That age old question that most new parents find themselves asking when they’re on the brink of insanity due to sleep deprivation: how do you make your baby sleep through the night?
There are many reasons why your baby struggles to have a restful night’s sleep but here are a few tips in helping them settle:
Let them fall asleep on their own. If you rock your baby or put them in their cot prematurely this could cause baby to feel emotionally unsettled as they’re not ready to rest and will fight it for as long as they can. When baby starts to feel sleepy, rock them and lay them on their back and let them fall asleep by themselves as calmly and relaxed as possible
Set a solid, short but simple bedtime routine so baby knows when it’s time to start calming down. Baths with lavender scented bubble bath could help as well as baby massage or a lullaby and reading of a short story.
Make sure the room baby sleeps in is fairly dark and at a perfect temperature, not to hot but not too cold. Let baby sleep with a blanket or comforter and make sure they’re fed and clean before being put down to sleep.
Daytime feeds should be a lively and sociable activity so baby knows that’s when they should be feeding and not during the night. It takes around 6 weeks for babies to fully develop a bedtime routine and this is largely helped by regulating their feeding pattern.
Massage is a great tool for soothing and bonding with your baby, especially if they’re hard to settle or are suffering from wind and other niggly problems that are keeping them, and you, up all night.
Massage is a relaxing experience for both parent and baby and once you’ve learnt a few basic techniques you’ll be able to calm your baby in no time at all and wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
1 – The major benefit of baby massage is the amazing bonding experience for both parent and baby, having your baby relaxed and at peace in your arms is one of the most joyful things about being a parent and a time where you can fully appreciate your child. Giving your baby a massage will relax you and has been shown to help with post-natal depression as baby will be smiling at you with lots of eye contact which is great for bonding and nurturing.
2 – Emotional distress is minimised with regular massage as baby has the human contact that is often craved and the cause of crying and tantrums. Baby will also feel more securely attached by the relaxed touch and will enjoy massage sessions more and more.
3 – Massage has been shown to ease symptoms of trapped wind, colic, constipation and tooth pain so not only is baby massage a great comforting tool it can really help in small medical problems without the use of medicine.
4 – After such a relaxing experience baby will have more improved, and longer sleep as they have no emotional needs that need to be fulfilled during the night if they have had such an emotional bonding session before bed.
5 – Baby will develop more body awareness and their senses will sharpen with regular massage.