Sleep training is one of the most challenging parts of parenting because all babies are different. The same sleep strategy that worked for your firstborn might not cut it for your other babies. Babies also change as they grow, so a sleep strategy that worked a few months ago could fail you today.
Out of all the questions we get asked about baby care, problems with getting babies to go to sleep and stay asleep come up the most. So, for our first #AskLilMasters blog, we decided to tackle the number one issue that parents face.
These are our best answers to your biggest questions about sleep strategies.
How can I get my colicky baby to fall asleep?
This is a tough one. Colicky babies are notoriously tricky because we still understand so little about colic – paediatricians say it’s related to gas. So you might not be able to cure the colic, but you can definitely soothe your baby back to sleep.
Try one of the following techniques:
- A white noise machine or a fan can be calming to the baby.
- Sucking on a pacifier can help move gas through your baby easier.
- Holding your baby on their side can also relieve gas.
- Finally, swaddling them reminds them of their relaxing time in the womb.
How do I correct my baby’s day-night confusion?
It’s perfectly normal for your baby to confuse their days from their nights. They might sleep through the day and stay up all night. Don’t panic – you can slowly work your sleep schedules back into alignment.
Humans have an internal clock called a circadian rhythm that controls when we sleep, among many other functions. You can help reset your baby’s day-night routine by exposing them to sunlight during the day and keeping things dark at night. This is because our circadian rhythms rely heavily on the presence or absence of daylight.
Try to avoid stimulating activities at night and let your baby get bored.
My baby can’t stay asleep for long at night. What can I do?
Your baby waking up too often during the night could mean one of two things.
One, your baby is over-tired. Yes, in a strange way, your baby can be too tired to fall asleep on their own. Exhaustion has made them a little agitated and unable to relax enough to sleep. You can fix this by making sure they don’t get too tired during the day.
The second thing that could be causing your baby to wake too frequently at night is not being full enough. Sometimes babies fall asleep during nighttime feedings before they’ve had enough. This causes them to wake up too soon for the next feeding because they’re still hungry.
Your baby could also be learning to soothe themselves back to sleep, so check to see if they can do this before you step in.
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