Whether you’re a new parent or not, putting a baby to sleep isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Babies can suffer from colic, teething pain, behavioral sleep insomnia, sleep regressions, and more. Here are our 10 effective tips for your baby's sleep throughout the night to make bedtime a little less like a battlefield.
1. Create and stick to a bedtime routine
Establishing and adhering to a consistent bedtime routine is a crucial element in providing babies with a sense of security and stability.
“Children who follow bedtime routines are more likely to experience a range of positive sleep outcomes, including going to sleep earlier, requiring less time to fall asleep, enjoying longer periods of uninterrupted sleep, and waking up less frequently during the night.” 💡Sleep Foundation
This underscores the significant impact that routines can have on a child's bedtime routine chart. Commencing a bedtime routine with activities like dinnertime, bathtime, and an infant massage not only helps in winding down the day but also signals to the baby that it's time for sleep.
- Choose a bedtime that works for your child: every kiddo is different, so find the sweet spot when they naturally start getting sleepy. It's like finding the magic hour when their eyes start doing the sleep dance, which is around 8 pm.
- Create a relaxing environment: throw on some white noise or play soft tunes to create a cozy atmosphere. It's like telling your kiddo, "Hey, it's winding down time."
- Include a Storybook time: Check out our Storybook app – we've got the coolest stories for your munchkin. Bedtime stories aren't just about tales; they're about creating awesome moments together. Snuggle up, hit play, and let the bedtime adventures begin!
2. Provide a good sleep time environment
Forge a dreamy sleep haven for your little one by curating an ideal sleep environment. As highlighted by the Sleep Foundation, the quality of sleep is intimately tied to factors like light and noise levels, temperature, and overall comfort.
To enhance your baby's sleep experience, consider following these tips:
- 💡 Dim the lights for a calming atmosphere
- 🤗 Maintain a comfortable room temperature
- 💻 Ditch screens at least an hour before bedtime – especially for the younger ones under 12-24 months, as recommended by experts.
- 🎵 Keep the surroundings peaceful by silencing any loud noises and consider introducing a white noise machine if needed.
- ✨ Don't forget the overnight diaper strategy – either ensure your baby is wearing one designed for extended use or change them right before bedtime to stave off unnecessary disruptions during the night.
- 🛌🏻 Maintain a cozy sleep space by ensuring the room temperature is just right and opting for soft, dim lighting in the evening.
These considerations play a crucial role in signaling bedtime and fostering a restful environment for your little one.
People simply sleep better when their bedroom is optimized for light and noise levels, temperature, and comfort. And since sleep quality and duration are directly tied to other aspects of human health, a bedroom environment that promotes sleep can also improve how you feel while you’re awake.
💡 Sleep Foundation
3. Experiment with effective sleep strategies
Try out white noise which provides a blanket of sound or baby sleep music. You can also try swaddling or weighted sleep sacks to help your baby get the Zzzzs they need.
Try out white noise or soothing baby sleep music in the Storybook app to envelop your little one in a comforting auditory cocoon. The consistent sound provides a sense of security, helping your baby drift into a peaceful slumber.
Experiment with the power of gentle rocking to lull your baby into a serene state. Whether in a rocking chair or a cozy crib, rhythmic movements can mimic the soothing sensations of being cradled, promoting a tranquil bedtime experience. If you're exploring different sleep training methods, incorporating gentle rocking may prove to be an effective technique for a peaceful night's sleep.
4. Wait your baby out
Younger babies sleep in cycles of 50-60 minutes, each cycle is made up of active and quiet sleep. Babies sometimes get fussy, make noise and/or move around during active sleep. Wait your baby out for 5 minutes or until they are properly screaming. Some babies get fussy but will self soothe themselves back to sleep.
⭐Tips on how to patiently wait for your baby to settle down
- Stay calm and centered: Take slow, deep breaths and remind yourself that the process of settling down may take time.
- Create a relaxing environment: Dim the lights, play soft music, and eliminate any potential distractions.
- Engage in soothing activities: These activities not only provide a soothing distraction but also strengthen the bond between you and your little one.
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine: Consistency fosters a sense of security and helps your baby understand the expectation of settling down before sleep.
- Be patient and understanding: Recognize that babies may need time to self-soothe and adjust to the idea of settling down.
5. Pay attention to your baby’s cues
Watch for signs like fussiness, eye rubbing, hair pulling, or increased vocalizations, as these can indicate fatigue. Each baby has unique signals, so pay close attention to their individual patterns.
By promptly responding to these cues, you create a nurturing environment that respects their natural rhythms, making the process of settling down for sleep much more seamless and enjoyable for both you and your little one.
🐻 Insights into understanding your baby's cues
If you're wondering how to help the baby sleep, be attentive to their cues and establish a calming bedtime routine. Watch for subtle signs such as changes in behavior, fussiness, eye rubbing, or vocalizations – each offering unique insights into your little one's needs. Observing individual patterns is crucial, as every baby expresses tiredness in their own way.
6. Avoid eye contact
While establishing eye contact is a wonderful method for bonding with your baby during wakeful moments, it's essential to be mindful of its stimulating effects. Limiting direct eye contact during bedtime routines can help reduce stimulation, creating a calmer environment conducive to sleep.
This subtle adjustment recognizes the balance between bonding and promoting a tranquil setting for your little one to settle down without unnecessary stimulation.
7. Timing is everything
Try to put your baby down, not over tired or under tired. Keep track of your baby’s sleep windows according to their age. They are great guidelines for how long your baby should be awake at a time, you can also read How Many Hours Should a Kid Sleep? to make sure your little one is getting enough sleep.
⏰ How to choose the right time for bedtime and naps
Determining the right time for bedtime and naps is crucial for your baby's well-being. Pay attention to their natural sleep cues and establish a routine that aligns with their internal clock. The phrase "naptime simple tips" can guide you in this process.
- Observe sleep cues: watch for signs of drowsiness, such as eye rubbing, yawning, or a slight decrease in activity. These cues signal that it's an opportune time for a nap or bedtime.
- Establish a consistent schedule: create a regular sleep schedule that accommodates your baby's natural sleep patterns. Consistency reinforces their circadian rhythm, making it easier for them to settle down for both naps and bedtime.
- Follow age-appropriate schedules: refer to age-specific sleep recommendations as your baby grows. As they transition from multiple naps to fewer naps, adjust the schedule accordingly to meet their evolving sleep needs.
- Trial and error: Experiment with different nap and bedtime schedules, observing how your baby responds. Adjustments may be needed as they go through developmental milestones or changes in routine.
8. Use all tools available to you
Some parents will swear by a large list of items and while it’s possible to get your baby to sleep without them, try some out. You might be surprised. Try baby sleep apps or Storybook’s infant massage and bedtime story app.
Baby swings and moving bassinets are also popular. Taking a drive or a walk can also put your little one right to sleep or some moms swear by products such as essential oils or Lush’s Sleepy Body Lotion.
9. Make sure to take care of yourself
Hey, amidst the baby chaos, don't forget about you! While napping every time the baby does might be a stretch, grab those chances when you can. Team up with your partner for tag-team naps or catch some extra Zzzs by hitting the sack earlier.
Taking care of yourself isn't just a bonus—it's a must. So, sneak in those naps and get some good sleep vibes going. You got this!
10. Plan for unexpected challenges
Younger babies do not have well-developed circadian rhythm, meaning they cannot distinguish well between day and night. Don’t compare your baby to others, think of your little one as an individual and prepare for unplanned teething pain and sleep regressions.
The important thing is that your baby is getting enough sleep which is essential for their development. So, try out these hacks to make it a little bit easier. If you are concerned about your baby not getting enough sleep, please consult your pediatrician.
- Sleep Foundation. (2023, October 26). Perfecting Your Child's Bedtime Routine. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/children-and-sleep/bedtime-routine
- Sleep Foundation. (2023, October 26). Optimize Your Bedroom for Better Sleep. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment