I am with you! it’s hard to get your little one to sleep through the night. Unfortunately, there is no magic answer that will make it happen overnight.
Last night was the first night my baby did 12:00-5AM, I spoke to my husband in complete disbelief! This is the longest stretch he has ever done. Whilst I do not have a single magic answer for you, here are some approaches and tips that might help. It’s good to remember, every baby is different and you’ll need to find the routine that works best for your baby. Here are 11 tips that may (or may not) help you get closer to your goal of a full night’s sleep.
Pointers to try
1. Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it: A good bedtime routine will help signal to your baby when it’s time for sleep and create a calming atmosphere. Establishing an appropriate ‘cue’ (such as bath time) that you consistently use each evening can also help your baby understand that it’s time for rest.
2. Put them down when they are drowsy, but not asleep: This ensures that they learn how to self-soothe and fall asleep independently, rather than relying on you to do this for them each night.
3. Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime: If you engage in stimulating activities such as watching TV or playing with toys before bedtime, your baby may find it difficult to settle down and relax.
4. Use white noise: A fan, a sound machine, gentle music – whatever works for you – can be used to create a calming environment that blocks out other noises that might wake up your baby.
5. Room temperature is important: Keep the room cool and comfortable so that their sleep is not disturbed by being too hot or too cold.
6. Check for external factors: Make sure that your baby is not over-tired, hungry or uncomfortable before bedtime.
7. Consider ‘sleep associations’ that may be helping your baby fall asleep: This could include rocking them to sleep, breastfeeding them to sleep or using a pacifier to help soothe themselves. These are all harmless but if you are looking to transition away from these methods, it can be helpful to identify what they rely on and slowly work towards weaning them off of it.
8. Avoid frequent night wakings: If your baby wakes up during the night, try not to engage in stimulating activities with them – such as playing or talking – as this might make it harder for them to go back to sleep. Instead, provide them with comfort and reassurance until they drift back off.
9. Consider the timing of naps: If your baby takes an afternoon nap too close to bedtime, it could disrupt their sleep cycle as they may not be tired enough at night.
10. Use blackout blinds/curtains: This can help reduce any outside light which might disturb your baby’s sleep schedule by making them think it is morning time when really it’s not.
11. Avoid exposure to bright lights at night: Similarly to light coming through windows, bright lights in the house can trick your baby into thinking it’s time to be awake.
The tips above should have hopefully given you some ideas on how you can go about doing this. All the best! We are in this together! Be realistic with your hopes, but eventually, they will learn this skill!