Infants sleep for as much as 18 hours in a day. But they repeatedly wake up at intervals and many find it difficult to settle in restful sleep. This can be quite distressful for the baby as well as the parents. So here is some best sleep advice for baby sleep.
Allowing baby to learn to sleep on his own: Baby should be put to bed while drowsy and not totally asleep. If baby settles in a slumber on his own, he would sleep quickly, for longer times and also, he would learn to go to sleep whenever he wakes up during night. Experts suggest that a baby’s sleepiness should be judged on a scale of 1 t 10 — 1 is wide-awake and 10 being deep asleep. As the drowsiness increases, baby should be put to bed.
Avoid eye contact:
Even during drowsy state, if a baby notices parents’ eyes on him, he might get encouraged to interact and wake up fast from the sleepy state. So experts advice parents to talk softly or pat gently, but look away from baby’s eyes during night wakeups.
Dim lights during nights:
Even before the bedtime at night, the lights in baby’s room or where he spends more time, should be dimmed. Bluish lights are preferable than bright white or yellow. During day, baby’s room should be bright with sunlight, so at night the darkness or dim lights would signal sleep time for him. Lights should not be turned bright, if he wakes up at night. It would appear as daytime to him and make him completely awake.
Reduce responding to the baby monitor:
If parents run to the baby with every sound transmitted through the monitor, then baby would make a habit of it. The baby should be given a little time to go back to sleep on his own. If the baby doesn’t seem to be sleeping by himself and appears to be wide awake, then the parent should go in before the baby gets totally worked up, otherwise it would be hard to settle him back for the night.
Nappy changing during night:
Parents should not form a habit of changing baby’s nappy every time he wakes up during night. The movements and the time it takes to change would wake him up completely. So special nighttime diapers should be used. Only if nappy is leaky or smelly, it should be changed, otherwise baby should be allowed to fall back to sleep without disturbing him much. If a nappy change is a must, a warm wipe should be used because cold touch at night would wake the baby quickly.
Consistency of a routine helps even the infants. A strict timetable should not be imposed on the infants as they require flexibility, but at the same time, there is no harm in trying to do baby’s routine things on time.