A well-rested mum means a happy mummy. But that’s not really the reality of a mum…especially a new mum. If making your baby sleep is difficult, these 6 tips to make your baby sleep through the night will be useful.
Getting my Sonshine to sleep in the first few weeks was so difficult. He got his day and night mixed up very early which means he sleeps throughout the day and stays up all night. I tried different things but nothing really worked. He always wanted to play at night and he starts crying if he doesn’t get attention.
As expected, I was tired, sleepy and worn-out.
These 6 tips to make your baby sleep through the night were the tricks I discovered in my desperation to make him get some sleep at night. And Now? He sleeps through the night and I always have to wake him up to feed (well, sometimes…lol).
1. Day and night confusion sorted
The first thing I did was to help him differentiate between day and night. In the morning, I open up the windows and let light in. Also, I make my movement and activities a little louder than I usually will.
2. Start routines
I introduced him to routines which I tried to stick to daily. In the morning he has his bath, feeds and I play with him for as long as I can till I drop him off at the creche. When I pick him up, I feed and make him engage in fun activities that will keep him awake like playing with toys, chewing on his teether or pacifier and even playing music and watching cartoons. While at night I turn off the lights after his night bath and feed. Movements and activities are also reduced to the barest minimum. I try not to engage him by not cooing or smiling at him during his night feeds. I only let in a small beam of light from my phone, just enough to see his face while feeding but negligible enough to distract him.
3. Sleeping well-fed
One of the main things that wake babies up is hunger. You need to be able to identify your baby’s hunger cues. Ensure your baby is well fed at night. It will help her sleep longer.
4. Nursing to sleep
When nothing else works, nurse your baby to sleep. This almost always works. Breastfeeding is a natural way to make your baby sleep as it makes the baby feel safe knowing mummy is close. If you are breastfeeding, and your baby is over 4 months old, simply lie with your baby while she nurses. Look out for cues like yawning and drowsiness. Lay her down in her cot and let her settle herself to sleep.
5. Give a warm bath and massage before sleep
A warm bath will help stimulate sleep in your baby. Follow with an oil massage after the bath using baby oil or natural oils like coconut oil. It will help your baby relax and sleep soundly.
6. Ensure the right room temperature
If the weather is too cold, keep your baby warm, if it’s hot, dress baby loosely. Dress your baby for the weather. Remember, your baby only needs one extra layer of clothing more than you for warmth.