But every baby is different. For instance, what can you do if bubba hasn’t slept through the night at all since he arrived? To start, you may want to learn what baby’s sleeping patterns are as well as how to establish good sleep habits. So that everyone enjoys as much sleep as they can, try these bedtime strategies:
0 TO 3 MONTHS
3) Keep your little one snug Swaddling — a wrapping technique that creates a womb-like environment — keeps baby snug, allowing him to sleep longer. It also limits the startle reflex (which fades by 3 months).
Help your sweetie drift off to slumberland by letting him listen to white noise, such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner, which reminds him of the whooshing noises he heard in the womb.
4) Stick to a routine If you do roughly the same thing at the same time every day, your baby will learn what to expect. “It’s much easier to get my baby to sleep with a routine that lets her know that bedtime is near, like a warm bath, tummy time or soft music,” says Wong Mei Ling, 35, mum to Jacinta, 10 months.
5) Turn up the white noise Help your sweetie drift off to slumberland by letting him listen to white noise, such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner, which reminds him of the whooshing noises he heard in the womb.
3 TO 6 MONTHS
8) Teach him to self-soothe Lay baby down while he’s drowsy but still awake so that he feels more secure going back to sleep by himself. If your child learns to settle himself, he’s better able to do the same if he wakes up in the middle of the night.
9) Try these strokes If your baby refuses to switch off and close his eyes, gently stroke your finger down his forehead and nose. Following your finger forces him to close his eyes.
10) Don’t forget the night feed If your sweetie has trouble sleeping, try waking him up before midnight for a late-night feed. This may help him sleep for longer stretches. Be sure to dim the lights when you settle baby down to nurse.
6 TO 12 MONTHS
11) Spend some quiet time Before putting your munchkin to bed, try sitting together in a rocking chair or sing lullabies and read bedtime stories to help relax baby. Watch for steady breathing, as well as relaxed arms and legs.
12) Make him feel secure Let your smell saturate a piece of muslin (sleep with it for a night). Tie a knot in the middle of it and place it in the cot for baby to snuggle up to.
When baby cries, let him learn how to fall back to sleep on his own. Don’t rush in to pick him up or soothe him. Give him some time to settle down.
13) Watch out for his cues Ear-pulling, eye-rubbing or eyes that may open and close with a “heavy” or glazed look are just several signs that baby is sleepy. Remove your child from a stimulating environment to a calmer one and let him sleep. If you miss the cues, baby can get over-tired or become hyper-alert as he’s actually craving sleep.
14) Scent of comfort Linking a special smell, such as chamomile or lavender, with his bedtime bath, or placing a diffuser in the nursery, can help encourage baby to sleep.
15) Dim the lights Cut out all the lights, including the night-light, as babies aren’t likely to fear the dark until they are at least 18 months old. If baby nurses at night, attach a dimmer switch to a lamp, then turn it on and off slowly during night feeds.
16) Let baby self-soothe When baby cries, let him learn how to fall back to sleep on his own. Don’t rush in to pick him up or soothe him. Give him some time to settle down.
Elsewhere on SmartParents.sg…