For many parents, getting their baby to sleep through the night is one of the greatest challenges they will face in the first year of parenthood. While being a new parent is a wonderful experience, the lack of sleep over an extended period can really cause problems after a while, but finding a way to help baby sleep through the night might not be as easy at it appears. This article looks at some solutions to the baby sleep problem and aims to help you to get both baby and yourself to sleep all night long.
A pacifier may seem like a great idea to get baby off to sleep in the first place, but what happens when they can't find it in the night? This is one of the biggest causes of baby crying during the early hours, so weaning them off the pacifier at an early age, or preferably not giving them one at all in the first place is a good way to resolve this problem.
While little noises like opening and shutting a door or walking across a squeaking floorboard may wake your baby up, one of the best ways to get your baby to sleep all night is to play them white noise. A gentle hum from a fan or white noise machine actually has been proven to soothe infants and masks other sounds that may disturb them in the night.
One of the biggest mistakes we make is over-soothing baby in the night. If baby wakes up, spending too long fussing over them encourages them to wake more often to spend more time with their parents. Instead, simply reassure your infant for a couple of minutes and then leave the room. If baby cries again, simply pop back in, reassure them again and then go out of the room once more. You should continue to repeat this reassurance cycle leaving longer between return visits until baby finally drops off too sleep. Repeating this for several days in a row should help to reduce separation anxiety as baby will begin to realize that you are always going to come back and this will help them to sleep through the night.
When baby is small he will need a night feed but at about 6 months old this need diminishes. Check with your pediatrician and if they say your baby can manage without a top up feed during the early hours try reducing feeds so that you don't have to get up in the night.
It's hard to work on sleep training when you're worried about waking or disturbing an older child. Try to send an older sibling to a friend or grandparent's house for a few nights while you work on helping baby learn to sleep through as this will give you one less thing to worry about while you focus on encouraging your infant to become more independent during the night.