How to Get Your Baby to Sleep
Date: Thursday, Sep 24, 2020
Kids never turn out the way their parents dream they would. This hits new parents the hardest the first night they bring baby home, finding their sleep patterns gone all awry because the little one doesn’t follow their sleep schedule. Getting baby to sleep becomes a parent’s epic struggle for the next few months.
Tricks and tips for getting one’s baby to sleep are all over the mommy groups – but what methods actually work? How do you sleep train your baby? And should your baby sleep in the same bed as you, or is that bad for everyone? Read on to find out more.
Set a sleep routine
A pre-bedtime routine is absolutely essential to getting baby to sleep: changing the environment can help condition baby to start settling down.
This might involve dimming the lights and turning down any noises such as the volume on your television. Repeat this every night, around half an hour before bedtime, so the baby learns that this soon leads to bedtime.
Older infants may benefit from nighttime rituals such as a warm baths or singing baby songs to sleep. Consistency is absolutely key: if you perform your sleep routine every night before bedtime, your baby will learn to follow your lead. 1
Differentiate between day and night
Introduce your baby to the concept of day and night as early as possible – at least in the first six months of his life. Keep the bedroom baby sleeps in as quiet and dimly-lit as possible at night. In the daytime, have playtime with baby only when the room is brightly-lit.
In time, your baby will learn that when it's dark and quiet, it's time to sleep, not play. And if you're feeding them during the night, do it in the bedroom with a dim light on, so that it'll be easier for him to get back to sleep.2
Put your baby in his crib when he's drowsy
Don't wait till your baby is asleep till you put them into his crib; instead, do it when they get drowsy but not actually asleep. This will teach them to fall asleep on their own in their crib and self-soothing is good for babies to learn.3
Your newborn might need to be rocked or soothed to sleep, but once they’re around five months old, they should learn how to self-soothe to sleep so it's important to let them fall asleep by themselves in their crib. It'll also be easier for them to go back to sleep if they wake up during the night as they’ll be used to their crib's surroundings, instead of falling asleep in your arms, for example.
Don't respond immediately to their fussing
If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night and starts fussing, don't go to them immediately. Immediate attention can be counterproductive – it teaches them to wake up more often. Instead, wait a few minutes and see if they’re able to settle back into sleep on their own.
But if their cries are getting louder – you don't want a meltdown here – check on them but don't turn on the light (you can have a dim light on). Check first if there’s anything that could be bothering them, such as hunger or a soiled nappy; then pick them up or play with them. You can pat them back to sleep.
Don't feed them to sleep
There certainly is a relationship between your little one’s sound sleep and their formula feeding. Children consuming formula enriched with sn-2 palmitate enjoyed improved sleep length and reduced crying, compared to those fed with standard formula.4
Falling asleep while feeding is normal for newborns, but this doesn't happen as often once they hit four or five months of age. By this point, your baby shouldn’t grow dependent on feeding to get them to sleep in the first place. Putting your baby to sleep through feeding will get them into the habit of only falling asleep while being fed.
This can cause all sorts of problems later on, especially when they wake up in the middle of the night and don't actually need a feed. And, if you're breastfeeding, this will make it difficult for anyone else to put your baby to sleep.5
Instead, try to keep enough time between their night feeds and bedtime to fit a sleep activity in between.
What about co-sleeping?
Co-sleeping is when parents and children sleep in the same bed; it's a common practice especially in Asia and even in Singapore, where many of us might be short on room in our flats.
There are pros and cons with co-sleeping: the ultimate decision to do this lies with individual parents. Pros include making feeding easier and quicker, as parents do not have to get out of bed and check on babies during the night, and (some experts believe) co-sleeping helps children's emotional health and security.
The cons are dangers such as babies getting trapped between or under parents or against a wall, or sliding down under the covers or rolling out of bed. In the long run, co-sleeping can lead to separation anxiety in kids.
Illuma Stage 3 Growing-Up Formula Milk Powder is suitable for children from one year and above. This advanced growing-up formula contains a unique combination of sn-2 palmitate and A2 β-casein, offering a range of nutritional and gastrointestinal benefits for your little one.
For more tips, Contact Us to chat with our friendly Club Illume consultants.
- 1. https://www.parents.com/baby/sleep/schedule/establishing-a-bedtime-routine/
- 2. https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/sleep/settling-routines/newborn-sleep-routines
- 3. https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/sleep/settling-routines/helping-babies-sleep-settle-0-6-months
- 4. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/sn2palmitate-improves-crying-and-sleep-in-infants-fed-formula-withprebiotics-a-doubleblind-randomized-clinical-trial-2090-7214-1000263.pdf
- 5. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0147-z
- 6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818854/
- 7. https://www.thesleepstore.co.nz/sleep-information/babies-3-6-months/articles/feeding-your-baby-to-sleep-is-it-a-good-idea