Your little bundle of joy has arrived and it’s time to celebrate. But you hardly seem in the mood for celebrations. As new parents you have developed tired eyes with dark circles. This is of course the result of the many sleepless nights spent trying to put your new born to sleep. Infants it seems have every intention of keeping their parents awake through the night. But this is not so. Every child irrespective of age will sleep peacefully all night if a proper routine is inculcated early in life.
Prepare a waking/sleeping schedule for the baby. While it may be difficult to follow initially, don’t give up. If the baby is a late riser due to disturbed sleep at night, start waking him a little earlier than his normal time. This will help him sleep on time at night.
Fix a time for the baby’s afternoon nap and stick to it. A nap later than the fixed time will rob him off his sleep at night. Take care not to let the baby sleep too long in the afternoon. Make the baby sleep in a well lit place.
Discourage night time feeding. Don’t feed your baby every time he bawls at night. Instead try soothing him in a calm voice and gently rubbing your hand over his chest. Sometimes babies only need to hear the calming voice of their mothers to feel safe and protected. Besides you must try to fill the dietary requirements of the baby during day time.
Be regular with feeding your baby during the day. This will keep the baby satisfied and reduce night time cravings for milk. If the baby still gets up for night feeds, feed in a dark room. In a well-lit room the baby might lose sleep due to the distraction that surrounding objects provide.
Put the baby in a cradle during evening. The slow rocking motion of the cradle will help the baby relax. Bathe and feed the baby before putting him to sleep. Bathing will help his body relax and feeding will keep him satisfied for most part of the night.
If you can, use disposable diapers at night instead of cloth nappies. Avoid changing nappies at night since this might disturb the sleep and you will end up with a wide awake baby in your hands!