When you become a parent, one of the first things you learn is the true meaning of the term ‘sleep deprivation’. Ironically, it’s because your baby can’t sleep, either!
It can seem almost vindictive – a way of saying ‘if I can’t sleep, you can’t either!’ Of course, this isn’t far from the truth. A baby has needs it can’t meet by itself, and so it needs you to help it out. So while there’s no deliberate malice behind the crying, something has to be done regardless.
Here are a few top tips for helping your adorable little noise ball sleep at night:
1) White Noise Machine
White noise machines provide low-level sounds that lull an infant to sleep. These sounds may range from the sound of rushing air to a gentle heartbeat. This helps the child to feel as if it is in a familiar, comforting environment.
Why should ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) be just for people with access to YouTube? Invest in one of these to help the baby relax and get to sleep. Then you can head off to bed and load up the sound of rain, or whatever enables you to unwind! You can find comparisons and pricing for white noise machines at https://aquietrefuge.com/best-baby-white-noise-machines/.
2) Blackout or Noise-Cancelling Curtains
If you live in a built-up area, problems with light and sound coming in from the outside can disturb your child’s sleep. You know this well enough because they don’t exactly help you, either!
If there are lots of cars and glaring streetlights near your house in the early evening, curtains can help. Blackout curtains stop light from shining in, while noise-canceling curtains can at least reduce the sound of cars, barking dogs, etc. This should aid a quiet night’s sleep.
3) Bedtime Story
It’s an ASMR DIY! Not the catchiest title, but the sound of a parent’s voice is something the baby gets used to quickly. This makes it a comforting, safe noise to drift off to sleep near.
It can be as long or short as you please – well, as long as it’s long enough to get the job done. This one is old-fashioned, but there’s a reason it’s been around for so long. People don’t read enough anymore!
4) Gentle Lighting
If you’re giving your baby a nighttime feed, try to make sure there’s a very gentle light available. A bright overhead will wake the baby up more and make it harder to sleep again afterward.
It can be a good idea to light your house gently in the evenings on the whole. Creating a drowsy atmosphere well in advance helps the child prepare for a good night of sleep. On Kidsco you can find great reviews on baby night lights for every nursery.
5) Baby Massage
Light, gentle massage can help babies to relax. Rubbing a hand on circles on the baby’s tummy, for example, or moving the baby’s legs slowly in a bicycle motion is soothing. The latter can also help with gas problems.
It might sound odd at first, but some parents have found that this has been that one weird trick that paid off. Why not give it a try?
6) Night and Day
Newborn babies don’t have well-developed circadian rhythms. This is what allows our body to understand when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Making a special effort to exaggerate nighttime and daytime can help your baby to learn this faster – ensure that bright lights aren’t on all night, for example. Also opening all the curtains in the morning is a good idea.
We all get there eventually – it just takes more time for some than others! Best of luck getting your little angel to sleep – sweet dreams!
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