Having a new baby is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and leave new parents sleep deprived. Some babies sleep through the night right away and others don’t get to that point until they are a year old or more. This is a very long time for parents to go without a good night of sleep. There are some things you can do to get your baby to sleep through the night.
Most infants are able to sleep for six hours or more at night by the time they are six months old as their nervous system matures. It is important to keep your baby on a regular schedule as much as possible. This includes a bedtime ritual. Give your baby a bath, read a story, cuddle, and put them to bed. Your child will get used to this bedtime ritual. While it is common to rock a baby to sleep, it is important that you lay your child down for bedtime while they are still awake. This allows them to associate the night time routine with falling asleep.
Most babies can sleep through the night if they are comfortable. Make sure your baby is getting enough to eat. If your baby is waking up at night to eat, give him or her a feeding of cereal, pudding, or other filling food item that is appropriate for their age. This will help them stay full to sleep for a long stretch of time at night. To keep your baby comfortable through the night without a diaper change, use thick absorbent diapers for bed time. Make sure you put on baby power to prevent a rash or skin irritation from occurring.
If your baby does wake up at night to be changed or fed, do so very quietly and calmly. Keep the lighting very dim. If your child becomes stimulated then they will likely want to stay awake. Once you have fed and changed your baby, place them back into their crib so that they can easily fall back to sleep.
For babies who like to sleep too much during the day and then stay up at night, you will need to work to help them get on schedule. Keep them awake more during the day by finding stimulating activities. Cut nap time back by 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day to help them sleep better at night. Don’t let your baby nap late in the afternoon or early evening. This process is going to take a couple of days, and your baby may be cranky during the process, but once it is done you will all be sleeping better.