How to Make a Baby Sleep Through the Night
There is nothing sweeter than watching your baby sleep. While most newborns wake up every few hours to eat, you should see your baby start to sleep through the night once they begin to eat more at each feeding. Yet, some babies just seem to be born to be night owls, and this can leave you feeling exhausted throughout the day. When you just can’t figure out how to get baby to sleep through the night, you can use these tips to find the perfect solution.
Develop a Routine
One of the first things that you learn is a new parent is that kids thrive on routines, and you can use a routine to send signals to your newborn that it is time to sleep. Your baby’s routine may look different from someone else’s. It may also take some trial and error to find what works for your baby. While some babies get sleepy after a bath, others get energetic. Be willing to experiment with your baby’s routine until you find the perfect series of steps to follow.
Once you find the magical formula, be sure to share it with your child’s other parent and caregivers such as grandparents. This way, they can use it to figure out how to get baby to sleep through the night. Keeping things consistent also helps your baby to continue to respond to your signals that they need to rest.
Include One of These Activities In Your Baby’s Routine
The final event in your baby’s routine should be one that is calm and leaves them feeling soothed and loved. Here are a few options that you can try, but remember to only pick one or two so that you don’t cause your baby to get overstimulated.
- listening to a lullaby
- enjoying a bath
- getting a baby massage from you
- looking at a picture book
Create a Soothing Sleep Environment
Setting up the nursery is always exciting, and you can find curtains and bedding to fit just about any theme. While butterflies and jungle animals are pretty adorable, you also want to avoid going overboard and making the room to stimulating. Stick to soothing colors in pastel or lighter shades. You will also want to make sure that your baby’s room is a comfortable temperature and shielded from outside lights that could cause them to wake up.
Add These Items to the Nursery
As you set up the nursery, consider adding these features that can help you figure out how to get baby to sleep through the night.
- white noise machine
- small radio or music player
- rocking chair or glider
- light-blocking curtains
Most newborns enjoy being swaddled, and this is one trick for how to get baby to sleep through the night that you might even learn in the hospital before you come home. There is something about being tightly wrapped up in a blanket that makes them feel secure as though they are still in the womb. If your baby likes swaddling, you can use special sleepers that help keep them in that position. Once they get older, you can use blanket sleepers to give them a similar sensation of being snuggled close.
Lay Them Down While They Are Awake
Knowing how to get baby to sleep through the night also involves being aware of the perfect moment to lay them down in their bed. Although you may want to keep cuddling with your baby until they fall asleep on your chest, this often creates problems when you try to lay them down. Once your baby falls asleep, any changes in their environment can wake them up. Instead, try waiting until your baby is just starting to get sleepy. Then, lay them down in their crib, turn off the lights and go in another room. In most cases, your baby may move around for a few minutes, but they’ll quickly succumb to the fatigue and fall asleep.
Avoid Tiptoeing Around
While you want to create a soothing sleep environment, you also want to avoid letting your baby think that they must have complete silence to sleep. In most instances, your baby should have a fairly routine bedtime that occurs before yours. This means that you may need to spend an hour or two after they go to bed doing things such as chores around the house. You may also want to talk to your partner or watch a show on television. For this reason, you want to live out your normal routine after your baby falls asleep from the moment that you bring them home. You will still need to avoid making loud random noises that might startle your baby, but you should also be able to walk around and talk normally.
Take Note of What Wakes Them Up
In the first few weeks, your baby will naturally wake up for feedings or to have their diaper changed. However, you may start to notice them waking up for other reasons as they get older. When your baby cries during the night, try to take note of what caused their sleep to be disrupted. For instance, your baby may wake up to a neighbor’s dog barking, and you can solve this by playing the white noise machine. Alternatively, your baby may get hot and sweaty as they sleep. What that’s the case, you can adjust the thermostat or dress your baby in lighter clothing for bedtime.
Teach Them to Self-Soothe
Putting your baby to bed before they fall asleep is one way to help them learn how to self-soothe. Depending upon your baby’s age, you can also give them things such as a pacifier as another way to figure out how to get baby to sleep through the night. Keep in mind, however, that some babies wake up if the pacifier falls out of their mouth, so you will have to watch to see if this could be why they are waking up.
Avoid Rushing In
When you are first learning how to get baby to sleep through the night, you may struggle with overcoming the instinct to rush immediately to their cries. Many babies cry briefly in the middle of the night for normal reasons such as having a bad dream or feeling slightly uncomfortable. When your baby cries, wait just a minute or two to see if they stop. Often, your baby will start to self soothe so that they don’t wake all the way up. If you share parenting duties with a partner, then make sure that they also know this simple trick to learn how to get baby to sleep through the night.
Make Bed Checks Boring
When your baby cries for long enough to be a concern, you will need to check on them. This helps your baby learn that they are secure during the night because you are always close by. During these late night visits to your baby’s room, remember the basic strategies for determining how to get baby to sleep through the night such as keeping things very calm. Whether your baby needs a diaper change or a feeding, try to keep the lights dim. A nightlight works well for this purpose. You will also want to use a quieter voice than normal such as a whisper as you speak to your newborn. After you complete the mission, try to resist the urge to rock them back to sleep. Just place them back in their bed like you do at the beginning of the evening.
Be Prepared for Things to Change
You will also need to remember that knowing how to get baby to sleep through the night is a only the beginning. As your baby matures, they will experience new things that affect their sleep patterns. Teething, a renewed appetite and being sick can all change how to get baby to sleep through the night. When this happens, keep your basic essentials such as a routine, but try adding a new strategy or two such as giving your baby a gum massage to ease their teething pain. Over time, your baby will adjust to the changes and start sleeping through the night again.
There is no single formula for figuring out how to get baby to sleep through the night since all babies are different. Yet, you don’t have to suffer with sleeplessness for long when you know the right tricks for helping your baby to feel secure and calm. As you get started with your baby’s care routine, try out a few of these tips and watch as you both enjoy more restful sleep.