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Having your newborn sleep through the night, only waking up once to be fed, may sound like a dream to many parents. Babies cry, that’s just what they do, and teaching them to have a good night’s sleep is vital for their healthy development. They might be awake because they’re hungry or need comfort. Maybe they need a bedtime routine that can help them settle. Staying up at night will also prevent you from getting the ever-needed rest, so you’ll want to learn a couple of useful tricks that’ll help your little one sleep through the night.
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Don’t soothe the baby for too long
Night time is the time to sleep, and you should let your baby know that. If they’re learning to crawl, it’s possible that they’ll wake up often during the night, because of the excitement and eagerness to practice their new movement the next day. However, if they’re not crying too much, but you just hear them coo or chat, chances are they’ll put themselves back to sleep soon, so don’t bother lulling them back yourself, or they’ll become too dependent on you, and won’t learn to sleep without you preparing them for that. Jumping to them the minute you hear a murmur or a light cry will only disturb their sleeping pattern, making them wake up often needing you to pick them up in your arms. However, if the baby won’t stop crying, it’s possible they’re suffering from separation anxiety, in which case you could soothe the little one for a few minutes and leave the room shortly after.
Introduce a bedtime routine
A short and simple bedtime routine will help promote some quiet time, half an hour before sleep. You can start with a warm and soothing bath followed by a relaxing massage. This will be especially beneficial if the baby is having cramps during the first couple of months. Massaging their tummy during the warm bath will calm the cramps a bit and help them sleep better. Repeating the same process every day will let the baby know that it’s bed time.
Give them a security object
A baby blanket or a stuffed animal can be a great security object for your little bundle of joy. However, only give it to them if they’re over six months, because any earlier than that can be dangerous, causing sudden infant death syndrome. When the baby is six or seven months old, they become aware of separation from you, so giving them familiar objects like their favorite pram blankets can be very comforting during the night.
Give them a chance to fall asleep on their own
Once the baby’s circadian rhythm starts to develop during the sixth week, you should try to leave the baby alone in the crib and see if it’ll fall asleep on its own. Putting the little one on their back once they become sleepy and just leaving them there for a while could make them doze off rather fast. Try not to rock the cradle because they’ll get used to the feeling, and won’t learn to fall asleep on their own. Introducing white noise could also be one of the techniques that’ll lull the baby to sleep fast. The sound of an air conditioner or running water from a nearby bubbling fish tank will have a soothing effect on the baby helping them relax and nod off in no time.
Sleepless nights are sometimes the worst part of parenting, but luckily, you have plenty of ways to avoid them. With a couple of previous suggestions, your baby will learn to fall asleep on its own, and not wake you up as often as it used to. The little one will have a healthy development, and your sleeping pattern will return to normal.