If you clicked on this link or googled “how to get my restless baby to sleep”, let us first tell you that you are not alone! Mothers’ world over find putting their babies to sleep a very difficult feat. Sure, babies sleep a lot. Then how come mommies find it difficult to make their babies sleep? A number of challenges. Do the babies sleep at the right time? And do they sleep continuously? Also, do they fall asleep easily or does it require an hour long effort from your side? Read on for 8 effective tips to make your restless baby sleep.
8 Effective Tips On Making Your Restless Baby Sleep
- Create a consistent bedtime ritual: We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Babies respond very well to routine. They are more at peace when they know what is coming next. Your bedtime routine can include many of these actions – dimming the lights in the entire house (this should be done at a consistent time everyday so that it calms the baby and he knows he is going to sleep soon), making sure there are no loud noise from TV etc., giving the baby a relaxing body massage and/or a warm bath, singing some lullabies, reading a night-time story, changing the baby to sleeping clothes and finally putting the baby in his crib/bed
- Identify the sleeping signs: The idea is to put the baby to sleep just as he starts getting tired. If you try to put him to sleep before he is tired, he might just be restless. If you try to put him to sleep after he is tired for a long time, he will be fussy, cranky and harder to calm down. So how do you know when it’s the right time? Look for cues. He might stop looking interested in things around him, he might start yawning and/or he might appear quiet. Start the sleeping routine when you notice these cues
- Rockabye baby: Babies love motion. This is why they fall asleep in a jiffy when they are in a car or train. Try to invest in a rocking chair and gently rock the baby to sleep. You can even walk around with the baby – that can calm him down too. Cradles and cloth hammocks are other great options as they provide a cuddly, rocking motion
- Play some calming music: Just like some music can calm your stress levels, it has an impact on your baby as well. Soft music, such as lullabies, are great choice. But do not limit yourself to melodies. Research shows that babies, who were used to only the sound of heartbeats and the swooshing noises when in the womb, respond very well to monotonous noises, white noise and static. You will see multiple audio clips of these sorts if you search online
- Swaddle for comfort: Many a times, babies wake up from their sleep due to their own startling reflex. These are spontaneous movements of babies’ limps in their sleep which wake them up. To avoid such jerking movements, it is a good idea to swaddle the baby before sleep. Make sure you swaddle comfortably with a soft material. Also, be warned that not all kids like being swaddled. So if it is not for your kid, do not force it as it can only make the child crankier
- Cut your caffeine: You need caffeine to stay awake? But do you realize that you are passing on the caffeine to your child through breastmilk? Babies take longer than adults to breakdown caffeine and this means they will stay up active for a longer time.
- Try dream feeding: Sometimes babies wake up prematurely because their last meal was hours before sleep time. To avoid this, just when the baby has fallen asleep, try to give him one feed. You do not need to wake the baby up (hence the name “dream” feed). With a fuller tummy, the baby is likely to sleep more
- Study the reason behind baby’s restlessness: If the above tips do not work, start identifying the reasons they baby is waking up in the night. Once you find the reason, you can try to work around it. For instance, if wet diaper is a reason, try to switch brands and use a diaper that offers dryness though the night
Also it is really difficult to manage the baby single handedly during the day as well as at night. Don’t feel shy to ask for help. Your partner should equally share the responsibility. If he is not available in the morning, he can share the responsibilities during night time. It is a responsibility which you and your partner should share equally. Discuss it out with him and come to a mutual understanding regarding the same.
Remember, after having a safe cocoon for nine months in the womb, your baby is new to the outside world so it will take some time to form a sleeping pattern.
We hope that the above mentioned tips will come to your rescue and will help your restless baby sleep better. This way even you will get the much needed sleep. We hope all those sleepless mothers will now be able to deal with a restless baby in a better manner. All the best!
And do not forget to share your experiences in the comments section below.