|Sleeping baby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Well, the fact is some babies are better sleepers than others. However, you should be aware that it is normal for newborn babies to be waking up every two to three hours at night as they usually are hungry or wake due to a wet diaper. This phase should last only up to three months, but it can be longer for other babies.
Having a baby sleep throughout the night is one problem. Having them fall asleep in the first place is another problem. Some babies can just fall asleep on their own easily. Others need a bit of coaxing.
If you find that your baby is waking during the night or having a hard time falling asleep, here are a few tips that may help smooth the transition from wakefulness to sleep time.
Shorten Naps During the Day
If you find that your four month or older baby is having a difficult time falling asleep or is waking every two to three hours during the night, but sleeps for four to five hours during a day nap, it's time to shorten the napping period. Switch the sleep and wake clock on your baby.
Put your baby down for his or her nap at the same time each day, if possible. Slowly and gently wake your baby after two or three hours of sleep. This may cause crying in the beginning, but keep your baby occupied so he or she does not fall back asleep. This process will help your baby get down to sleep in the evening.
Soothing Bath Before Bedtime
Begin to settle down in the evening with a soothing warm bath for your baby. Sometimes a lavender baby bath will do the trick to calm the baby. Don’t get into playing during bath time. Talk softly and gently wash your baby enticing his or her senses with the lavender. Some parents like to use Babo Botanicals Lavender Meadowsweet 3 in 1 Bubble Bath Shampoo Wash because it has a plant based formula. In other words, it doesn't have all that harmful chemicals like sulfates, parabens and artificial fragrances. The smell is not too strong. Instead it is very soothing and calming.
After the bath, rub your baby down with some baby lavender lotion, gently massaging his or her feet, legs, arms, and hands, all the time keeping the noise level low. I like to put baby powder on my babies. You should consider using Johnson's Baby Powder, Pure Cornstarch, Lavender and Chamomile. It feels great on the body and it uses cornstarch instead of talc, which is safer. Gently clean your baby’s gums or teeth, still keeping your voice soft. Over time, this will begin to signal to your baby that this is quiet time and time to sleep.
Reading a Bedtime Story
In your baby’s room, have a dim light on while you complete the dressing after bath time. Swaddle your baby and sit in a rocking chair or other comfortable chair and begin to read a short bedtime story.
As you are reading, hold your baby snug to your body, gently rocking him or her, and reading in a soft, gentle tone. After the story, place your baby in his or her crib, set the mobile music, a few rubs on the back, say goodnight, and walk out of the room.
Have you heard about Cloud b Sleep Sheep On The Go Travel Sound Machine with Four Soothing Sounds? It is a soft toy in the shape of a sheep that plays soothing sounds like a gentle stream, spring showers, ocean waves and harmonious whale sounds. It has won some awards from the National Parenting Council's Seal of Approval and the iParenting Media Award. Many parents love it because it is soft, cuddly and helps lull their kids to sleep.
ROUTINE IS IMPORTANTIt is important to understand that this is a process. These tips are to set a routine that occurs each night at the same time so your child will automatically start to wind down and want to sleep at a certain time. Your baby may fuss for about a week, but this should soon dissipate. Don’t respond to the little fussy cries and before you know it your baby will be sleeping through the night. Video baby monitors is a great tool to have at this time. That way, you can check on your baby through the video monitor to see if they are just fussing or really need your attention. You don't have to go in and out of the room. That might disturb your baby even more.
Oh yes, one more thing to note is that waking during the night more frequently than normal can be a sign that your baby is uncomfortable. If your baby is teething, have colic, wind or skin rashes, you can expect restless nights. Other than that, just keep up your bedtime routine.
Place this nightlight on the floor in the center of the room, and it will project a starry night sky onto the ceiling and walls. Lying there watching the night lights will slowly lull your children to sleep. Awesome!