How to Make Babies Go to Sleep: 8 Easier Tips
Are you a new mother who is working hard to get adjusted with the life along with a baby? If yes, then you should know that there are different aspects of an infant’s daily routine that need utmost care . Sleep is also one very important aspect of an infant’s life.
Questions like “how to make babies go to sleep”, “how to make baby sleep on his own”, etc. are common. Similarly, parents also show huge concerns about how to get baby to sleep longer stretches at night.
Parents also ask what are the medical reasons baby won’t sleep or if there is a syrup to make baby sleep peacefully. Searching for natural sleep remedies for a baby is also a common thing for parents. In fact, there are so many questions that parents ask regarding the sleeping routine of their babies.
Importance of Sleep for Babies
Before we provide you with the tried and tested tips about how to make babies go to sleep, its important to understand its benefits. Sleeping is a physiological need of the human body.
Sleep through the night has so many benefits for the human health and life that they cannot be summed up in a single go. Sleep is important during all age spans. However, sleep in early years of life is a very crucial aspect for the infants. Years of research data has shown that sleep in infants can lead to following benefits:
- Sleep leads towards consolidation of declarative memory in infants. Getting your baby to sleep during the night promotes memory functions greatly.
- Sleep helps in promoting language learning in infants from 12 months old and onwards. They tend to develop and retain high vocabulary during the day if they sleep properly and adequately.
- Cognitive functioning of the babies are improved greatly through proper sleeping.
- Sleep positively affect the attention span of a baby for activities during the day. So, if your baby is sleeping through the night he’ll be more attentive during the day.
- Growth of babies is also positively corelated with their sleeping habits. Therefore take your baby to bed at time always.
These are just some of the basic benefits of sleep during the night. Since, our focus is on how to make a baby go to sleep, therefore we’ll stick to it.
Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
Sleeping is a highly dynamic process of the human body. When the infants are born, they do not have any established circadian rhythms. This is why a baby can fall asleep at any time during the day or night.
When the baby reaches the age of 10 – 12 weeks, the first circadian rhythms start to develop. This, in turn, leads to development of sleeping patterns in the baby. With the passage of time, the baby becomes nocturnal sleeper. They start staying awake for most of the time in day. Eventually you can start on how to make baby sleep on his own.
Throughout the world, parents (especially mothers) complain a lot about the sleep and the sleeping patterns of their babies. When babies do not get proper sleep, they tend to get grumpy and irritated.
Developing an early sleeping pattern for a baby can go long in his later years of life. They can become fully functioning individuals in adolescence, adulthood and old age as well. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has detailed information about how much sleep babies should have according to their age.
Tips for Baby to Sleep
As we said earlier, a baby can sleep at any time. It is best to let them do so for the first 10 to 12 weeks. After that, you can gradually start setting a sleeping routine for them. As they reach their toddler years, more effective sleep routines and patterns must be reinforced.
They should, then, continue in the upcoming years of life till they reach the age where they can function independently. Below, we are presenting some tips on how to make babies go to sleep. They can also be applied in the toddler years of the a baby’s lives:
1. Programming Internal Clock of baby with External Cues
As said before, the circadian rhythms of a baby are never pre-programmed. In fact, the baby depends solely on the parents/caregivers to develop and adjust his or her circadian rhythms and internal sleep clocks. Think of it as nature’s way to help parents in making their babies go to sleep easily with the passage of time.
The tip is to expose your baby to the day light. Keep them with you while you are working in daytime activities. For example, when you are preparing lunch keep the baby in close vicinity of the kitchen. In this way, the baby will have more time while remaining awake during the day.
Getting your baby to some sunshine outside is also very helpful. When evening arrives, start positioning your babies in ways that keep them away from artificial lights. In this way, their brains will gradually get wired that when lights are fading away, it’s time to go to fall asleep.
2. Comfortable Sleeping Furniture
Furniture matters a lot when it comes to sleep, especially for a baby. Different varieties of cribs and sleeping beds are available for the baby in the market. However, you should always choose the crib carefully.
A crib should have adequate quantity of slats. The distance between any two slats should also be only 2-3 inches apart. In this way, the baby or his head won’t get stuck in between the slats. Cribs are important if you want your baby to sleep peacefully during the night.
Mattress, bed sheets and pillows should all be comfortable and cozy in accordance with the age of the baby. There should also be ample space for you to pat the baby if he wakes up in the middle of the night. In this way, you can solve the issue of how to get baby to sleep without being held.
3. Deal with Lighting in Babies’ Rooms
Apart from the bedding, the surroundings in which the babies are sleeping are also very important. Factors such as light in the room, temperature of the room and noises in the room are all crucial factors. The best way to make babies sleep a good night’s sleep is to focus on these aspects as well.
If managed properly, they can lead to sound sleep throughout the night. Otherwise, the babies may feel uncomfortable and wake up at any time. This tip is particularly important for parents who are looking for how to get baby to sleep longer stretches at night. While you think about how to make babies go to sleep, you should keep strict check on the lighting of the room. Light act as a signal to the brain for delaying onset of sleep at night times.
We know that it is not a realistic option to go for complete blackout in the room. What will you do if you have to change the diaper of the baby in mid-night? Similarly, you may need light for some other activity. But for infants to sleep through the night, you have to find ways to overcome this issue.
The solution is to go for those wavelengths of light that do not disrupt the sleep of the babies. Now you may ask, how can we do this? Simply, you can select those low power bulbs that do not emit blue light in the room. This is because blue light has the wavelength that poses the biggest problem when it comes to sleeping. Blue light filters can also be used to keep that specific wavelength from reaching the babies.
4. Cut out the Screen Time for babies
There is no doubt that using screen at night time can seriously disrupt the sleeping patterns of babies and toddlers. In fact, even the adults face difficulty in falling asleep if they watch screens right before going to sleep. Therefore, cut out the screen time for your babies if you really want to know how to make babies go to sleep at night.
One thing that most of the parents do not notice at all is the use of electronic media in the daytime. Recently, this area has been explored quite a lot by the researchers. They have experimented on how watching electronic media throughout the day can affect the sleep of babies at night. It has been reported that more television or screen exposure leads to irregular sleep patterns in babies as small as 6 months old.
When infants experience too much screen time, they face difficulty falling asleep in the night. This disturbs their sleep cycles because sleep needs uninterrupted duration. Therefore, cutting off the screen time throughout the day should also be practiced by parents on daily basis.
5. Follow a Consistent Sleep Routine
Now this is something that needs the utmost attention!! What we do wrong is to try to make our babies go to sleep at the time we want them to sleep. Good sleep habits never develop in this way. This is a rather unhealthy routine.
You should set a time when you will leave the baby alone to sleep on his own. Before that you can engage the baby in soothing activities like bathing, cuddling, story-telling and others. However, once a routine is chosen, you have to stick to it no matter what! Otherwise, your baby will never develop his own sleeping pattern at all.
An inconsistent sleeping routine can harm the baby’s health even worse. You’ll try to make him sleep, but due to lack of consistency he may not be feeling sleeping at that time. Crying will start and both the baby and the parents will be stressed out eventually.
6. Try White Noise
Sounds or noises in the surroundings can make it difficult for the baby to fall asleep or to continue the sleep. For example, if the older sibling is making noises the baby cannot fall asleep. Sometimes, the mobile may start ringing and a sleeping baby will wake up in an instant.
In fact, sometime the babies wake up even at the sound of a tissue taken out from the box. White noise covers all these surrounding noises effectively.
For example, I know a mother who keeps a fan on near the baby so that the noise of the fan will keep other noises away from the sleeping baby. She adjusts the positioning of the fan according to the temperature of the room to keep other disturbing factors a bay Different white noise machines are available in the market that can help parents asking how to make babies go to sleep.
7. Take a Drowsy Baby to Bed, Not a Sleeping Baby
This is a tip that can help parents who want answers for how to make baby sleep on his own. If you’ll teach your baby to sleep independently right from the beginning, he will never depend on you for sleeping in the upcoming years of life.
Moreover, if the baby will wake up in the middle of night he’ll go back to sleep on his own without crying or waking you up. Now, doesn’t this sound magical!!!!
All you have to do is to take your baby to bed when he starts drowsing. Do not wait for him to fall asleep before taking him to bed. When you’ll put a drowsy baby in the bed, he will eventually go to sleep on his own.
For the starter, you can put a firm hand on the drowsy baby until he goes to sleep. But never make even this a routine. Do it for a couple of times and then stop completely.
8. Try Massaging and Soothing
There is ample evidence that suggest that massaging the baby’s body prior to sleep is a good way to encourage longer hours of sleep. In many cases, this has really been found to be effective.
Massaging relaxes the body muscles and a tired baby can benefit a lot from it. Similarly, a colic baby can release gases effectively if massaging is done before putting him to sleep. Touch is a way of ensuring protection to the baby. Try it to realize it.
All in all, sleep is a very important element in the growth and development of the babies. Parents should try their level best to develop the sleeping routine of their babies as soon as is possible. This is because if the early routine is set then the babies will sleep soundly in the future. Even the parents, themselves, can become relaxed and easy for enjoying time for their own selves. These tips are all tried and tested with actual results. Using them can help parents a lot.
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