Sleep tricks for your baby
Getting adequate sleep is essential for your child. At a young age, a baby’s mind and body need rest and sleep in order to develop. As many mothers would know, getting a child to sleep is not easy. Luckily, there are some tricks that will help your little one get some much-needed shut eye.
Remember, you should try to avoid eye contact when putting them to sleep or right before bed time and also when you are trying to calm them down when they wake up. Eye contact is one of the most stimulating things for babies.
Bath time before bedtime
A massage with a soft cloth and warm water can be extremely relaxing for your child. Don’t make this bath time play time – keep your voice low and activity at a minimum.
Studies have shown that children who co-sleep with their parents grow up with higher self-esteem and lower anxiety. However, it is not recommended to share a bed with your baby so a safer option is to use a co-sleeper or place a bassinet by your bed.
Comforting touch – when you transfer your baby into the crib at bedtime, try putting your hand on their stomach, arms and head – this closeness really gives them a sense of security at night. The same goes for snuggling with your little one before bed and pampering them with affection and love.
Sleepwear – have them wear pyjamas made of natural fabrics like cotton to have comfortable sleep and avoid their sensitive skin from being irritated at night.
Lights off – the darker the room they sleep in, the better. Whether it’s at night or during the day. Keep the curtains closed and the blinds down. When it’s time to wake up, open the curtains and let natural light in so they know the difference.
Massage – use a baby-safe oil to massage your little one with gentle strokes and medium pressure 15 minutes before bedtime.
Napping – remember, cutting out nap time during the day is not going to help your baby sleep longer at night. Naps are essential for your baby’s mental and physical growth so don’t deprive them of this during the day.
Routine – Choose a soothing ritual and stick with it. Consistency is key.
Bedtime Stories – read a story to your little one in a soft, soothing voice. Even if they are too young to understand it, start now and continue throughout their childhood.
Swaddling – this replicates the feeling of being in the womb and is the ideal way for new borns to get a sense of security when they are going to sleep.
Don’t wait – waiting until the last moment when your baby is tired and throwing tantrums might not be a good idea – look for signs that they are getting tired. Signs include rubbing their eyes, yawning and becoming quite cranky.
Noise – some babies sleep easier when there is sound in the background. You definitely don’t want them getting used to watching TV as they fall asleep but a fan or machine might do the trick as would little toys that make soothing sounds. You can also put your vocal chords to the test and sing to your baby before they sleep to comfort them – after all, they love their Mama’s voice!