Every baby need some help to get used to sleeping schedule. That is why we have some tried and tested ways to settle your baby to sleep so everyone could get the rest they need.
- If your baby is 0-3 months old:
A newborn sleeps around 16-17 hours per day, it might be a little less, around 15 hours, at three months.
You will still need to feed at night until your baby will be at least 3-6 months old, so try to stay calm and accept the night walking and respond to your baby’s demands for food quickly and quietly. This is the way he might hopefully drop off back to sleep quickly afterwards and so will you. A baby who knows he will be fed when he asks for it will feel secure and will be more likely to be able to soothe himself to sleep later on.
Obviously, you will want to cuddle and comfort your crying baby. Some nights you will not know why they cannot sleep despite your huge effort. Anyways, always try to put your baby back down in their basket when they are drowsy, but still awake so they learn to settle themselves.
There is quite a chance that newborn will feel more secure when he is swaddled, does not matter if with a sheet or light blanket. It works for some babies, so it is definitely worth a try.
Young babies cannot really stay awake for more than two hours. If you watch closely you will surely see them yawn and their eyes may glaze over. This is the time to take them out of a stimulating environment to a calmer one and let them sleep.
Lay him on a blanket
Usually babies do not like transferring from warm arms during cuddling to a cold basket. To avoid it, just put a blanket under them while you are feeding him or cuddling and put it under them when you place them back in the cot. This way you will transfer some warmth and some of your reassuring smell, that is why he should stay calm.
Some parents swear that putting on the washing machine or a vacuum cleaner near where their baby is sleeping will send them into the land of nod. It is probably because it gives the constant sound of life in the womb.
This works all the time. Does not matter if he is in your arms or in a bouncy chair. However, it might be useful for those nightmare nights where nothing seems to work, but it is very easy for a baby to get hooked on being rocked to sleep. They might come to the need of it every night.
- If baby is 3-6 months old:
Baby will be getting more of their 14-16 hour daily sleep needs at night. They are likely to be having three daytime naps, totally for three hours or so.
You will probably still be doing at least one night feed until he is 6 months, but be sure to keep it quite. Make as little eye contact as possible so they settle back to sleep very quickly.
Leave them awake
If they have fallen asleep during their feed, it is so tempting to lay them straight down and run back to bed. But health visitors do advise rousing them slightly so they would be awake when you lay them back to sleep. That way they will know you have gone and will not wake up in a panic. It also means they are learning to go to sleep without you by their side.
When baby is 6 months already, as you lay them down in their cot, put down their favorite toy next to them. This really helps some babies to settle so I believe you should try it too.
Wait a little
If you know that he cannot be hungry or cold but he is still not settling, wait a few minutes before going into baby’s room. Of course, you do not want to leave baby in distress, but wait five or 10 minutes. You will see how often he might settle by himself and that is also very important skill to learn.
Some babies get their first teeth at four or five months and they might cause real irritation and discomfort. That is why you should try massaging their face around the jawline and under the chin to soothe it.
Most would think that a baby who had a busy day and not much sleep would get to sleep right away. But that is so often not the case. Babies are just like us, if we stay up too late, baby can get a ‘second wind’. They get hyper and cannot settle.
This is a great time to create a few bedtime habits. It signals to your baby that bedtime is coming and it is nearly sleep time. Do not go into the playroom or living areas in case your baby thinks it is the time to play. What you do is up to you but it could include warm bath, nappy change or bedtime story.
- If baby is 6-12 months old
In this period of time, your baby need around 13-15 hours of sleep per day, with around two naps.
Every single baby is different, but generally babies over about six months can sleep through the night without any feed. Of course that does not mean they do! If you are down to one night feed and think your baby could do without it, you could try gradually bringing it forward to before midnight to lengthen the number of hours he is sleeping without food.
Leave baby awake
Hopefully they will be drowsy and relaxed but awake when you put them down to sleep. Trouble is that babies of this age are usually shattered by bedtime and often fall asleep during feeding. To avoid this, try feeding slightly earlier and have a story last thing before putting your baby down.
Try not to get into the habit of rocking your baby to sleep every night if you can. It is a great time for him to learn to settle himself to sleep without needing you right next to him.
Babies of this age are in the hardest teething zone. Just try massaging red gums with the end of a plastic spoon that has been in the fridge or just use your finger.
Hopefully this information will help you and best of luck with your little one’s sleeping schedule.