Sleeping is important for your little bundle of joy’s health and growth. Therefore, it is only imperative for you to ensure that your beloved baby gets enough rest and sleep. A baby that lacks sleep is a fussy baby, and a fussy baby will cost you your rest and sleep as well. Such is the vicious cycle of the parent-child relationship. With that said, what are the things you should prioritise when you put your baby to sleep? What are the things that you should refrain from when putting your baby to sleep? This guide offers some tips that come in handy for you! So these are the four things to avoid before your baby’s bedtime:
Cradling Your Baby To Sleep
Some babies need crutches or aids to help them fall asleep faster and better. This is due to the fact that around this period, your baby has yet to formulate a coping mechanism to soothe themselves to sleep. Therefore, they will depend on their surroundings or you to help them sleep. Since cradling your baby to sleep is one of the best ways to help your little darling sleep, you might be tempted to just keep them gently rocked or cradled. While this is a good way to lull your baby to sleep, this method can also be a double-edged sword for you.
How so, you may ask. Cradling your baby to sleep on a consistent basis will make your baby heavily reliant on it to fall asleep. In fact, it will be harder for your baby to fall asleep without your presence near them. To remedy this issue, you can have your baby fall asleep in their own crib instead of your arms. By establishing this bedtime routine, you will be able to train your baby to become more independent and less reliant on your presence to fall asleep!
Feeding Your Baby Late in The Night
Contrary to popular beliefs, your baby does not need extra calories to help them fall asleep! While it is important to keep your baby well-fed before they go to bed, you don’t necessarily have to feed them again if they happen to wake up late at night or in the middle of the night. Thus, it is important to avoid this because late night feeding would not only disrupt your sleep but also leads to unhealthy eating habits for your child.
When your baby is used to indulging themselves with late night feeding, they will feel very full in the morning and hungry at night, causing a chain of unhealthy cycles that will keep your baby up at night. However, of course, every child’s condition is different. Hence, you should get your paediatrics’s advice before trying to establish any feeding routine. If you’ve gotten the green light from your paediatric, try to be firm with your newborn and shut off any chances for them to get food after their bedtime meal.
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Letting Your Baby Sleep Anywhere
While it might be easier to let your baby have a snooze on their stroller or in the car, it will be harder to put your baby to sleep during their bedtime. Why? When your baby naps in the car or stroller, they are being moved or rocked when they fall asleep. Over time, they lose the ability to self-soothe and rely on movement to fall asleep. Furthermore, when your little ones fall asleep in the car or stroller, they are not getting a deep, restful sleep. This is because motion sleep keeps the brain in a light sleep. Car naps can mess up your baby’s sleep cycle because they tend to be shorter — around 20 to 30 minutes — which is not a full sleep cycle. Not to mention your babies may wake up when you stop the car too. As a result, your little one may have more fragmented sleep at night too.
To help your baby develop healthy sleep habits, establish a familiar and proper sleep environment for them. It’s best if your baby can nap and sleep at night at the same place every day. While we understand it’s not possible to follow this rule all the time, try to plan your daily errands around your baby’s nap time. Get the help of your family members, a nanny, or a babysitter if needed.
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Not Putting Them To Sleep Earlier
Some parents might have this idea that letting your baby stay up late will cause them to tire out and naturally fall asleep. While it does seem like a logical explanation, this is most likely a myth. Getting your baby to sleep late would only make them accustomed to staying up later than their usual bedtime. When your baby stays up more often, they tend to get tired more often. This will result in your baby taking a long time to sleep and be awakened from their sleep more frequently.
So what is the solution to this case then? You can prepare your baby for an earlier bedtime by bathing them earlier and giving them a gentle massage. This will help ease fatigue for your little darling and help your baby relax better for their bedtime. If your baby is a bit resistant to this new change, you can try to shift all of these new routines to 15 minutes earlier than the usual time they hit the sack! This tip would help your baby realign their sleeping schedule back to its normal state.
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In conclusion, these are the four things that you shouldn’t do before your baby bedtime. Preventing these mistakes is not only good for helping your baby sleep better but it also helps you catch up on your much needed rest and sleep!
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