Tips for Bedtime Success Pt. 2
December 11, 2020
A while ago, we discussed tips on how to get your newborn to sleep longer stretches at night. They involved setting a routine schedule, swaddling, using your child’s favorite teddies and blankets, keeping the room a comfortable temperature, and staying calm when putting them back to bed. These tips can be helpful for parents who struggle with putting their babies to bed, but they may not always be effective. There is no perfect process for getting your baby to bed, it just takes patience and work! We’ve put together a few more tips to help prepare you for those long days and longer nights when it feels like your baby is just not going to bed!
As you tuck your little one into their crib for their nap or their bedtime, dress them in Aubrey Gianna’s collection of boys and girls bodysuits, one-pieces, swaddles, and more. Keep them looking like the cute little bundles of joy that they are, no matter what time in the night it is.
Set the Mood for Sleep
Light indicates that humans need to be awake and alert, signaling that it is daytime. When you are putting your baby down for a nap or for the night, block out the sun and dim any other light sources, which includes night-lights, so your newborn knows that it is time to shut their eyes and go to sleep. Don’t worry, babies aren’t likely to fear the dark until at least 18 months, so dimming the lights will help them in becoming calmer.
Some babies learn how to fall back asleep on their own while others need some help in the form of sleep training. Sleep training or sleep learning, is the process of helping your infant learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep through various methods. If your baby needs some encouragement when heading back to bed, try to refrain from picking the baby up to soothe them and then putting them back to bed. It is important for the baby to fall asleep on their own in the crib without being rocked to sleep and then transferred to the crib. If your baby wakes up crying, give them some time to settle down. Don’t rush in, and try not to pick them up. Instead, try calmly approaching the crib and soothing them while they’re in the crib.
Kind of how it sounds, dream feeding is the act of feeding the baby right before you or your partner go to bed, which can help prevent the baby from waking up just after you have finally drifted off to sleep. Or, it could be between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight, which may help them sleep for longer stretches. Keep the lights dimly lit and gently lift your sleeping baby out of their crib before settling them in to nurse or take a bottle. They may wake up just enough to start feeding, but if not, you can gently nudge their lips until they latch on. When you’re done, gently put the baby back in their crib for the rest of their sleep.
This doesn’t mean that the baby will sleep for the entire night, but rather 3-4 hour stretches to 4-6 hour stretches. A baby’s stomach is pretty small so you should still expect night feeds as well. Try to avoid doing this too far into development, past 4 or 5 months, as it can start to disrupt their sleep and create more nighttime waking.
Avoid Stimulation through Eye Contact
We mentioned this very briefly in our last blog under “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Babies are easily stimulated, and simply meeting your baby’s gaze can engage their attention and signal that it is playtime. Humans are designed to try to make eye contact with those around us, especially loved ones, but parents who inadvertently make eye contact with their babies encourage them to snap out of their sleep zone. Avoid talking excitedly or performing their favorite song when you go to put them back to sleep. Keep your gaze on their belly and soothe them back to sleep with a quiet voice and a gentle touch!
Do What Works!
Having a baby isn’t easy, and it really does take a village! It will make things much easier if you can enlist the help of your partner for night shifts, a family member to assist you during the day, or even a friend coming to help with a few of the chores so you can relax. Sleep, for both you and your baby, is a priority and you may need to get creative with your methods for encouraging your tiny one to count sheep. There are also plenty of sleep aids on the market to help you and your baby, and these are always an option. They exist for a reason, so don’t beat yourself up for using them if you need to, especially if they work. It doesn’t mean that your baby will need the aids forever, or that they won’t transition out of them later, but sanity, especially in the newborn days, is the priority, and meeting your baby’s basic needs will help the both of you.
We hope you found these tips useful, and that you feel even the tiniest bit more prepared to handle naps and sleep stretches with your tiny one! Sign up for our newsletter and don’t miss out on our next blog. You will also receive 10% off your next purchase when you subscribe to our mailing list! Shop our designer baby clothes online now.