inside of you as the rocking movement are no longer there to keep it asleep.
That is why when the baby is born, it’s schedule tends to be the opposite of yours, and you might experience quite a few sleepless nights. Luckily for you, you can fix your baby’s sleep schedule so that you can get a good night’s sleep which is just as important for your baby as it is for you.
Why A Child’s Sleep Schedule Matters
Why is it important to fix your baby’s sleep schedule? If the baby is not sleeping at night you are not either. This can make you tired throughout the day when you need to tend to your baby’s needs. The fatigue and tension that comes from it are best to be fixed as soon as possible so that you can feel well throughout the day and be present emotionally for your little one.
Addressing the Cause of Baby’s Poor Sleep Schedule
There are many reasons why your baby may be waking up at night. When you address one or multiple of those issues, you may just find the reason why your baby is waking up at night. Then you can choose how to fix your baby’s sleep schedule.
Too Much Stimulation
It is correct to assume that children need to be active throughout the day to sleep well at night. This daily share of activities and excitement is best to be saved for the earlier part of the day. Many times we tend to start playing with our children right before they go to bed. Splashing in the bathtub or a nighttime watching of videos can be counterproductive to the sleep schedule for your baby. When the baby is excited it might be hard for it to relax into sleep.
Overly Sensitive Baby
Some babies are just more sensitive than others to external and internal factors. It could be a noise that bothers the baby or the discomfort of digestion. Even something like tags on the clothes can bother it if it’s one of the more sensitive babies. These little things may not bother it so much during the day when there is a lot going on, but at night all of this makes a big impression on the baby.
Lack of Light
If the room that your baby is sleeping in is not light enough and at the same time it gets no time to spend outside, it could have a hard time sleeping at night. While the dark is necessary for sleeping, too little exposure to light during the day can make the baby wake up during the night more often.
A Nighttime Snack
If you feed your baby right before laying it to sleep, it might already associate sleep time with food. This is especially true if the baby falls asleep at your breast. This is one of the most common causes of a nocturnal sleep schedule for the baby. When your baby wakes up during the night, it might assume that it needs to eat in order to drift off into sleep.
Short or No Naptime
Babies who do not like to snooze during the daytime are more prone to waking up at night. To fix your baby’s sleep schedule it will have to have a persistent downtime during the day.
Used to Being Held
While it is important to have a strong connection with your child, some babies become dependent on being held and rocked in order to go to sleep. This can be tiring for you to do during the night whenever it wakes up as it means you abandoning your sleep entirely. When you fix your baby’s sleep schedule, you will also benefit with more energy and a better mood.
You Can’t Stand a Fuss
While babies are presented as creatures that drift off into sleep as soon as they touch the pillow, this is not always the case. Many times it takes a while before the baby goes into a deep slumber. If you make some noise in the room and it fusses a little, you might be tempted to tend to it at the moment which is not helping you create a good sleep schedule for your baby.
Fixing the Sleep Schedule for Your Baby
There are various ways to fix your baby’s sleep schedule depending on what is the reason behind your baby’s waking. Here are ways to create a healthy sleep schedule for your baby.
Have a Bedtime Routine
It is important to give your baby time to wind down before going to bed. Replace any kind of stimulating activities with ones that contribute to relaxation. It is especially important to leave out the TV or electronic devices as they are too stimulating for your baby’s nervous system.
When choosing a bedtime routine, it is important to consider your baby’s temperament and what really makes it more relaxed. While some babies may relax during bathtime, there are other babies that love playing in the bath. If your baby is one that gets excited during bathtime, it is better to skip it.
Consider giving your baby a massage, reading them a book if they are a little older, putting on relaxing music, and dimming the lights. Do not forget your mood as well — if you are tense, your baby will pick up on it. Do something relaxing for yourself as well.
Address Any Irritants
To fix your baby’s sleep schedule is it is very sensitive, you will need to check all of the things surrounding her. Remove any tags on its clothes, use soft bedding, and make sure that the room it sleeps in is as dark as possible. Remove anything that could make a sudden or startling sound like a phone.
Provide Steady Stimulation
While sudden and sharp stimulants can be annoying to your child, a complete lack of stimulation can also be bothersome for very young babies. Inside the womb, the baby is used to all kinds of sounds, rocking, and the walls of the womb wrapped tightly around it. Having a soft blanket, swishing sounds, or gentle rocking of the cradle will provide it with the relaxation it was used to inside the womb.
Expose to Light During the Day
Sometimes in order to fix your baby’s sleep schedule, you need to give it plenty of light during the day. Morning light is the most important for this. When you expose your baby to daylight during the morning, melatonin production is suppressed.
Melatonin is the hormone that makes us stay asleep. When it is not produced during the day, it peaks during the nighttime giving your baby a good night’s sleep. Sometimes this is enough to fix your baby’s sleep schedule.
Feed Baby Early
You can fix your baby’s sleep schedule by slowly cutting the association of sleep time with feeding. If it is used to nursing just as it goes to bed, it is best to feed the baby before the naptime routine that you will use. If you can, try to avoid feeding your baby in the room it sleeps in altogether. This will remove any associations that it has between sleep and eating.
Take the chance for a daytime nap as soon as you can in order to fix your baby’s sleep schedule. If you notice your baby getting heavy eyes or yawning during the day, use the moment to lay it down. When the baby becomes too tired, it is often harder for it to go to sleep so you have to catch the moment early on.
Use the same thing you use when you are laying down to sleep at night. If you use a lullaby, do so just before it falls asleep for a nap. Even if the whole time the baby is just cooing, it is still better to have this downtime than none at all.
Give Your Baby Time
Sometimes you might be impatient and expect your baby to fall asleep on the second. If she begins fussing or crying, let her do so for a few minutes before you tend to it in the usual way. She might settle herself in a few minutes. If the crying persists, it is best to be by her side and pat her gently letting her know that you are there but that it is time to go to sleep.
Fix Your Baby’s Sleep Schedule!
Some parents turn to the controlled crying method in order to fix the baby’s sleep. This consists of letting your child cry for some time until it learns that sleep time is strictly meant for sleep. You should still check up on your baby regularly to make sure that everything is all right and to reassure it of your presence.
If this method is not your preferred one to fix your baby’s sleep schedule, you might take on the role of a comforter and co-sleep with your baby. When you fall asleep with your baby and cuddle it, it will feel safer and know that it is time for sleep.