The secret to getting your baby to sleep and then staying asleep is all about routines.
You need to follow a set pattern that is essentially the same every evening. Babies will be more relaxed if they know what to expect and will be more inclined to go to sleep in an environment of serenity and comfort, rather than one of hustle and bustle.
Unfortunately, for the first few weeks it may be difficult to formulate any pattern of behavior as the feeding cycle tends to dictate events at this stage – she’ll sleep when she wants to.
Experts suggest that around the six to eight week mark could be the time to try and set a routine in place that you will use every evening.
What your routine includes is obviously up to you, but you will want to include such things as a having a warming bath, reading a story, singing nursery rhymes, playing games, watching a familiar DVD or listening to music etc, just aim for repetitive and unstimulating activities.
It’s important to choose things that help to take your baby from a normal day time consciousness to a relaxed, sleep inducing state of mind.
If your baby has her own room, make sure it is a comfortable, warm, welcoming and calming place. If she is sharing your room, then this too must be a settling place to be.
It is best if your routine always finishes in the bedroom, to avoid carrying and moving her once she is asleep and always ends with her not being held or comforted when falling asleep.
If this practice continues she will always expect to go to sleep this way and probably struggle to fall asleep without it, meaning you having to do the same things in the middle of the night as opposed to her falling back to sleep on her own.
The more pleasurable and comfortable bedtime is, the better your baby will respond to it.
Instead of becoming anxious and upset there is a much greater chance that she will relax and start unwinding, but even then you must allow time for the routine to settle in and become accepted.
Posted: May 3rd, 2012 under Coping With a New Baby, Getting Baby to Sleep.
Tags: baby sleep, can get baby to sleep, get baby to sleep, how baby sleep, sleeping baby, why won't my baby sleep