One of the most difficult aspects of parenthood is getting used to being continuously woken during the night.
Whilst there are no ‘rules’ concerning a baby’s sleeping habits, as every baby is different, there are several steps you can take to encourage your baby to sleep through. The importance of a baby bedtime routine should not be underestimated.
Establishing a bedroom routine
Because babies’ knowledge is so narrow, they are dependent on routines and thrive on consistency. Establishing a bedtime routine, sooner rather than later, will help your baby associate the routine with sleep. Consistency is the key here, as a ‘odd night’s’ deviation or a change in the sequence of events will only confuse your baby and may delay the development of him learning to sleep on his own.
What your baby’s bedtime routine should consist of
For a baby that is over six months, playing a quiet game, such as a jigsaw can help relax them and let them know bedtime is approaching.
A warm bath can help a baby feel sleepy and is a good way to start the bedtime ritual.
Give your baby his final feed of the day and make sure that he is burped properly as wind can be a big factor that causes an infant to wake up.
Always ensure the lights are low in the nursery so that your baby will associate the darkness with sleeping.
For older babies, follow the feed with a story.
Sing your baby a lullaby, kiss him goodnight and quietly leave the room.
Your baby needs to learn that, no matter how much she enjoys the bedtime ritual, bed is for sleeping. If she does kick up a fuss for a while, let her, she will soon learn that being put in her cot is for sleep.