Is your child having difficulty sleeping at night? Do you feel that you spend more time trying to get your child back to sleep each night rather than actually getting any rest yourself? This common problem for many parents can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are some helpful tips and strategies which can make the task of both getting a full night’s sleep and teaching your child to sleep well through the night, less difficult. If you are tired of being tired, try some or all of these helpful hints for both you and your little one.
1. Establish a bedtime routine
The most important step in helping your baby to learn how to sleep is having a consistent bedtime routine. At this time, you may wish to feed your baby (if breastfed), change them, and then bring them into the room where they are sleeping. Swaddling can help keep your child’s arms snug at his side. Speak in gentle tones, providing traditional lullabies or calming music. This will let your little one know that it is time for him to get ready to sleep.
2. Stick to a schedule
By establishing a routine, you are helping your baby’s internal clock acclimate to when he should be sleeping and when he should be waking. This can really make a difference in the amount of sleep that both you and your child will get each night, as well as how rested you will feel during the day. You can also invest in a high-quality bed fan to make sure your child sleeps comfortably at night.
3. Proper bedding for baby
Ensure that your little one is comfortable. This means providing just enough blankets to keep him warm at night without being too hot, choosing breathable materials instead of plastic bumpers which can present the risk of suffocation, and using a firm mattress pad instead of a pillowcase to promote safety.
4. Use white noise
If you have lived in proximity to others, whether family members or neighbors, you may have noticed that no matter what time it is, when one person wakes up, so does everyone else! Keeping this in mind, one strategy that has been helpful for many families who are having difficulty getting their children to sleep is to use white noise. This can be as simple as running a fan, providing gentle lullabies, or recordings of other soothing sounds such as rainfall or the ocean waves.
5. Stick to a feeding schedule
If you find that your baby is constantly waking up at night because they are hungry, it may be time to schedule their feeding times. If you are breastfeeding, this can mean that you should plan to breastfeed your baby more frequently during the day and less frequently at night.
6. Avoid stimulating your baby
Too much stimulation can have a negative impact on your little one’s ability to fall and remain asleep. If you find that your baby is staying up much longer than normal when he should be sleeping, it may be time to dim the lights and turn off anything in the room which makes loud noises or has bright lights such as phones or television screens.
7. Eliminate nighttime feedings
This step is only recommended for children who are over six months of age. By attempting to feed your baby during the night, it is most likely that you will only cause extra disruption for both yourself and your child as they struggle with sleep issues. To find out if this is actually the factor causing your toddler’s sleeping problems, you may need to try other strategies such as establishing a bedtime routine and white noise. If you find that your child is still waking up several times during the night to eat, it may be time to stop nighttime feedings for good.
If you find that your baby is waking up at night because they have become bored with their current environment, try distracting him with a new toy. A favorite stuffed animal or blanket is usually a good bet. This can help to keep your baby awake long enough for him to fall back asleep on his own.
9: Reduce Stress in the Home and at Bedtime
Fears, worries, and concerns at home can also interfere with children’s sleeping patterns. Try to make your child’s environment as soothing and calm as possible. This can include turning off the computer and television for at least an hour before they go to sleep, not allowing anyone in their room while they are sleeping unless it is necessary, and avoiding conversations about things such as grown-up problems or violence which children may think are real.
There are several factors that can affect your child’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. By taking the time to understand what causes your baby’s sleeplessness and by following a few simple strategies, you may be able to help improve your toddler’s sleeping patterns. Be willing to try out a variety of approaches until you find what works best for your little one.