For new parents, dealing with being constantly awakened by a newborn in the night can be very difficult. What makes it more difficult is that newborns vary in sleeping patterns, making it hard to set rules to get him/her to sleep well. However, there are some tips that you can do to help. What you need to understand here is that your role as a parent is very important.
A good way to set your child bedtime is to establish a sleeping ritual. If you are a mother, a reason why your child does not sleep well at night is because s/he is used to falling asleep with you. So naturally when your child wakes up in the night, s/he calls out for you. This is also the only way that your child knows how to return to sleep. And as your newborn grows older, s/he gradually develops a transition in which s/he learns to sleep on his/her own and falls back asleep by himself/herself when s/he wakes in the night. As a parent, your goal is to hasten this transition process as much as possible. What you get is a good night’s sleep not just for you, but also for your newborn, in which s/he develops better sleeping patterns.
In order for your newborn child well on his/her own, you need to be consistent on your bedtime routine. Usually, babies are reliant on routines. Generally, they only focus on a few things all through the day and in order to make transitions in your newborn’s day is to change how things are being presented to him/her.
For instance, your bedtime ritual can comprise feeding, a warm bath, changing and reading before your newborn goes to bed. Repeating this every night can make your child become accustomed to associating these activities with sleep. Your child will then naturally begin to fall into a sleeping mode when you make these things a habit each night. However, if you are inconsistent, such as bathing him/her occasionally or altering the order of pre-bedtime activities, then you will only confuse your child, which can make him/her uncertain what will happen next. This means s/he cannot exactly tell whether it is time for him/her to sleep after bathing, or after having been read a story.
Also, it is a must for your bedtime ritual to include a good, quality time with your child. Even at a very young age, children can be able to manipulate you. Not having enough time for your child before s/he goes to sleep may make hi/her begin to stretch out your bedtime routine so that s/he can spend more quality time with you.
When setting a bedtime routine for your newborn, consistency should be your topmost concern. To make sure that your newborn develops better sleeping habits, try not to focus much on your activities before going to bed. Instead, focus on being consistent on the things in the same manner each night.
Whatever the age, regular bedtime routine and schedules greatly affect you and your child’s ability to sleep well. By setting and maintaining proper sleeping habits, your child can fall asleep, sleep well and awake feeling relaxed and refreshed. It can also help prevent sleeping problems in the future as well. Proper sleeping habits not only get rid of bedtime stress but it can create a special bond between you and your child.
There is no standard rule for your child’s sleep behavior. If your bedtime ritual is working, then it may probably be the best for the both of you. Of course, some approaches may work better than yours, but as long as you and your child are comfortable with it, then there’s no need to switch.