9. Consider a Pacifier
Instead of nursing and rocking your baby to sleep, consider using a pacifier. The periodic movement of your baby’s mouth while using a pacifier helps the baby settle down quickly.
Moreover, using a pacifier during sleep helps reduce the risk of SIDS. A 2012 study published in Pediatrics in Review gives many tips on SIDS risk reduction and using a pacifier is one of them.
Make sure to offer a pacifier to your baby until he or she is 3 to 4 weeks old and you have settled into an effective nursing routine.
While sleeping, if the pacifier falls out of your baby’s mouth and he or she is not crying, there is no need to pop it back in. The baby will gradually learn to sleep without a pacifier.
When using a pacifier, parents need to wash and sterilize it daily to prevent an accumulation of germs on it. Plus, it’s a good idea to replace pacifiers regularly.
10. Prefer the Same Bedtime
Especially when it comes to getting your baby to sleep all night, parents’ should opt for the same bedtime. Any change in your baby’s bedtime routine can make the baby irritated and fussy.
Maintaining the same bedtime helps develop the baby’s internal clock, which regulates day and night hormone cycles.
Do not make the mistake of pushing your baby’s bedtime, hoping he or she will sleep a little longer the next morning. Moreover, it can make your baby overtired, which will make it even more difficult for your baby to settle down.
A scheduled bedtime and the same routine helps your baby predict that it’s time to sleep. The baby will automatically start showing “sleep signals” in the form of eye rubbing, yawning and slowing down.
- Every baby is different, so what works for your baby may not work for another baby.
- It may take 3 to 14 days to change a baby’s sleep patterns.
- If your baby wakes at night, wait a few minutes before going in the room. Many babies fuss and whine a little bit and soon go back to sleep on their own.
- You must learn to respect your baby’s preferences and accordingly make adjustments in routines and schedules.
- Keep your baby’s sleep environment free of quilts, comforters, pillows and other soft items, such as toys.
- Do not put infants on waterbeds, air mattresses, pillows, soft materials or loose bedding, even temporarily.
- Always remember that any kind of makeshift bed is not safe for your baby.
- Make sure your baby sleeps in a smoke-free environment.
- Avoid covering your baby’s head or overheating while sleeping.