Getting your baby to sleep through the night: it’s the parenting hack of the century!
It’s understandable given how precious a good night's sleep can be for new parents. Getting enough sleep is vital for physical and mental health, while sleep deprivation can lead to a number of health issues ranging from depression to obesity and even heart disease.
Newborns have a tough time distinguishing between night and day, which explains their short bursts of sleep around the clock. They wake every few hours to feed since their tiny tummies aren't big enough to keep them full throughout the night. As they continue to grow, they require feeding less frequently, meaning a better night’s sleep for all, right? Unfortunately, sleep is a learned skill, so before your little one can start sleeping through those longer stretches, they must first master the art of sleep. So before you buy a pair of expensive, noise-cancelling headphones, here are our 7 baby sleep tips for new parents wanting a better night’s sleep.
Baby Sleep Tips For New Parents
1. Establish A Bedtime Routine
Newborns typically don’t have a set bedtime. However,once your baby is a few months old,you can start to establish healthy sleeping habits. Even the smallest change in your baby’s routine can leave them feeling off and waking more frequently at night. Implementing a consistent bedtime routine is the first step to helping your baby sleep well into the night. Before putting your little one to sleep, swaddle or shush your baby to create a calming effect. You’ll begin to create positive sleep associations for your baby, and they’ll begin to associate this routine with their bedtime.
Startle Reflex is an infantile reflex that virtually all babies are born with. It can be triggered by any sudden changes in sensual stimulation including a loud noise, a sudden touch, or any event that puts your baby off balance. If you’ve ever experienced the feeling of free falling after you’ve dozed off on the couch and your body jolts back awake, you will have experienced the feeling of Startle Reflex. Unfortunately, this happens to babies while they’re asleep, causing them to flail their arms and legs and jerk awake.
Swaddling has been proven to significantly help babies deal with Startle Reflex. Swaddling keeps their arms and legs tucked close to their bodies, keeping them snug and secure. The Henry and Grace Merino Wraps are perfect for swaddling your little one, preventing them from startling themselves awake. They offer softness and unique thermal properties to keep them comfortable while they sleep, all-year-round.
3. Limit Nap Times During The Day
It may be difficult to wake a sleeping baby, but sleeping too long during the day can eat away nighttime sleep. Capping nap time at 2 hours during the day will help you and your baby get a good night's rest. Breaking up their sleep will also enable you to get more feedings in, meaning they won’t be as hungry when it’s time for lights off. If you feel your baby needs a longer nap, increase their nap limit to 2.5 hours but not much longer. You’ll thank me for it later!
4. Use White Noise
Just like adults, it’s difficult for your baby to fall asleep if there is too much noise in the house. White noise can soothe a baby to sleep and block out sounds from around the house. An electric fan or white noise machine creates a comfortable, womb-like environment that calms anxious baby’s and improves their quality of sleep.
5. Change Your Diaper Changing Strategy
Did you know that most babies aren't bothered by sleeping with a wet diaper? Of course, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't be changing it throughout the night, but it does mean you might be changing it more often than you need to. Resist the urge to change your baby’s diaper every time they wake up. Diaper changes can be pretty active and jostle your baby awake, so opt for extra absorbent diapers and only change them when it’s absolutely necessary.
6. Limit Eye Contact
Many babies are easily stimulated. Prolonged or animated eye contact can engage their attention and signal it’s playtime, so it’s important to avoid this before bedtime and during night time feedings and changes. Stay calm and low-key, and speak in a soft tone so they know it’s time for sleep.
7. Be Patient
When it comes to baby sleep tips, the most important rule is to remain patient. There is no magical solution or one-fits-all approach to getting your baby to sleep, so finding a method that works for you is a must.
If your baby starts waking up during the night again, remain patient: it’s probably a temporary sleep regression. Babies and toddlers often experience sleep regressions around major developmental milestones or changes in routine. A regression can last anywhere between 1 - 4 weeks. Stick to a consistent schedule during the day and a calming bedtime routine in the evening to ensure you and your baby get a good night's rest.
Dressing your baby in the right clothes will keep them comfortable throughout the night and ensure they’re getting enough sleep. The Henry and Grace ultrafine Merino t-shirts, bodysuits, leggings, blankets and wraps are sumptuously soft and snuggly, and are perfect for dressing your baby for bed. Browse our incredible range of baby clothes today and experience the benefits of our exclusively crafted ultrafine Merino wool!