Establishing your baby’s sleeping habits is important for everyone in the family. Parents and babies alike benefit from a well-rested baby. But for the most part, this is no simple task! Many parents find this to be one of the more difficult challenges of babyhood.
Depending on your situation and needs, you may want to try a few of the following tips for improving your baby’s sleeping habits:
- Every family has different needs. This is the most important tip. Sleeping habits are very personal. Consider your families’ overall sleeping needs and pay close attention to your baby’s.
- Each baby’s sleeping habits will vary to a degree. Some babies want some extra cuddling right before bed, while others need very little. And just because your neighbor’s baby falls asleep within minutes doesn’t mean yours will.
- If the parents are calm, the baby is calm. Of course this is not a perfect science, but if you are stressed there is a good chance your baby will sense it. Remaining calm and peaceful during your baby’s bedtime routine can help create better sleeping habits.
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Your baby’s sleeping habits will benefit from a consistent bedtime routine: dinner, bath, quiet time, bed.
- Good sleeping habits begin with a regular bedtime. Try to keep your baby on a regular schedule that does not vary too much from day to day.
- Quiet time before bedtime is essential. Try not to turn on the T.V. too close to bedtime. The noise and images will not help to settle your baby down. Read a book or sing a song to your baby instead.
- Massage your baby at bedtime. By taking a few minutes to add this to your baby’s bedtime routine, you will help to enhance your baby’s sleeping habits.
- Use a white-noise machine. Some parents find that white-noise — a constant soft sound that blocks out other noises — helps to create better sleeping habits for their babies, especially if there are noisy siblings around.
- Keep your baby on a regular nap schedule. It has been my experience that “sleep begets sleep.” One of the best ways to create better sleeping habits is to get your baby into the habit of napping daily.
- Avoid baby falling asleep in the car or stroller. A baby that gets into the habit of falling asleep while in motion may have greater difficulty falling asleep in bed while lying still.