Are you a new parent and wondering when you’ll be able to sleep like normal person again? Well every new parents go through this and we are here to guide you. It’s no rocket science, just plain simple tips and tricks along with a lot of patience and commitment which can help you achieve a brilliant bedtime routine to sleep train your baby & ensure a proper well rested sleep for your baby’s healthy development.
In the new born period just hang in there, its more baby led. There really isn’t much we can do in terms of sleep schedule in the new born period. We wait until developmentally about 3 or 4 months, we can start to play our role in setting the sleep schedule for the baby. By now you can read their cues and learn them a baby who is not hungry shouldn’t be force fed, and so a new born might need a feed every two hours as they need those calories however a 4 month old isn’t necessarily hungry. They might wake up multiple times at night but the reasons for that can be for comfort or soothing.
A consistent sleep routine helps, here are a few steps to achieve your baby’s ideal bedtime routine:-
- Set a bedtime
Put the baby down to sleep around 8-9 pm at night & let them complete their 10-12 hours of sleep and wake up by 7-8am. Sleep training is one of the best things you can do for your child because no matter what your baby’s sleep will improve so well.
The first stretch when they fall asleep, the first 3-4 hours it’s important they learn to self soothe and sleep learn to go back to sleep if they wake up. They might play their card and cry it out but that’s okay, let them cry it out & just be there as parents to help them figure it out themselves. Well learn their cues and they’ll learn to get through that first stretch.
Hopefully by 6-9 months, maybe you’ll achieve that 7-8 hours of magical sleep or if you’re lucky maybe more.
- Read to them
Reading stories to babies is a brilliant way to calm the baby down, settle them in bed and to ignite their imagination as they sleep. It has been proven for ages as a powerful tool to develop communication, for social & emotional development, to improve cognitive skills & improve attention. Reading also greatly helps in relieving anxiety and overall improvement of personality.
Do not make story reading monotonous for your baby. Keep it so interesting that he looks forward to this kind of bonding with you every day.
- Take a bath
It can be an elaborate hot water bath to calm the baby down & prepare them to relax and sleep. If you feel a bath is not something that suits your baby at least make it a point to wash their face, hands and feet with warm water and then change them into pyjamas.
This routine helps in habituating the baby to expect bedtime after their night time bath.
- Give them a nice massage
Your night-time baby massage shouldn’t be a long elaborate one. It’s best to use short, gentle strokes, work from baby’s head down to her feet, and try to be quick about it. Use a good moisturiser as a medium for your massage instead of oil as it’ll get better absorbed in the skin through the night and is less messy.
Here’s a link to buy the baby moisturiser by MyDvija, it’s completely homemade with natural oils and butter which is best for your baby’s skin. https://mydvija.com/product/baby-oil/
- Positive affirmations
This is very important for the baby as well as the mother. As you put your baby to sleep tell them how much you love them, tell them it’s okay to rest now & that you are here if he needs you. Spend a few minutes expressing gratitude for all the blessings god showered upon the family that day. Thank the baby for behaving well, for listening to you, for being the cute self they are & most importantly thank them to have chosen you to be their parent.
This creates a very positive vibe for the baby to rest in also this habit shall greatly help the baby be more grounded and connected to the parents as they grow up.
- Set the ambience right
Switch off the lights in the room at bedtime, make sure the surroundings aren’t noisy. Make sure the room is not too cold or hot for the baby. Get the blankets out & make the bed for your baby to know that its time to rest now.
Summary & Tips to get started to set baby sleep routine:-
- Be mentally prepared- get in the right mental state to give it whatever it takes to start sleep training your baby only then will you be able to go about it. Make sure you and your partner are both on board about it.
- Dedicate a week to the process- dedicate at least 48-72 hours to this process, the longer you can dedicate to this process the better.
- Consistency is key- once you put your baby on a nap & sleep schedule, the more consistent you are on your schedule the better your life will be.
- Darken the room- the darker the better as babies tend to sleep better and longer in darker environment.
- Feed 30 minutes before bedtime in a well lit room to separate perception of bedtime & feeding time.
- Have a nightly routine – that prepares the baby mentally to get ready to retire to bed.
- Make your husband involved in this process by letting them do the night massage or making them read to the baby.
- Make sure your baby’s last daytime nap is 3-4 hours before bedtime.
We have a beautiful course on sleep training coming up on MyDvija- on 4th september
. Follow us on Instagram, Youtube & subscribe to our Newsletter to get the latest updates about it.All the best for your journey with sleep training your little one, always remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to upbringing. You’re doing your best for your baby and that’s all that matters. Do send us questions you have regarding sleep training your little one https://mydvija.com/contact-us/ .
Blog written by: – Dr. Fatema Lokhandwala ( MyDvija Team Member)
Guided by: – Shreya Shah (Founder @ MyDvija)