Tips for Letting Your Baby Sleep Better
An inconsistent sleep pattern on the part of babies makes their parent's lives miserable. Some tips for improving a baby's sleep are using light and darkness to tell the baby when it is time to be awake and controlling nap times as much as possible.
Many parents find that one of the most challenging aspects of having a child under the age of two years old is getting them to sleep and stay asleep. Many babies wake up at inconvenient times and cause parents to have less sleep and lower quality sleep.
One way to start getting your baby to sleep better is by setting a specific time for you to get up as a family. If your baby gets up before this time, even if it's just a half hour ahead, send him or her back to sleep. This will get your baby used to certain hours of the day. When your baby has woken up, show him the sunlight outside. This will help his body get used to the hours that he should be awake and hours that he should be asleep. It will awaken his biological clock, which is controlled by the reaction of the brain to light.
Babies always need to take naps, but they should not take them too early or a few hours after waking up. If they do this, move the nap by a few minutes every day until it is a half hour later. This way, they can get used to sleeping more at night and not relying so much on naps during the day. Make sure that your baby gets the right amount of sleep for his age. Babies under one year should get two to three naps a day. At two years old, they should only have one or two naps every day. If your baby takes more than the regular number of naps, start making the naps later in the day until they eventually decrease.
Your baby may be waking up too early due to being exposed to light or feeling cold and/or hungry. Make sure that the room is kept shaded in the mornings so that the baby will not wake up too early. You can also give your baby a little food, formula or nursing at 10 or 11 in the evening if they are under a year old. At around 6 in the evening, watch your baby for signs of tiredness. If he seems sleepy and is yawning or being fussy, then send him to bed right away. Make sure that the room is dark, so it is easier for your baby to sleep.
Babies who sleep early do not necessarily wake up earlier than normal. Many parents set a late sleeping hour so that babies will not wake up early, but they need not. Babies that sleep early tend to sleep for longer amounts of time, letting them wake up later and even lessen the number of naps that they take during the day. The most important thing to remember is to have a regular schedule for your child for their sleeping, eating and activities. Children and babies love consistency.
As they get older and need less sleep, make adjustments to their schedule gradually.
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- It helps the new born to adjust sleeping-awake times.
- It helps with breastfeeding for mothers.
- It reassures parents and makes the child feel safe.
- It strengthens the bond between child and parents and it helps the child to grow more self-confident and sociable.
- Sleeping in the same room (but not in the same bed) reduces the risk of SIDS.