At one point or another, new parents very likely find themselves wishing and dreaming about the time when their baby can finally sleep through the night. The good news is that according to studies, babies as young as three months old are capable of sleeping five to six hours at a time. While it isn’t normal for new babies to sleep straight until sunrise, there are a few things you can to do help mommy, daddy and baby get a much better night’s rest.
Set an early bedtime
When it comes to babies and sleep, new parents need to learn that trying to get an overtired baby to sleep is never a good idea. This is because overtired babies tend to fight going to sleep instead of falling asleep easily. If you’re having difficulty getting your baby to sleep early in the evening, try moving his or her naps to an earlier time.
Get a bedtime routine going
Start a bedtime routine for your child early on, as bedtime will become easier for you in the coming months as the baby gets familiar to the cues. Regular activities associated with bedtime are a bath, a quiet game, a story or two, dim lighting, and soft music. Studies show that babies with a regular bedtime routine are able to sleep better, sleep easier, and cry less often in the middle of the night.
Put down a baby who is almost asleep
Many parents opt to wait until a baby is fast asleep before putting him or her down on the crib or bed. The problem with doing this is that babies are more likely to be upset and get confused if they wake up in the middle of the night and find that things are different from when they fell asleep. By putting babies down when they are drowsy, they are more likely to learn to fall asleep on their own.
Allow the baby to stir
It is completely normal for babies to stir often throughout the night, particularly since their sleep cycles only last about 40 minutes or so at a time. It may be difficult for you at first, but allow the baby to stir for a little bit. Instead of being quick to offer the bottle or breast immediately, try singing to the baby softly or patting him or her gently.