Baby and sleep: a subject that is not discussed enough. The sleep of your baby also determines your sleep and rhythm. This is why it is important that your baby adapts to a healthy sleeping pattern. But how can you teach this to your baby?
In the beginning, the day and night rhythm are turned around for your baby. This is normal. Therefore, do not expect your baby to sleep through the night within the first three weeks. In fact, some babies only sleep through the night after the first year. It also depends on your child. One baby can be a light sleeper; the other can be a deep sleeper. In any case, it is important that your child knows that the night is the time for a long sleep.
1. Daytime = naps, nighttime= long sleep
If your child sleeps during the day, make sure that the room has enough sunlight. This is to ensure that he or she knows it is daytime. Keep the curtains opened and maybe even let in some background noise.
2. So in the evening it really has to be dark!
Make sure that you have blackout curtains and that no daylight shines through. Dark is equivalent to nighttime. This way, your child will know that it’s time for a good night’s sleep.
3. Not too many stimuli during the day
A small child is very active so you should not over-stimulate him or her. Pay attention if you have been busy with your baby for the day. If that’s the case then chances are higher that he or she will not sleep through the night.
4. Over-fatigue = poor sleep
Make sure that your child takes as much rest as possible. If you notice that your baby is rubbing his eyes or is crying a lot, then put him to bed. Even if it takes awhile before he falls sleep. You can put your baby in a sleeping bag during the day because he will feel nice and warm and thus sleep better!
5. Do not take your baby out of bed with every noise
Some babies are just light sleepers. If you always pick your baby up then he or she might become over-stimulated and this can be a very messy and sleepless night for you. Babies must learn to sleep independently.
6. Give your baby evening baths
Evening baths will soothe and relax your baby. This works for you too! You can try our relaxing Milky Bath Oil.
7. Set up a routine in the evening
Changing nappy, putting on pajamas, putting on a sleeping bag, giving a bottle in bed, playing music or singing a song. Once those are done, give your little one a kiss and walk out of the room.
8. Rest in advance
Make sure that it is half an hour before your baby goes to sleep. Watch out for tablets or loud television sounds.
9. Skipping naps? Then bring your child to bed extra early
The level of the stress hormone cortisol in your baby’s blood can increase if he or she does not go to bed on time. This can make falling asleep more difficult. Always make sure that your child takes his or her naps in peace during the day. If this doesn’t happen then bring your child to bed extra early. You will see that the nights will be much quieter.
10. La pause
As we mentioned in number 5, it is wise to train your child to fall asleep independently. French people have a word for that: La pause. They first wait two minutes before they go to their child. Do not take your child out of bed immediately, but first see if there is something else. Maybe your baby’s diaper needs to be changed? Did the pacifier fall off? Lost a teddy? Stay calm; do not walk into the room right away. If your baby continues to cry, then something is going on. Perhaps a nightmare or hunger. If that’s the case, pick your child up. At such moment, a child needs to know that you are there.