Tips on Getting Your Baby to Sleep through the Night (Without Crying it Out!)
Share this post:
Newborns have almost upside-down schedules of night and day and it takes them weeks to figure it out. But after a few months, you might be wondering when they’ll finally get the hang of it, that night time = “sleepytime”. You might even love everything about being a parent, except for that graveyard shift every single night struggling with a crying baby.
While some parents have had success with the Ferber method of letting the baby “cry it out” (CIO) for regulated amounts of time, some parents simply can’t bear to let their child cry for long periods without providing them comfort. With a few tips and tricks – and a whole lot of patience – you can help your baby get the sleep they need every night, without having to let them “cry it out”.
Start with a good sleep routine
Getting your baby to recognize that it is time to sleep could very well be one of the most important things you could do to towards making sure your baby gets the good sleep he or she needs. Babies should be put to bed before 8pm because if they are allowed to stay awake for too long they may become overtired and find it even harder to go to sleep.
Fixing a consistent bedtime routine just before you put them down in their bed can really help them recognize the signs that it’s time to wind down, relax and start letting themselves get sleepy and give in to sleep. For example, you could change their diaper, give them a little massage, put them in their pyjamas, give them their bottle for the night, read them a book or sing them a song, give them a big kiss and tuck them in and say your goodnights, before leaving the room. Whatever routine you go with, make sure you stick with it! After a while, your baby will start recognizing the signs and understanding that this is “sleepy time”.
Daytime VS Night-time
What babies do in the day largely affects how babies sleep in the night too. Although your baby might already be a few months old and kind of knows the difference between day and night, it can always help to continually reinforce this difference by introducing lively feeding sessions in the day time, while keep night time feeding times quiet and calm. They can watch television or videos in the daytime, but it’s best to put away the screens even an hour or so before the bedtime routine starts, so that they get into a relaxed mode already. If it has been a tiring day, watch out that your baby doesn’t become overstimulated as he or she might find it hard to go to sleep. Look out for the signs of tiredness – it might not always be obvious like direct yawning. Sometimes babies have red eyebrows or start rubbing their eyes or faces. Knowing the tell-tale signs of your own baby will make it easier for you to know exactly when to wind down their day.
What’s better: more naps or less naps?
One theory says if the child naps less then they’ll be more tired and will most likely fall into a deep sleep at night and stay asleep for longer. Unfortunately this theory is just a myth. Children who don’t nap well won’t sleep well either, it’s a weird but very biological thing! Babies need to take a break after every few hours or activity. While you don’t exactly need a to-the-hour schedule of the day’s activities mapped out, it’s good to take note of how many hours it’s recommended for your baby to remain awake before he or she needs a nap again to recharge. This way, you don’t overtire them and get a cranky baby, plus they will hopefully be getting enough sleep both in the day and in the night. One thing you can do is to make sure your baby doesn’t nap past 4pm. That way they’ll expand the last of their energy in the evening and then feel the need to sleep by the time their bedtime comes around.
Make good use of help
A useful device that can help you keep track of all these feeding times, nap times, sleep times is the Bjingles Smart Baby Night Light. Its basic function is as a night lamp that produces a light that does not simulate daylight, but instead is soft enough not to wake up your baby. But more than that, the Night Light together with the Bjingles app also allows you to programme alarm timings for all your baby’s scheduled needs. This way, your little one will never miss a much-needed nap, or nap too late that will affect night time sleep! You can also use the Night Light as a morning alarm for your baby – if the light is on it means it’s time to play, and if they get up and the light isn’t on yet, they can learn that they should sooth themselves back to sleep. It might sound amazing, but babies are actually capable of learning that!
Helping Baby learn to sleep on their own is a big milestone not only for your baby but for you as parents! Not only will you regain some sanity but you’ll also enjoy being parents so much more when you’re not functioning on zombie mode and close to tearing your hair out at the nightly meltdowns. With some practice and some patience, you might be able to say goodnight to your good little sleeper! (Yes, just once each night!)