If Your Baby Isn't Sleeping, It Could Be 1 of These 7 Things
There's nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. That sentiment rings even more true when your little one is wide awake when they're supposed to be in la-la land. Tired and overwhelmed parents can often overlook common mistakes and forget that little ones need the right conditions for good slumber. If naptime and bedtime is a constant struggle with baby, make sure one of these seven things isn't keeping them from falling — and staying — asleep.
Your Baby is Overtired
It would seem like an easy remedy to let your child get exhausted with the hopes that he or she will sleep longer and better through the night. However, the opposite is true because most kids thrive on consistency. Children have strong internal clocks, and putting them to bed later will only force them to have a fussier slumber. Keep your baby on schedule so his or her body can naturally signal when it's time to sleep.
Your Baby is Hungry, Cold, or in Need of a Diaper Change
These three are the obvious ones to check right away. Meeting baby's basic needs before starting their slumber will help alleviate most struggles. Make sure baby ate enough at their last feeding and isn't too cold or in need of a fresh diaper. Sometimes, in the haze of sleeplessness, the most obvious solutions often elude us!
You're Skipping a Nighttime Routine
Just like grown-ups, children are creatures of habit, and implementing a nighttime routine that works for you both will be highly beneficial. Give baby a bath, followed by a book and a lullaby. Not only will these consistent routines help your baby get drowsy and signal that it's time to sleep, but they will also provide you with some quality bonding time.
Your Baby Is Too Excited
Make sure you're not overstimulating baby right before bedtime. This means setting the environment in a way that is both soothing and conducive to sleep. Talk softly, implement a sleep routine, and try to keep stimulants like horseplay or television noises to a minimum.
Your Baby Has Day and Night Confusion
Sometimes it's hard for babies to know when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up! Make sure baby gets plenty of light, and keep them unswaddled during the day. Don't talk too much or make the room bright during nighttime feeds. You might also consider investing in a white noise machine for a consistent signal of when it's sleepytime.
Your Baby Needs You to Fall Asleep
Yes, it's absolutely adorable when your little one falls asleep on your chest, but make sure you're not indulging in a routine that can linger for a long time to come. Babies need to be taught how to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own, without your assistance. Try to set this practice in place early on so you don't fall into the desperate and unenviable routine of being your baby's sleeptime crutch.
You're Rushing in for Rescue Too Quickly
Of course you're terrified that if you don't rush to intervene right away, your child will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by the time you do go to them. But if baby startles awake or begins to stir, it's better to wait a few minutes and allow them to find their way back to slumber. Oftentimes, walking in will only stimulate them further.