I can’t stress enough the importance of establishing a bedtime routine and following through every night. I don’t believe in the crying out method, however I do believe in creating a schedule so your child knows when it’s bedtime and setting them up for a successful night of sleep.
If you are experiencing sleepless nights, here are a few reasons that may be keeping baby up.
1. Failing To Create an Environment For Baby To Fall Asleep:
Whether your baby sleeps in their own room or yours, be sure to leave a dim light on throughout the night, use a white noise machine to blockout any sounds that may disturb their sleep, keep the room at a comfortable temperature and give them an extra layer of clothing if it’s a cold night or a layer less if it’s a warm night. Keep in mind babies usually need one more layer than adults to be comfortable.
2. Not Establishing A Bedtime Routine and Abiding By It:
What does your bedtime routine look like? We start our bedtime routine at 6:30pm
6:30pm – Bathtime and massage
7:15pm- Brush our teeth and change into pajamas
7:30 – Nurse baby and story time
7:45: – Bedtime tuck-in
I established this bedtime routine when my oldest daughter turned one, and after her sister came into the picture we worked her into the schedule. My girls are always asleep by 8:00pm and earlier if it was a long day. They are on a set schedule and their body knows when to wind down, it helps with my sanity and their development. Kids thrive off of structure.
Not one bedtime routine fits all, because no two families are alike. Create a routine that works for your family and your schedules, and try to stick to it.
3. You Have A Newborn:
Newborns should not sleep more than four to five hour stretches because they need to feed frequently for proper growth and development. If your newborn sleeps longer they will become dehydrated, lethargic, and cranky. Waking your newborn periodically for feedings will also decrease the chance of SIDS.
4. Change in Routine:￼
Have you changed jobs? Experienced a birth or death in the family? Are on vacation? Moved to a new home? Experienced a change in your schedule? If any of these are true, then your child needs a chance to adjust and get back into their routine. It can be difficult for a baby to fall asleep if their pattern is disturbed by a new place, a new individual putting them to sleep, the absence of a loved one, or stressors from outside sources. Rest assured, the disturbance is only temporary. Give baby a few days or weeks to adjust.
5. Baby is Overtired
MYTH: Super tired babies will sleep longer
Overtired babies will have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep because they will keep tossing and turnings.
To prevent your baby becoming overtired establish a bedtime routine and a nap schedule and stick to it. If your baby is giving you cues of exhaustion, put them down for a nap. It’s okay to put baby down for bedtime earlier than normal if you sense they are tired.
6. Baby is Overstimulated
Television, phones, and tablets, loud music, toys, books, people talking in their faces, siblings, and errands, can all cause overstimulation and leave your baby wide-eyed and too fussy, hyper, and anxious to wind down.
For example: you’re at work all day learning about a new project, you will eventually crave a break from learning and want to stop. You need time to process all of that information and so do babies.
7. Baby Is Experiencing A Growth Spurt:
Babies will sometimes sleep longer or less than usual if they are experiencing a growth spurt.
I try to be in tune to my child’s needs when they are experiencing changes in growth and will feed them more during the day and give them what they need to aid in their developmental milestone.
It’s ok if you need to change your routine and put them to bed earlier or later.
I hope this article helped you identify and fix any issues you’re having with your baby. Remember, babies need structure so set them up for success.