A baby’s body clock doesn’t work in quite the same way as an adult’s does, and it takes a good few months (sometimes years) to reach a point where the child feels sleepy at the ‘right’ times and wakes up at the ‘right’ times too.
Something that can help with this issue and at least point the little ones in the right direction is blackout curtains. These curtains don’t let any light through at all, meaning that headlights, streetlamps, or early dawn won’t disturb the baby’s sleep. Although these curtains alone won’t be enough to persuade your baby to sleep through the night, they can be used in combination with other tips to help them sleep better in general.
The Right Time To Move
Have you ever had a baby fall asleep in your arms only for them to wake up screaming as soon as you try to put them in their cot? If so, you’re not alone – this happens very often and can be a source of pure frustration.
The problem is that most parents are so keen to put the baby to bed and finally have some time for themselves to sleep or relax or eat, and so on, that they make their move too soon. They don’t wait until the baby is in a deep enough sleep, which means that the movement wakes them. You need to wait until the baby is in a deep sleep, the signs of which include floppy arms and eyes darting about under closed eyelids.
Once they’re in this stage, you can move them, albeit very gently. This is also where it pays to have researched the right sleeping environment; making sure you have the right size of baby mattress, the right firmness, the right temperature, and so on will help to keep your baby dozing peacefully even when you leave the room.
Sometimes a baby will wake up even if they are in a deep sleep because the transition from your warm arms to a cooler cot is a stark one. If this could be a problem, ensure you put a warm hot water bottle in the baby’s bed (which of course should be removed before you transfer the little one into their cot).
Don’t Turn On The Lights
Your baby is going to wake up during the night; there is no way around this. Babies need to feed much more often than older children and adults, and that means they have to be fed during the night. More feeding means more nappy changes, and all added together this equates to disrupted sleep for at least the first few months.
Just because your baby is going to need you to get up two, three, sometimes more times during the night, that doesn’t mean you have to be wide awake too. By not turning on your main lights and using soft, LED lights, ideally those that are touch-activated, you won’t feel quite so awake and you should be able to go back to sleep for as long as your baby allows. This will also help your little one to get back to sleep more quickly once they have been fed, giving you more chance at additional sleep.
Feed Before Bed
Very young babies can go for around two to three hours between feeds, and although it is said that you should never wake a sleeping baby, there is such a thing as a ‘dream feed’ that can help tired parents get some extra sleep.
This feed is one that you can incorporate just before you go to bed, ensuring that you’ll get about three hours of uninterrupted sleep which might not sound a lot but is pretty good when you have a newborn. This late-night snack ensures that the baby is full, stretching out the time until their next feed.