Sleep is something essential. This is never truer than in a baby’s situation. In order for the child to grow healthy and strong, he must have enough share of nap.
You may observe that babies sleep often. Without control, they would sleep at random times. This, of course, poses several disadvantages— both for the parents and the baby himself. Few of the said disadvantages are lack of daytime activities for the baby and sleep depravity for the parents. Routine should then be established.
Sleeping schedule of the baby will usually depend on his age. Newborns don’t usually sleep at nighttime. During these times, you can adjust your own sleeping schedule and sync it with the baby. However, when he reaches 3 months and above, you can develop his sleeping schedule so that it coincides with the norm. It is during these times that it’s easy to weave your kid’s sleeping pattern.
To make things simple, you can keep in mind three simple tips to make the routine easier to construct.
1. Observe signs of sleepiness
Since you’re always together with your baby, it’s easier for you to observe what time of the day he feels sleepy. You can usually tell if the child is tired if he does the following:
- Rubbing his eyes
- Avoiding eye contact
If see these signs in your baby, you’ll know that he’s ready to go to bed. Take not of the time of the day when this usually happens. Then, try to guess what makes your baby tire quicker. Reduce your day activity so that he just have enough time to take a nap in the afternoon and sleep tightly again at night.
However, never force the child to follow your planned sleeping schedule. Do not, under any circumstances, overtire the baby. If you do, you’ll find yourself with a more irate child who’ll find it hard to fall and stay asleep.
2. Map out your Child’s Sleeping Schedule
At the beginning of the 3rd month, you can start teaching your child that the right sleeping time is at night and the right play time is during the day. It will make your life so much easier.
Arrange activities you and your child can do at daylight and keep him active all throughout. Try to keep him awake even after sleeping. Then again, don’t push the child too hard. It’s okay to give him time to take a short nap in the afternoon, but it should never be more than 5 hours.
At nighttime, try to dim the lights and keep your energy level low. Play slow music, like lullabies. You can also try reading your child a story. Keeping thing mellow will create an environment of peace and simulates the desire to take a rest. This is the fastest way to teach the child that nighttime is the time to rest and be quiet and daytime is the time to have fun and do all sorts of activities.
3. Remember that sleeping and eating are different
Sleep comes easy when the stomach is full. This is true for everyone. However, babies sometimes sleep in the middle of eating. This practice should be remedied.
The baby should be able to separate the two actions— sleeping is not the same as eating. Try to guide your child into distinguishing the two activities. When he attempts to sleep when you’re feeding him, see if he eats some more. If he continues sleeping, send him to bed. Then, the next time you feed him, try to keep him awake by making airplane noises and such.
Never feed the baby when you are about to send him to bed. It would confuse him all the more. Keep your schedule straight and make sure that two activities do not coincide.
When you make a routine for the child, you’ll find that it’s difficult at first. However, it should not bring you down. Just keep following the schedule that you have mapped out and your child will get used to it eventually.