How to help your baby sleep better?
All parents have the same dream that their baby sleeps well. And not only because they need to find a piece of time to rest but also because healthy sleep is vital for developing the child’s body.
Even if your baby doesn’t sleep well and is constantly waking up at night, it’s a reason to think about it and make some changes. It would help if you had time, effort, and motivation. Improving sleep is always a parent’s responsibility. A common mistake is that parents don’t give the same importance to setting up quality sleep for their children as, for example, choosing clothes, toys, and food. They hope that everything will somehow get better with sleep, and the child will outgrow it. But it can take many months or even years. As a result, the parents and the baby have to suffer from a constant lack of sleep.
How to help your baby fall asleep?
As the infant develops, fears, anxiety, and restlessness may arise when the baby does not sleep separately from his or her parents and struggles to fall asleep. The child’s environment, parental behavior, and sleep habits contribute to the maturation of biological rhythms.
To ensure quality rest and proper development, parents can keep in their mind the following top tips:
- There is no need to wake your baby on purpose, even if it is time to feed him or her;
- Make sure your baby is full before putting him/her to bed;
- Nighttime feedings should take place in a quiet, peaceful atmosphere, with a dimmed light;
- After six to nine months, the baby can fall asleep at night by him/herself. This is because it is at this age that your baby becomes ready to do without food at night and therefore to cope with night awakenings independently, combining sleep into a single uninterrupted period. If possible, at 10-12 months, it is advisable to give up night feedings;
- It is desirable to have a special ritual of falling asleep. These are the same actions repeated day after day 10-15 minutes before bedtime. For example, you sing lullabies before bedtime or set a favorite toy next to the child. The script can be anything. The most important thing is that it should be relaxing and that you and your baby like it. The ritual, like anything new, takes some getting used to. Set aside at least a week for this. During this time, you and your baby will have a chance to develop your unique routine for going to bed.
Does a baby’s diet affect your little one’s sleep?
It is commonly believed that formula-fed babies sleep better—both yes and no. On the one hand, the formula is more difficult to digest, and it takes more energy for this process, so sleep for formula-fed babies is often deeper. And also, the baby formula provides a more prolonged feeling of satiety, so if we talk about waking up exactly because of hunger, there may be less.
Although it won’t be accurate to say that the standard of nutrition for a baby is still breast milk, as well as “shallow” sleep in babies in the first months of life – it is provided by nature of the physiological norm. Therefore, formula feeding should not be an option because the baby is sleeping longer and deeper.
And besides, the feeding routine is only one factor in healthy sleep. While the causes of sleep disorders can be incorrect day rhythms, uncomfortable sleeping conditions, sleep associations, or psychological reasons – all of these factors have nothing to do with the type of feeding of the baby.