10 tips to get your baby to sleep!
Getting our baby to go to bed without resistance and to sleep through the night is a challenge we are all facing with the arrival of a new baby in our life!
When my daughter was 2 months old, i took her to see a Pediatrician. When i told him that i was still struggling with her bedtime routine (she would not go to sleep until at least 11pm-12am), he gave me some great tips on how to develop good sleep habits for my baby.
I followed his instructions and less than two weeks later, my baby had a set bedtime routine, she was going to bed at 7pm with no resistance and she was sleeping through the night (no more feedings in the middle of the night). No need to say that his guidelines worked amazingly for me!
Here are the 10 most valuable tips I extracted from his guidelines:
- Establish a bedtime routine to allow your baby to wind down and get himself ready to transition for wake to sleep. Spend about 30 minutes of quiet time doing relaxing activities (eg. singing, reading a story, massage) before getting your baby to sleep.
- Always put your baby to sleep at the same time. Going to bed at the same time every night helps your baby develop good sleeping habits
- Place your baby in the crib when he is drowsy but awake. If he is crying, rock him and cuddle him; but when he settles down, place him back in the crib.
- Hold your baby for all fussy crying during the first three months. Babies can’t be spoiled during the first 3 or 4 months of their life. When your baby settles down, again place him back in the crib.
- Do not let your baby sleep for more than 3 consecutive hours during the day.
- Keep daytime feeding intervals to at least 2 hours for newborns. More frequent daytime feeding lead to frequent awakenings for small feedings at night. Crying does not always mean your baby is hungry. For every time you nurse/feed your baby, there should be four or five times that you snuggle your baby without nursing.
- Make middle-of-the-night feedings BRIEF and BORING. When your baby awaken at nights for feedings, DON’T turn on the lights, talk to him or rock him. Feed him quickly and quietly.
- Don’t awaken your infant to change diapers during the night. If you must change your baby, use as little light as possible, do it quietly and don’t provide any entertainment. Again BORING, BORING, BORING…
- Try to delay middle-of-the-night feedings (for two-month-old babies or older). Before feeding your baby, try holding him briefly to see if that will satisfy him. If you must feed him, nurse for less time at night (or give less formula).
- Make any middle-of-the-night contacts BRIEF and BORING. If your baby cries for more than a few minutes, visit him but don’t turn on the lights, play with him or take him out of his crib. Comfort him with a few soothing words and stay for less than 1 minute. If the crying continues, calm him and stay in the room until he goes to sleep (exceptions: you feel that your baby is sick, hungry or afraid).
The main idea behind the above guidelines is to get your baby to think of nighttime as a special time for sleeping. To do this, it’s important to provide extra cuddling, rocking, playtime during the day while making the night very boring.
The guidelines were extracted from the book “Instructions for Pediatric Patients” written by Barton D. Schmitt.