You know it’s crazy, when Mattie was little she was such a good sleeper. Now that she is a little one I am having problems getting her to sleep for naps, and at night. She is at that age where she doesn’t want to miss anything. Okay, so she doesn’t want to miss anything, AND I am going to admit it I have started to slack on a few important areas, such as my bedtime routine, and I have seen a huge difference. I called my mom the other day asking her for tips to help my baby sleep better. She’s not a baby anymore, she is 3, but she will always be my baby. Anyway, after talking to my mom I realized her not sleeping well was my fault, it had nothing to do with Mattie, it had to do with me not doing the things I did while she was a baby.
I remember when Mattie was first-born, I would lay next to her and just watch her sleep. She looked so sweet, innocent, and peaceful. It made my heart flutter watching her rest so peaceful, but it’s a different story when you cannot get your baby to sleep at night or during nap time. Baby’s need sleep, it’s important for not only them, but new moms as well. Mom sleeps when baby sleeps, and if baby is not sleeping well chances are mom is not sleeping well either. I admit, Mattie was a GREAT sleeper. She would sleep the entire night for the most part, and takes names as she needed, but I also followed a few simple steps that I belive helped my baby sleep better. If you are dreaming of a solid 5 hours of sleep, there are a few things you can do to get baby to sleep better at night and during nap time.
20 Easy Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better
Develope a bedtime routine
Find a bedtime routine that works for you, and your little one. Whether you give your little one a bath, or your simple dim the lights and rock them to sleep finding a consistent cue helps inform your little one it’s time to sleep. Be sure to keep your routine in the same order night after night. Having a routine should help yoru baby sleep better.
Find where baby will sleep best
Don’t listen to those people who tell you that you cannot let your baby sleep here, or there. In my opinion there is not a wrong place for your baby to sleep, as long as it is a safe place. Find where your baby sleeps best. Some babies prefer sleeping in their basset next to mommy, while others sleep in their crib in their room. If your baby isn’t sleeping well consider trying different things.
Watch the caffeine
Be careful with your caffeine intake if you are breastfeeding. That same cup of coffee that woke you up might also keep your baby awake.
Swaddling can give your baby a sense of security.
Rocking or Walking
Try rocking or walking your baby to sleep. My nephew wouldn’t sleep unless someone was rocking or walking him to sleep.
Bath Before Bed
Try giving your baby a bath before they head to bed for the night. The bath before bedtime was the key to getting Mattie to sleep well at night, even now as she gets older she needs that bath before bed as a cue. Plus it really good bonding time, even now that she is three. After he bath is when she is her sweetest, and wants to hug on her mommy. Needless to say, I eat it up.
To this day if I have problems getting my little one to sleep I will rock her and sing to her. Before I know it she is fast asleep in my arms, sleeping peacefully. I know she is sleepy, and I had better stop what I am doing when she asks me to sing to her, or I am going to end up with an overly sleepy little one.
This one is a hard one, some people say let your baby sooth themselves, and allow them to cry. In my opinion it’s okay to let your baby cry, but not for long. I think most parents know their child well enough to know what parenting technique is right for their baby.
Pay attention to your baby, when you notice they are getting tired and showing sleepy signs like rubbing their eye, whining, fussiness, etc be sure to put them down for a nap. If you baby gets too sleepy you might find it harder or next to impossible to get them to fall asleep.
Don’t let your little one get a second wind
NEVER, let your little one find their second wind, lol. I have made the mistake a few times, and missed sleepy time cues. Have you ever had an overly tired baby? One that is soooo sleepy they cannot go to sleep? It’s been my experience with all my kids, this always ends badly. They are fussy, cranky, crabby, whiney and everything else intensified by 10. It’s horrible, do your best to avoid having an overly tired baby.
Get baby a blanky or security object
All my kids had their blanky. When mine were young I would hold their blanket so it would smell like me, and when I put them down for a nap or bed they would sleep with it.
If you are having issues getting baby to sleep during night, you might want to consider trying well-lit areas for naps. This can help encourage shorter naps, which can help baby sleep better at night.
It happens, every now and again Mattie will wake up at 1am and want to talk about anything and everything. I’m going to admit the first few times it was super cute, but I had to learn to ignore it so she knows that nighttime is sleep time. She used to get a little fussy, but ignoring her cuteness paid off.
Treat day from night differently
Teat your little on differently during the day, than at night so they understand that the daytime is for playing, and doing things while nighttime is for calming down and sleeping.
As parents we have to be flexible, so it only makes sense to be flexible with their sleeping schedule. There is no reason to make bedtime a fight.
Go for a drive
Sure you are not going to want to hope in the car every single time the baby needs a nap, but a ride in the car might be something to consider for those times they just will not sleep. I did this with all my kids, and I’m sure the next one will need a car ride or two lol.
Nobody wants to sleep in anything that is not comfortable. If you are having issues with your little on sleeping try different sleep cloths.
Remember your little one is an individual
We are all different, we like different things, some of us sleep sounder than others, and it’s important that we remember our kids are individuals. Just because something worked for another child doesn’t mean it will for another child. Try new things!
Don’t get stressed
Having a baby is hard work, but don’t let it stress you out. Try to avoid stress, and remember your baby will only be little for so long, you only get those times once so enjoy them. Don’t waste them being upset and stressed.
Keep the noise down
Okay, this is hard one. You know Shawn and I have 4 children, and are planning our 5th. I’m sure you can understand that getting everyone to be quite during nap time can be difficult, especially those neighbors who ONLY use their lawn tools when the baby has fallen sleep. It never fails, the moment baby falls asleep someone has to start making noise, which leaves you crossing your fingers that the baby doesn’t hear them and wake up. You might not be able to control what others are doing while baby sleeps, but you can help buffer noises for your baby with a Marpac Dohmie Serious Sleep Baby Bundle. Which is an awesome device, and I am sure it could help your baby sleep better at night, or during naps!
At the end of the day there is no right way or wrong way to help your baby sleep at night. As long as you are doing everything with you are doing everything you can. I biggest suggestion is if it isn’t working try something else, stick to a sleep routine, and don’t get stressed or frustrated. Try to take a deep breath, and remember these years will be gone before you know it, and you will be wishing they were little again.