Using Bed Time Schedules to Get Baby to Sleep at Night

By Misty on in Baby Sleep Help Baby Sleep Training and Schedules with No Comments

Using Bed Time Schedules to Get Baby to Sleep at Night
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As a mother of four, I know all too well how difficult and stressful it can be getting a baby to go to sleep. In fact, sleep (or lack of sleep) is the one thing new parents have the most trouble with, both for themselves and their baby.

Newborn babies will typically sleep from 16 to 20 hours every day and is broken up into 2-4 hour periods. This can be hard on new parents who are acclimated to a continuous night of sleep. Newborns especially, need to be fed often, so parents shouldn’t expect to sleep all night uninterrupted. However, there are ways to improve it that could keep you sleeping longer at night and teach your baby good sleeping habits from day one.

They key is consistency and keeping up with a bed time routine could start to result in a good night’s rest. Try following some of these basic steps to get your baby sleeping better at night.

  • Babies and young children tend to do most everything better when a set routine is in place, including going to bed. Bedtime routines should be 30-45 minutes in length and include three or four different calming bedtime activities to help your little one know it’s time for sleep.
  • Set a regular bedtime for your baby. Your baby will learn over time through his or her own internal clock that it’s getting close to bedtime. This is easy to change as they get older by simply increasing or decreasing by a few minutes each night until you are at the desired time.
  • Use bath time to calm. Babies love to feel warm and certain scents have been proven to help babies fall asleep easier. A favorite of mine is the Lavender Bedtime Bath. We’ve used it since our daughter was born and she has been known to fall asleep in the shower or bath after using it (no kidding, we even have video of this happening). While they are still young, keep bath time a soothing and calm experience free of toys. Of course, once they reach an older baby stage, around 6 months or more, play toys are a regular part of bath but even so, can still be a regular routine item to signal that bed time is near.
  • Absolutely nothing to stimulate excitement. Bedtime is a time to relax and wind-down the day. To make it easier on your baby to go to sleep there should be no romping around play time, no television or computer games and no caffeine or sugar.
  • Be sure your sleepy baby has a room that is dark and quiet away from other kids talking, TV’s playing and computer clicking. Try playing some white noise such as the fan from a bathroom or one of several white noise machines that will help drown out other household noises giving your baby the quiet she needs free from anything that could interrupt your baby’s sleeping schedule.
  • Check the temperature in the room that your baby is sleeping. It should not exceed 75 degrees. In cooler homes, be sure you dress your baby in bedtime pajamas that will keep her warm if she kicks her blanket off. A shivering baby is sure to wake up in an unhappy mood just as much as a hot and uncomfortable baby.

Just remember, all babies wake up at night, especially in the beginning. As the months pass and your baby requires less feedings and less interaction with you at night, she will begin sleeping soundly through the night and so will you.

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