Babies need sleep – and so do parents! Sleep deprivation is no fun for either of you. There are no guaranteed solutions to helping baby to sleep, but here are 7 tips to help baby sleep :
#1 – Watch for baby’s tired signs.
It may take a little while, but if you watch your baby carefully, you will start to notice her telling you when she is ready for sleep – she may start to cry or grunt and suck her fists or rub her eyes. Her movements may be jerky and she loses eye contact, staring in to the distance and ignoring attempts at distractions.
#2 – Start a ritual
Babies respond well to routine, and it can help them to anticipate what is coming next. You may like to start your bedtime routine with a nice warm bath, and than maybe a massage. You may then say goodnight to the other family members before taking your baby to bed for a little story and then lights out.
#3 – Have a peaceful environment
Ensure the room is darkened, even during the day and that there are no loud noises to disturb baby. You want your baby to know that now is the right time and place to sleep. Bright colours in their sleep space are unlikely to soothe your babe to sleep. Some babies like to feel snug and secure in a smaller sleep space like a bassinet rather than a cot, which can feel very large to them after the cosiness of the womb.
#4 – Wrapping your Baby
Wrapping your newborn helps them feel snug and secure, helping him to settle. It will help stop his startle reflex, which can wake babies up. Not all babies like to be wrapped, and you should stop once they are old enough to turn on to their tummy during sleep. Here is a PDF from SIDS and Kids about safe wrapping techniques.
#5 – Settle with a Sling
Babies love to be close to you, and hear your heartbeat, so popping baby in a sling or baby carrier can help them settle. This can be a good solution during the day or in the early evenings. Some babies can even be transferred from the carrier to the cot without waking!
#6 – Try Co Sleeping
Co sleeping with baby reassures them as they know you are close by. It also makes those night time waker ups easier for you – you can just reach over to the co-sleeper and pat your newborn or baby back to sleep, or easily pick baby up for a breastfeed without having to leave your own bed. There are a great range of co-sleepers and bedside bassinets now available in Australia (and Birth Partner has some available to hire if you don’t want to buy), so you can safely co sleep with your baby, while keeping her on a separate sleep surface.
#7 – Settle Petal
If baby hasn’t slept for long enough, or is still confused about night and day, you can try rocking or patting baby back to sleep while he is still in his bed. You may have a cradle that rocks, or a baby hammock that can help your newborn fall back to sleep with a gentle sway.