If you are a first time parent, it is no surprise that one of your biggest struggles would be trying to get your newborn to sleep. Almost every new parent I know would have made some complaint about having to adjust to the new routine, which is described as being all over the place. While it is a cause of frustration, here are some things you can do to get your newborn to sleep.
The first thing you can and should do is to attempt to create a sleep routine. Now I know that this is easier said than done, but since you have nothing to lose, give it a shot anyway. The routine that has been recommended by experts includes a massage followed by a nightly bath. If you’re not keen on the bath for whatever reason, at least stick to the soothing massage. Try to do this 15 minutes before their intended bed time.
The next thing you can attempt is actually a little contrary to popular belief. One of the possible methods of getting your baby into sleep mode is to exhaust his or her energy supply. You can do this by taking part in a game or quick dance. Of course this comes with the assumption that your baby is not a newborn. Combine this with the first tip to increase your chances of success.
Sometimes your baby requires a security blanket to help them doze off. In the early days of his or her life, you would be the ideal security blanket. Your baby needs to know that you are around to protect them. That is why co-sleeping can work well early in life. However, don’t forget that you will have to eventually break this dependence, so keep this in mind.
A bit of movement can definitely work wonders when trying to put your little one to sleep. When I was conducting research on infants, many of them would turn up at the clinic already asleep after a long drive. While this may not always be feasible, investing in a rocking chair or swing can definitely help with this.
Music is also something that can help. It does not haven’t be a lullaby as such; even something soothing and rhythmic can do the trick. You want to be emulating the environment of the womb in the newborn’s early days, and a rhythmic beat bears similarities to what the baby is used to hearing, most notably the mother’s heartbeat.
Food! I’m not just saying this because I’m a glutton, but because I have reason to believe that a full stomach can help your little one fall asleep more easily. When I was doing research on infants, a feed would be included in the protocol for trying to get the infant to fall asleep. From personal experience,this actually works more often than not.
Speaking of food and feeding, the next point is more important to note for all you breastfeeding mums. Unsurprisingly, I’m telling you to be aware of what you eat when you are breastfeeding. Some women tend to overlook this point. If caffeine can keep you up, it sure can keep your baby up as well. After all, what do you think goes into your breast milk?
Be wary of stimulation when trying to put the little one to sleep. This advice is not contrary to the one a few paragraphs earlier though. You see, babies are easily stimulated, so you want him or her to wind down into sleep mode after expending his or her energy. So avoid things like direct eye contact. It might just be a simple tip, but this one is very useful.
Prepare the environment for sleep. This piece of advice is no different from adult insomniacs. Ensure that the room is dark and of the right temperature for sleeping, and try to make your baby aware of night and day. It might help settle his or her circadian rhythms. Try not to turn on the light at night even if your baby wakes up from his or her sleep.
One of the things that annoys an infant to no end is a full dirty diaper. You should always ensure that your baby has a clean diaper before putting him or her to bed. Some people have even suggested learning how to change a diaper while feeding the child. Although I personally find that a little extreme, I do take their point.
Finally, the last point has to do with instinct. If you are observant, you will be able to pick up on cues that will signal your child’s fatigue. When you notice this, try to put them to bed immediately. All the best, and may the force be with you on this!
Hope this helps.
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