Seven Tips to Make Baby’s Bedtime Easier
Are you having trouble getting your little one to sleep? Babies are still getting used to everything, so their lives are a constant seesaw of comfort and discomfort, as well as of understanding and confusion. For instance, nighttime and daytime are concepts they are yet to understand, so putting them to bed can be difficult. That being said, here are things you can do for a smoother shuteye transition.
- Set a Routine
While routines vary depending on parent and child, make sure to have one, as a consistent bedtime routine is important for your baby to learn the difference between day and night. Eventually, your little one will learn that nighttime means sleep time.
To have an efficient routine, have your baby play active games during the day as opposed to quieter, calming activities at night. Engage your baby in the same games or activities in the same order, leaving your baby’s favorite nighttime activity for last. This way, your baby will associate the fun with bedtime.
- Bath time Before Bedtime
A nice, warm bath at the end of the day can soothe and relax your baby. Avoid using toys when giving them a nighttime bath, and keep your voice low and overall activity calm. The warm water coupled with your gentle strokes will put your baby in an ideal state for sleep.
- Drowsiness is Your Friend
Know your child’s habits and determine when they get drowsy. When your baby starts to slow down, put them to bed before they’re out cold completely. Once you are able to identify that sweet spot of “drowsy, but awake,” bedtime becomes smoother. In fact, according to Kim West, a professional sleep consultant and author of Good Night, Sleep Tight, “Babies who drift off on their own are more likely to fall asleep quickly and learn how to soothe themselves to sleep more easily.”
- Set Temperature to Cool and Comfy
A cool room temperature sets babies for a more comfortable sleep. The ideal temperature for babies to sleep in is around 18°C (65°F). If you don’t have an air conditioner, keep the windows open and/or use an electric fan.
Also, keep your baby’s room warmer during the day when they’re active. Include this in your routine to help them differentiate the different times of the day, and to regulate their developing circadian rhythm or body clock.
- Turn Down the Lights
Manipulation of light can also help regulate your baby’s body clock. Light is a natural, biological wake up button, while darkness prompts your brain to release melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep.
Consider installing dimmers on the lights in your baby’s room. To set the mood for sleep, dim the lights two hours before bedtime or as the sun goes down. Make sure the room is brightly lit during the day to reinforce their circadian rhythm.
You can have sunlit rooms for naps. However, if your baby has trouble napping during the day, consider getting dark curtains. When it’s time to get up, let the light back in!
- Be a Baby Masseuse
You can never be too young to benefit from a good massage. According to studies conducted at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, babies and toddlers who receive bedtime massages fall asleep faster than those who don’t receive them or were just read bedtime stories.
Be sure to use baby-friendly oil, gentle strokes, and mild pressure for optimum results.
- Avoiding Eye Contact
Finally, babies are very easily stimulated. Something as subtle as a gaze is enough to snap a baby out of their sleepy trance – especially from their mother. So, as cruel as it may sounds, try to avoid eye contact when putting your little one to sleep. By all means, allow them to hear your soothing voice and to feel your loving touch, but don’t over stimulate them with your encouraging eyes.
That’s all for now, mommies. Sleep tight!
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