Having a baby is a joyful experience, but sometimes your little one can have trouble going to sleep. Here are a few tips for helping your baby to sleep.
Crying It Out or Not?
Not. Letting a baby cry it out ignores the baby’s physical and emotional needs. A baby may need a diaper change or food. Sometimes babies startle awake and need comforting. After all, everything in the world is unfamiliar to a baby, and your reassuring presence is what a baby needs to touch base with what is known in the world. More importantly, crying it out and being unable to sleep may indicate serious medical conditions that may need immediate attention.
Keeping your baby safe during sleep should be a more important concern than getting your baby to sleep. Prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is critical.
Some ways you can help to prevent SIDS is to place your baby on her or his back in the crib for the first year of life. Keep the crib bare with a firm mattress. Don’t leave fluffy toys, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib. These can cause suffocation. Don’t overheat your baby. Use a sleep sack at night instead of blankets, and don’t cover your baby’s head. Have the baby sleep in the same room as you, but not in your bed. The baby should sleep in a separate bassinet or crib.
It is also recommended that you breast-feed your baby for at least six months and have your baby immunized with all the necessary vaccines.
Beyond these essential basics, there are several additional ways to help your baby sleep.
Put Your Baby to Bed Drowsy
Wait until your baby is almost asleep to put the baby to bed. Learning to fall asleep on their own helps babies sleep longer. However, teaching a baby to fall asleep on their own does not mean letting them cry it out.
Create a Bedtime Routine
By the time they are four months old, babies can benefit from routine. Using a bath, soft music, a story, and dim lighting can help a baby fall asleep easier. Make such routines part of your life to gently sleep train your baby.
Don’t Start Solid Foods Early
It’s a common parenting myth that starting solid foods early will help babies sleep better. However, giving babies solid foods too soon can hinder good sleep by potentially causing stomach problems and food allergies. Babies aren’t ready for solids until they are six-months-old. A little later of course they can begin eating finger foods.
Temperature and Baby Sleep
Temperature is a factor for baby sleep. The suggested room temperature range for best baby sleep is between 61 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. While this may seem cool, this temperature ensures that babies won’t overheat. Don’t bundle your baby with layers or use blankets. A simple sleep sack is enough for a baby. Having a consistent temperature is possible if you maintain the HVAC and air conditioning in your home with professional repair HVAC and air conditioning care.
Consider these tips as you navigate the rewarding endeavor of caring for a baby.