Having a baby is very exciting and yet can also be very draining and challenging. One key challenge that gets parents talking is the art of creating a sleep routine that works well for both parents and baby. Provided are some proven sleep techniques that have worked on infants and toddlers throughout time.
Create a Secure Environment-
By creating a secure environment, you will help your baby to develop a healthy attitude toward sleep. You baby will correlate a secure state of peace with sleep, which will allow your baby to comfortably accept bedtime rather then resist. If you teach your baby to accept the restful attitude towards sleep when they are young, then they will sleep better as they get older. There are a number of ways to create a secure environment. You could put your baby to sleep on their back, do not use a pillow and ensure that their mattress is firm or flat. Keep the crib away from windows, radiators, direct sunlight and lamps. This will keep your baby at a safe and comfortable temperature. These are just some suggestions.
Decide Wear Baby Sleeps Best-
Some babies sleep best in their crib in their own room. Some want to be in their parents room or next to mom. You'll have to make the judgement of where you are willing to have your baby sleep. Realistically, most parents will use various sleeping arrangements at various stages of your infants first two years. Try to be open and understanding of your baby's developmental needs while still implementing routine.
Associate a Variety of Sleep Patterns with your Baby-
If your baby goes to sleep a certain way, then when they awaken they will expect to go to sleep in the same way. If you rock your baby to sleep and they awaken in the middle of the night, then they will want to be rocked back to sleep. This can interfere with your sleep habits. You will want to incorporate a variety of sleep habits so that your child will not just associate one habit to sleep but instead have many different options to fall back to sleep without waking you up. Two great techniques to suggest are: The Parent-Soothing Method and the Self-Soothing Method. Parent-Soothing Method involves a parent or care giver to help make baby comfortable through the transition of awake to sleep. Methods used are rocking, nursing, singing etc…This technique is great for building parent-infant trust. Self-Soothing Method allows the baby to be put down awake and allow the baby to go to sleep on their own. This allows baby to associate with sleep without parent comforting. However, this method is a little tougher. It might take a couple of nights to adjust to this technique, just keep in mind that this might not work for high-need babies. Use your best judgement, don't overlook basic needs or become desensitized by your baby's cries. There is a reason for their crying, it is their way of communicating.
Develop Consistent Sleep Routines-
Babies with consistent bedtime rituals usually go to sleep easier and stay asleep longer. Familiar bedtime rituals set your baby up for sleep. You will want to start the sleep associations early in your child's infancy. One example of a bedtime ritual would be to bathe your child, brush teeth, put on pajamas and then read a story. This gives them ample time to prepare for sleep without feeling pressured or anxiety.
Try Soothing Sounds to Sleep To-
There are some studies that have shown that sounds such as a fan, an air conditioner or vacuum create a white noise that lull's your baby to sleep. Other sounds that work could be a fish tank, a ticking clock or running water. There are also a variety of CD's for purchase that play white noise. All of these sounds remind baby of the sounds that were heard in the womb which helps comfort your baby to help induce sleep.
You may know of some other techniques that help your baby to sleep at night. It is a chemistry, what work's for one parent may not work for another. The key point to stay focused on is to create a nighttime ritual that consoles and comforts your baby to create a healthy sleep attitude that will last a lifetime. Your baby will view nighttime sleep as a pleasant and secure state to enter and remain in. This will allow you to get the much needed and appreciated sleep so that you can fully enjoy each other during waking hours.