Having a baby can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Getting your little one to establish healthy sleep habits is key to everyone’s health and happiness. But, where do you even begin? With some organization, a plan and a few tips from experts, you’ll have your little one sleeping through the night in no time.
The first step should be to create a plan. Setting a routine for bedtime can help the baby know when it’s time for sleep. Start by scheduling a consistent nap and bedtime each day. This will give your baby their best chance for long, restful sleeps. Keeping the bedtime routine the same each night is also important in calming the baby down and preparing them for bed.
Bedtime should be determined by your baby’s age and sleep needs. Typically, babies need more sleep than adults do; newborns need 14-17 hours of sleep, while adults need 7-9. It’s also recommended to not put your baby to bed too late because this can actually disrupt their natural circadian rhythm and lead to them waking up early.
In addition to creating a predictable routine, it’s important to keep your baby’s sleep environment comfortable and quiet. This includes avoiding TV, screens or anything with bright lights close to bedtime. Keeping the nursery dark and cool can also help your baby relax. When it comes to your baby’s sleep, white noise can also be soothing. If your baby wakes up easily, white noise can drown out louder sounds in the house.
Making sure your baby isn’t overtired is essential to establishing healthy sleep habits. Signs that your baby is overtired include yawning, rubbing their eyes, fussiness and a short temper. If you notice any of these signs, it might be a good idea to get your baby ready for bed earlier than usual. And, if your baby still has a hard time settling down, try a few calming techniques like rocking them, rubbing their back or singing a lullaby.
Finally, if your baby is still having trouble sleeping, don’t panic. Bringing in an expert for sleep coaching can help you and your baby to develop healthy sleep habits and get you on track to better and longer nights of sleep.