Getting babies to nap and sleep on their own is a difficult task for many parents. Sleep training a baby is hard to accomplish, especially when you don’t know when or how to get your baby ready for bed. This guide will provide tips on how to prepare for transitioning your baby to the crib and how to get your baby to nap and sleep on its own.
Getting Baby Ready for Sleep
Babies have a hard time telling the difference between night and day, which justifies their short bursts of sleep around the clock. When your baby is several weeks old, you must start teaching them the difference to create healthy sleep behaviors. The tips we have provided will do just that and explain how to get your baby ready for sleep.
Tips on getting your baby ready for sleep:
Know the signs of a sleepy baby
Fussiness, staring and blinking or rubbing eyes, reduced activity and yawning are all signs of a drowsy baby.
Keep the lights dimmed
Too much light will keep your baby awake.
Keep noise to a minimum
Too much noise will prevent your baby from falling and staying asleep.
Avoid diaper changes during sleep
Make sure you lay baby down immediately after a diaper change.
Do not play with baby
The stimulation will keep them awake.
Establish a routine
Dress your baby in some comfortable pajamas after giving them a night time bath. Put them to bed with a bed time story so they can fall asleep to your soothing voice. You baby will also enjoy being sang to sleep with lullabies. Make sure to leave the room while your baby is still awake and happy so that they can learn to self sooth and fall asleep on their won.
Tips on Getting Baby to Nap Longer During the Day
Baby naps are a relaxing time for you and your bundle of joy, but it can be the opposite when trying to get your baby to sleep during the day. Our guide will help you encourage your baby to nap longer and give you both the rest you need.
Put your baby to bed sleepy, but awake
Drowsiness means that your baby is tired and ready for sleep. If you wait, baby may become overtired and fussy which will make putting the infant down to sleep more difficult
Avoid holding or feeding baby to sleep
If you continue with this habit, it will be the only way your baby will be able to fall asleep in the future
Know your baby’s sleep patterns
Every baby has their own sleep schedule. If you put your baby down for a nap too early, they won’t sleep long enough. If you put them down too late, they will become overtired and fussy. Figuring out when your baby's best nap times are and sticking to them will ensure that baby takes longer naps regularly.
Make sure baby is comfortable
A dark, quiet and comfortably cool environment can help your baby sleep. Find a balance between too little and too much noise.
Television and play time right before a nap will keep your infant awake and make sleeping more difficult. Limit screen time to 30 minutes before nap time. This will help baby sleep longer.
Avoid “on-the-go” naps
The majority of your infant’s naps should happen in the comfort and convenience of your home. Naps in car seats and strollers are less restorative than naps in the baby’s crib. These naps may also produce a crutch where baby will find more comfort napping there than in his crib.
Don’t force a nap schedule too early
It may take up to six months before your baby is ready for scheduled naps. Enforcing a nap schedule to early may result in an overtired baby and make overall sleeping and napping worse.
Have a routine
Implementing a schedule will help your baby get the most out of daytime naps. Make sure baby takes naps at the same time every day.
How to Get Baby to Fall Asleep on His Own
The most difficult and time-consuming part of sleep training is getting your baby to fall asleep on their own. Once successful, this accomplishment will solve your baby’s sleep troubles. We have put together a guide, steps for you to follow to help baby in falling asleep on their own.
Identify your baby’s sleep associations and work with them
Whether your infant likes to be rocked, fed or held to sleep, the associates are what you should be focusing on to help get your little one to sleep on their own. Knowing this can help you change your baby’s sleep associations.
Establish a routine
Separate meal time from naps
Feeding your baby to sleep develops what is called a “sleep crutch”. N other words, your baby will associate bed time with feed time and won’t go to sleep without a bottle or nipple in their mouth. Instead, make sure baby has been fed before setting him down for sleep. Allow for an appropriate break between meal time and bed time.
Routines are comforting to babies and keeps them from becoming confused. Find a routine that works for you and baby so that your infant will know what to expect and feel safe going to sleep on their own.
Put baby to bed tired but awake
Possibly the most important bit of advice, PUT BABY DOWN DROWSY! Trying to put your infant to sleep when they are wide awake is completely counterproductive and does not help with sleep training in the slightest
Pick a sleep training method and stick to it
Routine is a key word when sleep training an infant. It makes baby feel safe and comfortable. To develop a habit, you must be persistent and stick to it or it WILL fail.
How to get Baby Comfy and Familiar in a Crib
There is no need to feel guilty for laying baby down knowing that your infant prefers to sleep in the comfort of your arms. If you are finding it difficult for you or your baby to get peaceful rest in the room that you share, read this guide on getting baby comfortable and familiar in a crib. We guarantee that you will both be “sleeping like babies” in no time!
Why does baby love it in your arms and what solutions are available for this problem?
Your baby finds the warmth and softness of your arms soothing due to their sensory fashioned understanding of the world. Your baby knows if it is you holding them or if they are in the arms of someone else. Baby knows what you feel and smell like, so you can’t try to fool him/her.
Simple. Make the crib feel more like mom or dad. Going from the warmth of your bod to a cold bed is a drastic temperature change for baby. Remember, NEVER place blankets, pillows or anything else that could smother baby in the crib. Try coaxing your infant into the crib with swaddles or sleep sacks after a feeding. If that fails, try placing your hand on baby’s tummy for several minutes. This soothing gesture is sure to help baby sleep.
Now that baby is spending less time in your arms you can follow these tips to make baby comfortable in the crib
Start lowering the light and noise at least a half hour before bed
Any parents guilty of having to have the sound of a fan to help them fall asleep? Babies take comfort in those low whispers too. A simple white noise machine should do you justice.
Begin transitioning baby to the crib with short naps. As the baby gets more comfortable you can extend the periods of time in which the baby sleep in the crib.
Make the crib a happy place
Make the crib a fun but safe environment for the baby. Try bonding with some toys and play time with baby during the hours in which he or she is awake.
Read books made for babies to your infant at bedtime. Your soothing voice will help ease them into a deep slumber.
No one likes to go to sleep on an empty stomach.
Make this a daily habit. Lack of routine can stress your baby out. Make the transition smooth so baby knows that the crib is a safe place.
Mastering the art of sleep training is an amazing accomplishment for any parent and baby. Knowing when your baby is tired and ready for sleep is just as important as developing and implementing a routine that will help your infant get the most out of sleep. Schedules ensure a smooth transition and keep your baby from getting stressed or confused. As much as we all love to cuddle and snuggle our little ones, it is importaint that everyone gets a break to get the rest they need.