Getting a child to sleep can be harrowing even for an experienced parent. Your little one is likely to be fussy for the first few weeks. Determining infant sleep patterns and figuring out how to make your baby comfortable is essential, as it helps you get more rest, making you a more attentive parent. Once you have established stable infant sleep patterns for your baby using these tips, you’re sure to notice that your child will be more happy, calm, and aware.
The Benefits of Swaddling
The effectiveness of swaddling is no old wives tale; babies are biologically hardwired to respond to this technique. Swaddling counters the natural startle reflex that your baby will experience from birth until they are about five months old. When a baby notices a sudden movement nearby, hears a loud noise, or feels a falling sensation, the startle reflex is triggered. This reflex often interrupts sleep and makes implementing your baby’s sleeping patterns much more difficult. Swaddling involves wrapping your baby in a comfortable blanket securely, but not too tightly, so they feel that they are held and comforted, even when you put them into their crib, creating a sense of calm and restfulness.
Creating Bedtime in Pre-nap Routines
The most important thing is to try to establish a robust sleeping schedule that is comfortable and consistent for your baby. To establish your pre-nap routine, try and develop some active play time and shortly after build a comfortable atmosphere by singing lullabies, creating white noise, and closing blinds and shades right before you put them down for their nap. Repetitively doing things like this will put their minds and bodies in a mood to sleep and let them recognize this as a familiar sensation. Establishing a bedtime routine is done similarly; however, you can add story time and more quality or mutual bedtime to create a sense of significance in this particular routine.
Limiting the Length of Daytime Naps
Again, setting a standard, stable, sleeping schedule will help acclimate your child to your sleep patterns at night; however, this schedule must start during the day. Cutting back on daytime naps is a great way to ensure predetermined, natural infant sleep patterns that will make your baby’s body more prone to sleeping at night. It is tempting to put your baby down for several naps during the day to give yourself a break. However, saving that sleep time for the evening is good for you and your baby.
The Art of Dream Feeding
Dream feeding involves arousing your child from sleep after their last evening meal to feed them a second time right before you go to sleep. Usually, this is done sometime between 10 PM to midnight. While you may be hesitant to wake that peaceful ball of love, this is a very helpful method to ensure a tight sleep for your baby. Dream feeding gives them the extra calories they need to sleep longer. It also keeps them from waking up in the middle of the night from a rumbling tummy, thereby reducing the need for late night feedings. Further, your baby will be hungrier in the morning which will boost their daytime feeds. Thus, dream feeding helps establish infant sleep patterns that are comfortable for both of you. This method is ideal for children up to four months of age.
These tips may take some getting used to, but developing solid sleep patterns is essential to your baby’s health and your peace of mind. Try these techniques and you will build a stronger bond with your baby through sleep.