Sleep doesn’t come easy
Every once in a while you are chilling with your friends while your little baby is blissfully sleeping (which given the timing is a rare treat) and the topic goes to your baby’s sleeping habits at night. They very casually tell you “oh!! Our baby was so sweet, she used to sleep for 5 hours continuously every since she was 3 months.” That moment when you just stare at your partner with a knowing look and want to just stomp your foot and run out of the room like a bawling kid. Instead, you just smile and nod. Well, this happens to most of us. Me being one of them. So, in past few months I have tried every trick under the sun to ease night time for me, my baby and hubby dear. I have come to realized night routine can actually be a blessing in long run.
Until your baby is six months and is a co sleeper (like mine) night time feedings are regular and very healthy for your baby. So, you baby is likely to wake for 3 to 4 or more for feeding. But night time routine helps the little baby brain to grasp that it is time to sleep and gradually they automatically fall in the pattern. Plus it used to at least give me uninterrupted sleep for minimum 2 hours, which in initial days can be a blessing.
So, here is me and my baby’s night time routine.
Step 1: No gadgets & TV policy
When we are getting ready to go to sleep, one of us take the baby in bedroom and away from any television or gadget noise. It’s the time when we are trying to tell our baby “play time is over, it’s time to calm down and relax.”
Step 2: Massage and Bath
I can swear by it as much as you want. Nothing relaxes and soothes baby like a warm oil good strokes massage. These little humans enjoy the pampering and it’s a great way of bonding with your little cupcake as well. Plus, leaving oil over night nourishes their skin and keeps it baby soft. Try and use organic oil, which are considered best for babies. If it suits you, you can complete the routine with a warm bath. Which also relaxes baby.
Step 3: Bed time stories
Colorful or monochromatic story books are fantastic for babies, even if they are just few months old. Read to them in soft voices instead of energetic playful voice. Read to them in soft soothing voice. Sing good night in relaxing tones. If your baby is just happy looking at the look that’s also great.
Step 4: Pitch dark in bedroom
your baby will gradually start showing the signs of sleepiness by rubbing his eyes. May be asking to feed or rocking. That’s the time you should switch off all the lights. It should be pitch dark. A lot of people like to leave a small light on for the babies but our son’s pediatrician explained it to us that can keep baby awake. Babies have no concept of day time or night time. So, when it’s night it should be pitch dark so that baby can start making the distinction between day time and night time.
Step 5: Lullaby & Deep sleep music
play deep sleep music at the time of sleeping. No matter how small your baby is music is a known relaxer. I remember, my baby used to react to music even when he was in my womb. I always started with my favorite lullaby for him followed by some soothing instrumental music. Even white noise works great for a lot of babies. In fact, my Lamaze class teacher and my son’s pediatrician suggested the same thing, which is, there shouldn’t be pin drop silence especially during afternoon when baby is napping during initial months. Reason being, when baby is womb he hears mom’s heart beat and outside noises. Listening to white noise can be relaxing for some babies. My little one, though loved instrumental music.
But as your baby grows and get more aware of his or her surroundings, music might become a distraction or fun time. This only worked for me for first 6 months.
If you are supplementing with formula, try and let your hubby dear feed the baby more towards evening. You can even alternate the feeding and diaper change duty at night amongst each other. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, your hubby can feed baby with pumped milk. When you start solids don’t try and overfeed baby more in dinner. It will not help baby sleep rather his stomach can make him uncomfortable. For relax, filled and happy tummy it is jmoektabf to divide day’s meal in six part. Three big meals and three snacks.
These are 5 steps were amazingly helpful for me during initial 6 months. But mommies these steps are not magic and won’t work over night. Routine and patience are crucial. Though I can’t stress enough on how these steps help establish a positive and healthy sleep pattern in babies.
sweet dreams and sleep well… but no matter what … don’t forget to breathe.
Mum Mum Ma – Loving Mommyhood 🙂
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Categories: Baby care